Do you have any doubt that you can be everything you want to be? Do you believe you are limited by your history, genetics, karma, or any other factor? If so, take heart. Your destiny far outshines your history.
Scientists tell us that dogs evolved from the wolf. About ten thousand years ago people began to breed dogs to draw forth traits they valued. Wolves were selected for hunting skills, herding, and loyalty. Over time breeding became more and more specialized, until today we have over 150 registered dog breeds and a total of 500 breeds created by specifically mixing the registered breeds.
This theory does not explain why my dog looks and acts nothing like a wolf. Our little Maltese weighs eight pounds, with long white fluffy hair, and a pushed-in nose. She is the cutest creature you have ever seen (I know, except for your dog or cat), with infinite affection for everyone she meets. Yet scientists swear she descends from a wild, scary-looking predator virtually impossible to tame.
If that’s true (unless my secret belief that visitors from another planet created genetic variations is borne out), then we have a monumental lesson: You can make anything out of anything. Everything has the potential to become anything you want it to be. If, through focus, intention, and perseverance, you can pull an adorable, tame, loving, loyal, playful creature out of a vicious killer, you can draw forth the noblest qualities from the worst of people or situations.
I saw a news story about a murderer who escaped from prison, found his way to a neighborhood, and took a single female homeowner as a hostage. The woman happened to be a psychologist who was more sympathetic to her captor than afraid of him. As a legion of police and SWAT team surrounded the house, the psychologist persuaded them to give her some time with the convict. Over a day or two the woman encouraged her uninvited guest to talk about what was going on within him and what he wanted for his life. She served as a compassionate listener and supported his well-being. After a day, he surrendered himself. Later she became his advocate and worked to get him out of prison and get back on his feet in society.
This woman’s courage and skill drew a good man out of an apparently bad one. You and I, too, have the power to reinforce the traits we prefer from those around us. (Dale Carnegie: “Give that person a fine reputation to live up to!”) Actually, we are already creating the people around us by our expectations of them and their traits we focus on. Every time you complain about your husband leaving crumbs on the kitchen counter, or you compliment him for taking out the garbage, you reinforce the characteristic you are focusing on. Complaint and praise accomplish the same results — manifesting more of whatever you are giving your attention to.
Belief and vision are crucial factors in bringing forth positive attributes. A story from education annals tells of a teacher who opened her roster on the first day of the semester and was delighted to find high I.Q. scores next to the students’ names: 125, 136, 131. Thank goodness, Miss Matthews thought to herself, finally a smart group. The teacher gave her students challenging lessons, stimulating projects, and creative freedom. At the end of the semester all the students got A’s and B’s. The next day the principal called the teacher into his office and asked her, “Miss Matthews, how did you take a group of low-functioning students and turn them into geniuses?” Puzzled, the teacher showed the principal her roll book with their listed I.Q.’s. “Those are not their I.Q.’s,” the principle laughed. “Those are their locker numbers!”
The universe, quantum physics explains, is made of energy more than matter, and energy is highly amenable to the power of thought and intention. You can pluck anything from the universe by focusing your attention on an object. Spiritual masters and yogis have demonstrated this over millennia. Jesus turned water into wine, and in more current times Satya Sai Baba has manifested many objects out of thin air. My mentor Hilda Charlton was traveling with Sai Baba when their car ran out of gas. Baba called for a bucket of water, poked his finger in it, and ordered the liquid to be poured into the gas tank. The auto ran fine on the new fuel. (At today’s gas prices, wouldn’t you like to do that?)
As we enter a new season of school and business, it might be worth our while to think clearly about what we want to create. What is your most valued goal for this coming school or business year? How much attention are you giving your highest priority, and how much attention are you giving to lower priorities, or things you do not wish to experience? Each day take a few sacred moments to remember what’s important. Be not deceived by the appearance of the wolf. There is a marvelously friendly dog hiding inside.