In personal growth trainings, it is said “What you expect is what you get” — an idea that jibes with my teachings on the power of beliefs (and why we should consciously choose our own). In other words — if you expect to fail, get ready to fall! If you expect to succeed, your ‘luck’ will greatly improve. If you are afraid a dog is going to bite you, the odds of that happening have just gone way up!
Buddha said, “as you think, so you become.” The bible says, “as you think in your heart, so ye shall be.” John Lennon sang “Instant karma’s gonna get you!”
Despite the song, karma is not always “instant” — in fact, it is rarely so. But one case where karma is instant is fearful thinking. The moment our minds dwells on fear thoughts — anxiety, paranoia, etc. — karma instantly manifests in how our bodies react with adrenaline, exaggerated black-and-white thinking, and a fight or flight response. And this all happens right away, whether or not the threat is real. Furthermore, such thinking, when sustained, actually fosters the development of new, more threatening conditions (like that dog who picks up on the fear energy) — a vicious downward cycle, fueled by our own thinking.
Here’s another example: According to a recent survey by Portland State University, people believe crime is on the rise when, in fact, it’s at record-low levels. Rates of violent crimes and property crimes are actually lower than they’ve been since the 1960s and they continue to fall. The gaping disparity between perception and reality can affect everything from public policy to law enforcement’s ability to keep the public safe — even simple livability and peace of mind.
Things are almost never as bad as they seem and it pays to pay attention lest our thinking help make it so!