“Life is like a roller coaster, live it, be happy, enjoy life.” ~Avril Lavigne
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, when I need to understand a concept, a concrete example helps a lot. So, if you’re struggling to understand the concept of learning to create the life of your dreams, I hope that you’ll be able to find some connection to it through my own personal experience with a roller coaster.
It’s no joke–the first time I ever intentionally chose to change my life and recognized that I’d succeeded, I was only 9 years old–and it involved a roller coaster.
Change Your Mind, Change Your life: My Philosophy
As you may or may not be aware, I have a philosophy that has served me quite well: I believe that anyone can choose the life she wants if she does so intentionally. I believe that you bring about what you think about, that you get back what you put out there–karma, the law of attraction, the Golden Rule–call it whatever you want.
It works pretty consistently. It turns out that the way you choose to perceive any situation can and will affect the outcome.
The fact that my first memory of a conscious attempt and success at using this concept to my advantage happened before my 10th birthday is proof enough for me–but if that weren’t enough, the result was certainly a confirmation.
How the Roller Coaster Comes Into Play
So there I was, 9 years old and at Six Flags with friends–and not a care in the world–except, that is, for one thing: a horrible fear of roller coasters, upside-down rides and anything with a reputation for making one vomit.
I was so terrified of them that I felt like a big baby (remember, I was 9!), and I remember thinking: “I don’t want to feel like this. I wish I wasn’t so afraid to go on these rides…”
That day, I made a choice.
I decided that I was going to FAKE IT. (At least until I made it!)
Faking It Til You Make It: A Concrete Exanple
When I say fake it til you make it, I mean to behave AS IF what you want has already happened.
So, in the case of the roller coaster, I decided that day that I would PRETEND to love the roller coaster, and that I would pretend SO HARD that I WOULD figure out how to learn to love it.
And guess what? I totally did it–I faked it (acted happy when I wanted to scream–smiled and threw my arms up in the air while I laughed and cheered when I wanted to hold on and beg them to stop the ride.)
And then–the crazy thing.
It happened. That day. I learned to love the roller coaster, and became a bit of a junkie after awhile (the thrill of the perceived risk was kind of awesome, it turned out!!).
I mean, sure, at first, I was totally faking it. But by the end of the day, I truly GOT IT–the reason people loved roller coasters. It was not about being excited to have yourself all flipped upside-down and inside out; it was about overcoming the fear by throwing yourself into the experience.
Your Perception Defines Your Life
As a result of that momentary and seemingly insignificant thing, my 9-year-old self learned something that I’d carry with me for the rest of my life: that not only could I choose my own reaction and thus my experience, but by doing so, I could positively influence the outcome of my day and even my life.
So tell me, do you believe that you have the power to change your own life? If not, tell me why. If so, tell me about your own experiences that “proved it” for you!