Would you rather listen to today’s post? Well, be my guest, right below:
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, especially on Mondays, you know I love me some good quotes. One of my favorites is from the author Paolo Coehlo, from his famous book, The Alchemist. When the hero, Santiago, travels along his journey in search of his treasure, he eventually realizes that, “…when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” That may be hard to believe sometimes, because we all have moments when we desperately want something that just doesn’t materialize (we’ve talked about that before), but usually, the power of hindsight helps you see that path wasn’t for you, and that by staying the course, the universe actually moved you closer to your purpose via another route.
The point is, when we begin to discover what it is we are meant to do, and use our gifts to act in that direction, momentum starts to build. We saw evidence of that earlier this week.
In Wednesday’s post, we unveiled a new series called “Real Mindful,” through which we’ll be showcasing the real ways that mindfulness is being used by real people in the MBA space. This week, we met Catherine Aranda, a second-year MBA student at Darden who’s coordinating their first ever “Resilience Week,” bringing awareness to campus resources available for managing stressors, big and little. Catherine is as busy as any superstar MBA you’ve ever met, and to look at her calendar, there’s no time for anything new, let alone envisioning and executing a full-scale, week-long campus event. The project is deeply meaningful for her though, and if you listen to our conversation, you’ll hear her talk about how the idea quickly took on a life of its own after she started working on it. It grew from a small idea to a huge event because she got buy-in, and with that, her energy for it seemed to multiply. The universe began to conspire in her favor, and next week, her vision will come to life on Darden’s campus, and positively impact the lives of all who experience it.
So, what does this have to do with a “no-fail” mindfulness challenge, you’re wondering? Great question. Thing is, that groundswell underneath Catherine’s efforts at Darden isn’t unique to her. We all have it available to us, when we are able to heed our intuition, ignite our gifts through hard work, and persist with the optimism of a true believer. Your work this weekend is to find – or at least begin to explore – that space within yourself.
You can do this through seated meditation, a long walk, a yoga practice, or a dance party. Whatever it is that makes you feel most connected to yourself, do it. You know what I mean by this. You’re cultivating that sense of authentic contentment that comes about when you turn your focus away from whatever – or whoever – is out there, and bring it what makes you feel like you. Everything else can step aside.
Once you’re in that zone, it’s a little easier to connect with the thoughts, ideas, and feelings that live in that space. This is the home of your biggest dreams, and they come through most clearly when you’ve done what you need to do to get the doubt, fear and “rational” checkpoints out of the way for a minute.
What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What would you do if you knew you could find every resource you needed to make it happen? What would you persist at even if you heard “no” a hundred times first, just because you knew it had to happen?
It doesn’t have to be anything monumental or immediately world-changing. Go where you feel the momentum pulling you, and what grows from that may be exponential. The energy that is pulling you in that direction will also attract the people, resources, and further momentum you need to keep going.
Trust yourself. Take a breath, and then, take the first step. Watch as the universe conspires in your favor.
Photo credit: Allef Vinicius