– by Eric Falcon
What are your most important one or two goals or desires at the present time? Well, whatever your desires may be, here’s a unique psychological tool that can help you acquire them, which you probably haven’t heard of before: Celebrate your victories in advance!
What do I mean by this? Begin to practice feeling in your body the way you would feel if you had the circumstances or personal qualities which you desire or wish for already. I call this the “I Already Have It, I Already Am It” mentality or technique.
Here’s a brief exercise to help you implement this: Use your imagination to travel ahead out into the future – travel far enough out so that you can come to a stop just beyond the point in time when what you desire has already occurred or has already been achieved.
From this future vantage point in time, turn around now and look back, behind you, in your mind’s eye; see that the outcome or goal which you had been desperately seeking has already come to pass. Now here’s the most valuable step. Cultivate inside of yourself the feeling of knowing that you already have the outcome or goal which you desire!
How happy would you be knowing that you have attained your goal? Feel that happiness now ahead of time inside yourself…How grateful would you be knowing that you have achieved your outcome? Feel that gratitude now ahead of time…How much elation and exhilaration would you feel knowing that you now have what you desire? Feel that elation and exhilaration inside your body now…How excited would you be and how much would you celebrate? Feel that excitement now and celebrate like that now…
At this point, if you’re still reading this article, you must be saying to yourself “This sounds a little nutty; why should I even bother to try any of this?” That’s a legitimate question – I’m aware of how unconventional what I’m discussing is. So, I owe you a list of benefits:
Firstly, from a medical perspective, engaging in an imagination practice like ‘feeling as if you already have what you want’ and the resulting feelings of joy and gratitude that can accompany it, are associated with the release of endorphins in your body. Endorphins are chemicals made in the brain that are natural pain and stress fighters; increasing their release by the brain is one of the best things that you can do for your emotional and mental health.
A second benefit of the technique of ‘feeling as if you already have what you want’ is that it helps to foster what I call an ‘abundance mentality’, about the things that are the most important to us in life; namely, feelings of emotional and spiritual fulfillment. The realization that we can actively invoke emotions of joy and fulfillment within ourselves at any time, dispels the false notion that we need to wait until we’ve crossed some imaginary goal line in order to experience these feelings. That paradigm is fine in the world of games and sports – the winner of a race feels elated and gets to celebrate, while the loser feels discouraged and dejected.
The problem occurs for us in the real world when we unconsciously begin to believe that joy and elation are in short supply somehow, and therefore we should only get to experience these feelings under certain conditions – such as when we’ve received something special or done something deserving. This is the ‘scarcity mentality’, which lies at the opposite end of the spectrum of the ‘abundance mentality’, and which relies upon a limited and distorted perception of reality.
But let’s admit it – there exists an abundance of joy, elation, gratitude, fulfillment and all other empowering emotions inside of us – which are freely available to us anytime we choose to invoke these feelings within ourselves. So when we cultivate an ‘abundance mentality’ about this matter, we’re simply aligning our beliefs with what is actually true. We need not go through life any longer with the false idea that we have to wait to experience fulfillment until after we’ve achieved certain specific personal qualities, possessions, or external circumstances.
Another important benefit of the practice of celebrating our victories in advance is that it has direct effects in the real world. The habitual emotional states and beliefs which we harbor play a direct role in influencing the experiences in our lives. Here’s what I mean: our long-standing feelings and beliefs tend to draw to us the kinds of circumstances and events that are in resonance with our inner states of being.
The person who believes there are opportunities to be found in every one of life’s obstacles usually experiences a far more satisfying and rewarding quality of life in the long run, compared to the person who believes there are mainly obstacles to be found in each of his life’s opportunities.
This phenomenon I’m referring to has been summed up in the common phrase “like attracts like.” Everything in the universe is made up of energy, including our thoughts and feelings. The energies of the thoughts and feelings inside of us, according to something known as ‘the law of attraction’, tend to attract into our lives the energies that are their equivalents outside of us – in the form of events and experiences.
This is why some psychologists believe that people with a chronically negative attitude towards life tend to draw to themselves predominately negative experiences over time, or at least they find the negatives in all their positive circumstances. Conversely, people with a chronically positive attitude towards life tend to draw to themselves predominately positive experiences over time, or else they find the positives in any negative circumstances that occur to them. Of course there may be huge ups or downs in anyone’s life, but this describes the overall picture – wouldn’t you agree?
“The law of attraction” is both a metaphysical and a spiritual principle that has been studied and written about for ages, as well as taught by many spiritual teachers and scholars. Put simply, our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings affect our surroundings and affect our lives; but feelings have the potential for the greatest effects by far among these three, hence they’re the major focus of my article.
Feelings arise from, and reside, within us at a deeper level than many of our thoughts and beliefs. Feelings, therefore, can be a much stronger and persistent form of energy than either of these two. Many of our thoughts tend to be superficial as well as fleeting, in nature. And while beliefs are considered more enduring than thoughts – the beliefs that we hold within us which are the strongest, reside inside of us in the form of feelings.
In addition, feelings are directly related to our strong intentions and prayers. It has been speculated that when people pray, it’s the feelings that accompany our prayers which ultimately communicate our intentions to the Divine, and which also potentiate the effects of our prayers.
With all of this in mind, let’s return to the technique that I’ve been discussing since the outset – that of ‘feeling as if you already have what you want.’ Speaking in the book of Mark, Jesus teaches, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (11:24, NIV). Notice that the past tense is used in the phrase “believe that you have received it [italics mine],” conveying that our perspective should be one of looking back on the desired event or circumstance, in our imagination, as if it has already occurred.
Gregg Braden, the author of The Divine Matrix and The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, has extensively investigated the effects of people’s chronic emotional states upon the results and outcomes of their prayers and intentions. Braden’s findings have verified his core teaching and claim that to be the most effective at receiving our desired results and outcomes we must “…feel a clear and powerful feeling as if our prayers have already been answered.”
Finally, it must be acknowledged that, in a world of innumerable variables and interacting forces and wills, sometimes we may not get precisely the thing that we desire or aim for, at the time that we want it. This is where the skill of flexibility is important.
When we place the development of our spirit and our character as the highest priority in our lives, not the attainment of any particular possession, achievement, or circumstance, it gives us the flexibility to find value in any outcome that we end up with – even if it’s not the exact thing that we aimed for or wished for.
Spiritual growth, maturity, and life lessons are just a few of the many valuable benefits that we can derive from any experience, if we’re determined to, regardless of how unexpected, undesirable, or possibly even painful the experience may initially be.
And at some point afterwards, with the help of grace we’ll be able to smile, feel joy, and express gratitude towards our Creator for what we’ve learned and for how much we’ve grown from the experience. So, with properly ordered priorities in life, our final degree of fulfillment and happiness can always be the same regardless of whether we achieve the specific outcome that we initially aimed for, or not!
It’s important to be aware that what we really seek at the deepest level in our pursuit of possessions, achievements, and desirable circumstances are the emotional states that we believe these things will bring us: emotions such as fulfillment, happiness, freedom, joy, etc. It’s also important to realize that we don’t need to wait until we’ve achieved any particular possession or circumstance in order to be able to experience empowering emotional states. We can experience these empowering emotions now, merely by invoking them within ourselves.
So remember to celebrate your victories in advance…and keep doing so all along your journey towards your desires and goals. And even if you don’t always attain the precise external outcomes that you initially desired or wished for, in the end you will have experienced an abundance of the good feelings and emotions that you were really seeking underneath it all, anyway!
© Eric Falcon 2010