Would like the Miracle? Change Your own Belief.

November 22, 2021

Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – work, a campaign, your health, a lover, a spouse – it’s painful. Sure, the pain is greater, the greater the loss, but whenever we lose something, we feel it deeply.

A pal of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a big case. He’s not in the habit of losing trials, for him this is a most unusual experience. But what intrigued me was his attitude about it: “I could see where I made some mistakes. I know it’s hindsight and all that acim podcasts, but I seriously misjudged how the jurors would look at certain facts. I can’t watch for my next trial – I involve some ideas on what I possibly could have done differently, and I do want to see how they will play out.”

His is definitely an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. The one that practically guarantees success. Oh, maybe not every time, but more often than not. It is well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all due to their attitude.

Many lawyers, in his position, might have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge to be biased toward another side, on the jurors for “not getting it,” on the trial team to be inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, found out that which was missing, and was rarin’ to go on the following trial – so he could once more, win.

All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my method of thinking, a shift in perception (how you see the loss) lays the groundwork for magic, for something to happen that’ll be a lot better than that which was expected. By moving off the blame-game, and choosing instead to master from the ability (the shift in perception), my friend put himself back on the success track.

When you look at your loss, whatever it is, as permanent and all-encompassing, then sure enough, you’ll feel devastated and unable to release and move on. If, on the contrary, you appear at your loss – be it the increasing loss of work, a spouse, a customer, your savings – as temporary, something to master from – then odds are excellent that you will be able to move to better yet things; to a “miracle.”

The only change is in how you perceive the function, the loss. And that, unlike the loss itself, is wholly within your control. Buck against it though we may, we can always control what we think. No, it’s certainly not easy. I find it requires considerable effort to move my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts that may generate a much better future. But it’s doable.

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