Success and Prosperity are Only in Your Mind

jeremy lin time magazine

Photo Courtesy of Time Magazine

If you speak to most successful people who are wealthy and appear to have a charmed life, the one thing that they all have in common is the way they think. In the words of Buddha, “All that we are arises with our thoughts.” In other words, you cannot obtain wealth and prosperity if you are thinking like a poor person…that’s the bottom line.

Our own image of ourselves has the power to catapult us to incredible success or keep us trapped in an unfulfilled life with constant stress and turmoil. It’s a tough pill for many people to swallow, but we are responsible for everything that happens to us in our lives. Whether we like it or not, that is just the way it is. You can try to fight me on this but you are only fighting yourself.

I know you might be thinking, “Well, how can I control if someone runs their car into the back of mine?” or “How is it my fault that this person treated me like garbage?” Unfortunately whether we intend to or not, in our actions we invite every event that occurs into our lives, whether they are good or bad. You may have left the house five minutes later than normal to put yourself in traffic at that time to have another car hit you. You may be surrounding yourself with people who are creating negative circumstances to occur. In addition to this, it is our perception of these events and actions (or reactions in some cases) to them that will determine our end results. A minor car accident could lead you to a golden opportunity and if you are around negative people you can simply begin to stay away from them. We don’t have to make this difficult. Just relax, open your eyes and pay attention to what’s going on around you.

Do you think Michael Jordan became the greatest basketball player of all time because he was consumed with self-doubt and worried about other people’s’ perception of him? Even when his high school coach cut him from the team and told him he wasn’t good enough, that didn’t stop Michael from achieving the ultimate success. You have to prepare yourself for success mentally by envisioning it in your mind first. This can’t be done with a negative attitude. Another great story is the basketball player, Jeremy Lin, who is currently playing in the NBA. Jeremy’s childhood dream was to play professional basketball, but because of his heritage there were constant doubts about his ability to play at a high level. Despite his great high school basketball achievements, Lin was never offered any athletic scholarships. His academics helped him to be accepted to Harvard, where he had a great basketball career allowing him to be recognized at a professional level.

Jeremy was not selected in the draft but was given an opportunity for a 1-year deal (with second year option) playing for his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors. He also received a 3-year deal with Nike, as they expected to capitalize from the sales of Jeremy Lin’s jersey, who was considered a hometown hero. After spending his first season going back and forth to the Warrior’s D-league team he would end up being cut from the Warriors and picked up by the Houston Rockets. Just before the start of the 2011-2012 season, he was cut once again and picked up by New York to play for the Knicks. Jeremy’s stay in New York was so unpredictable that he didn’t even move to city or obtain housing, instead sleeping on a teammate’s couch or crashing at his brother’s city apartment. When he first showed up for practice Madison Square Garden security nearly refused him access to enter into the players’ entrance because nobody knew who he was or thought that he could actually play on the team.

Jeremy knew that his time in New York could also be short-lived. With limited playing time, the future of his professional basketball career in the NBA was looking bleak to say the least. He would likely never have another chance to play for another team if he were cut from the Knicks and it was starting to look like that was going to happen until an unlikely injury to a teammate gave Jeremy a chance to join the starting lineup temporarily days before the team considered releasing him. Jeremy seized the opportunity and rose to the occasion to create a monumental piece of NBA history known as “Linsanity!”, when he led the Knicks to a 6-game winning streak and shocked the sports nation with his play. He had record-breaking statistics for a rookie, and even outscored Kobe Bryant, arguably the best player in the game, when they faced each other. This seemingly unknown player quickly became the talk of the town. Now, Linsanity didn’t last forever, but Jeremy left New York for a multimillion dollar contract in Houston, and has since been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he plays today. Jeremy Lin has achieved his dream of becoming an NBA basketball player and it appears that he has secured his position in the league for many years to come. The question is, are you willing to create a little “Linsanity” in your own life?

We are all exactly where we need to be at this very moment. This is what we have chosen, so once you embrace that you can realize that you have everything you need to create a bright future. Michael Jordan and Jeremy Lin didn’t let the negative thoughts flood their minds; they forced them out. They replaced those thoughts with images of greatness and thought about where they wanted to be. In other words, they saw their success before they lived it. We can all do the same thing by focusing on what we want and not what we don’t. Remember, our thoughts manifest our experiences, so pay close attention to those thoughts. Also, keep your eyes open to everything happening you because opportunities are everywhere, and not where you will normally expect them. They may come hidden in unwanted experiences so you have to pay attention and not overlook these potential jewels to an improved life.