Author Barbara De Angelis was a popular talk radio host when I lived in LA. She crossed my mind one day, so I pulled up a couple of her talks on YouTube. In one of the videos, she told an interesting story about running into her former husband, John Gray (author of the “Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” series), at an event. In between speeches, they took some time to catch up.
As they talked casually, they discussed the success of “The Secret”, which was breaking sales records at the time, and the developing cultural fascination with the law of attraction. Creative visualization was not a new concept to either one of them. In fact, they were a little stunned by the new, overboard mentality of “use creative visualization to think it, and then you’ll suddenly attract whatever you want.” Some teachers were advocating creative visualization simply as a way to make money – and big, instant money at that. Barbara and John came to an interesting conclusion – blindly endorsing this thinking for everyone in the conference audience was shallow at best, and even a little dangerous if it re-routed their true path.
It’s a fascinating observation. I think it resonated with me since I’ve seen it in person. I got to know “Donna” many years ago. At one point, she decided she wanted to pursue songwriting full-time and thought living in Nashville might be the right path. Part of the year, she toured the state fair circuit. The rest of the year, she temped and worked on songwriting.
Ever a pragmatist, after several slow years Donna decided to abandon her dream. She moved back to her home state to be closer to family, and started contract work for a Fortune 500 company. Ultimately she got a bug to get her Master’s in Education and a teaching certificate. She beautifully wove together all of her skills – organization, love of the creative arts, and effective, intelligent communication – by becoming a drama teacher. It’s astonishing to watch what “her kids” do every year. Amazing productions like “Phantom of the Opera” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Donna has plenty of ups and downs in her job. For every student who has a creative light go on, there are two or three who have an equally bad attitude. But whenever we connect I can tell how much she loves her work. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s gone from envisioning possibilities to creating a fulfilling path, step by step. Truly the perfect road for her. And likewise, I’m confident that she’s never making a million dollars.
If making a million dollars is really in your heart, go for it. But have you considered that having the money is really just a side effect? This week, contemplate what you’re really interested in manifesting. Like Donna, maybe it’s an environment that welcomes your creative expression. Less stress than you have in your current job. Heartfelt and appreciative connections. If you focus on experiences rather than money alone, making the million dollars could be a natural outcome. At the very least, you’ll skip the frantic tunnel vision of people who can only see dollar signs. Be inspired by author Stephen Richards, “No matter how small you start, dream big.”