’08 is Great!

I’ve always been a fairly goal-oriented person. I am fortunate and proud to have accomplished a few major-for-me things that I set out to do, and always chalked it up to the combination of focused work and study, a little talent, and a good amount of luck.

In 2007, I became conscious of another method for manifesting goals. I call it tapping in to the power of intention.  Other people might refer to it as creative visualization, the law of attraction, mind over matter, or the power of positive thinking. There’s a best-selling book franchise out on it, “The Secret.”

I know — I can hear the groans. “The Secret?!” That mass-marketed, overly simplified rehashing of rose-colored New Age parables? She’s going to get all woo woo rainbows and crystals  now.

I read “The Secret” last summer when I was the lowest I’ve felt in more than five years. It seemed to make some sense, especially the assertion that holding back and being uncertain about a pursuit will sabotage any efforts in that direction.

At the time, I was interviewing for a teaching job in Northern Virginia. I liked the college and the position, but I had doubts about making such a frenzied transition, leaving my current department high and dry without a full-time instructor weeks before a new semester, as well as some personal uncertanties.

I’m sure I brought those second guesses to the interview. The job went to a different candidate, although I got very positive feedback and encouragement from the search committee chair.

A few months later, I watched “The Secret” DVD. In the midst of its overly dramatic scenarios and silly faux-ancient styling, I recognized truths for me. Leaving the screening, I had a sense that anything was possible. I began wholeheartedly expressing gratitude in advance every day and created a visual collage to complement training  hard to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time of under 3 hours and 46 minutes.

On Dec. 8, I finished the Kiawah Island Marathon in 3:44:41. I had earned an invitation to attempt the most pretigious road race in the United States, but more importantly had learned to use the power of intention.

Last week while flying back to North Carolina from Fargo something occurred to me during a little chat I was having with myself, inside my head of course as to not alarm today’s all-too-skittish air travelers:

Andrea, you just used intention to succeed at one important goal. What would happen if you applied that to the whole shebang for 2008? There are a few significant areas in your life where you don’t appear to be approaching all the potential that’s out there. Are you really prepared for complacency at age 35? You’ve been telling yourself you’re completely happy and fulfilled regardless, but are you just afraid of failing in situations where success would mean a shot at greater happiness and fulfillment? You’ve got it really good right now, and do you deserve that much abundance? Isn’t it selfish to ask for more?

The whole notion was, and is still, a little terrifying. Be careful what you wish for, and all that. It’s necessary to be smart and alert but I strongly believe too much cautiousness will delay, if not totally stall, some dearly-held goals.

I decided 2008 would be the year that a few long-desired goals manifest. My new mantra is “’08 is Great!”

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