In my last blog, I stated that I wanted to share some experiences with you that I felt spoke to the truth of Napoleon Hill’s (and others) assertion that positive visualization and belief in ones' abilities can make a great impact in our lives. But before I get any further into it, I’d like to state that I have NOTHING against working in a factory, nor against accepting aid when needed (you'll see why I say that in just a minute). I’m merely relating some things that were told to me some years ago.
The Conspiring Universe, Part 1
When I filed for divorce from my daughter's father in 1996, I had only a high school education, had been a homemaker for the past 10 years, had no technical skills, and had almost no real work experience to speak of.
My ex-husband--and even my own lawyer!--advised me not to divorce; they both claimed I would never be able to have more than what I had then, due to my lack of education, being out of the workforce for ten years, and because I’d end up a single mother. The lawyer said I would never remarry (according to him, divorced women in their 30’s never remarry) and that I would either have to work in a factory for the rest of my life or have to go on welfare.
My ex at least had a little more faith in me. He said that if I learned to type, I might get a job making $7.00 an hour working as a secretary (minimum wage at that time was around $5 an hour). I looked at both of them and thought, "You don't know me."
I made up my mind in that moment to start working at $9.00 hour somehow (in my inexperience, I thought that was a lot of money). And even though I had no idea how I would get there, over the next several weeks I kept picturing myself holding a paycheck with those wages. Once the divorce was final, I applied to a temp agency, and the first job I got was in credit and collections for $9.00 hour.
When that job ended a few months later, I knew $9/hr wasn’t going to be enough to raise a child, and wondered what my next step should be. By “chance” (more about that another time) I found some free classes that offered to help under-employed workers and displaced homemakers. I applied for and was accepted into the classes, and one of the things I had to do for them was listen to tapes on positive visualization.
I was supposed to lie down and meditate every day on what success would look like for me. According to the tapes, I was supposed to "set the dream and grow into it" by writing down a couple of goals that were well beyond my current reach, and work toward them. The first goal was to be a "starter" goal, and the second, an even bigger goal. The idea was that once you reached the first goal, the second goal moved into the first position, and another, larger goal was to be set for the second.
I wrote down my first two things: one, to work as an admin assistant for $15.00 an hour; and two, to somehow, some way, earn $64,000 a year. Mind you, at that time, I still thought $15/hour was a complete impossibility given my lack of education and skills – I still couldn’t even type!
And the second goal, 64K a year? Ridiculous! I thought I would have to get at least a Master’s degree for that, and I hadn’t the money nor the time to pursue such a goal. However, I did take some of what little money I had and enrolled in a typing class, as well as a basic computer course.
That was the start of what I would remember some years later, when I read the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”