Episode 5: Law of Attraction? The Experience That Made Me Believe...
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Hi I'm Victoria Hefty, and welcome to Activate Purpose, where I talk about finding purpose through action, while balancing motherhood and career. Today, I want to talk to you about my love-hate relationship with the law of attraction, and the steps I'm taking to create the future I want. And the one technique that has single-handedly changed the way I start and end my days. I'm also going to share one recent example of how being intentional transformed an ordinary client interview into a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Let's jump right in, and talk about the law of attraction, which is covered in the book "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield. As I've mentioned before, I'll be referencing this book frequently to sort of help jumpstart the process of finding my purpose. So, in this book, principle number six is called "Use the Law of Attraction." So, before I continue, I feel like I kind of have to put this disclaimer out there. I want to say that I'm not really sure what to make of this whole law of attraction thing. There are some parts that I love, and other aspects, to be completely honest, freak me out a little bit. So, let me explain.
The following is a direct quote from the book. "Stated in its most basic form, the law of attraction says what you think about, talk about, believe strongly about, and feel intensely about you will bring about." So, at first glance, this seemed like a reasonable concept, so I kept on reading. And it also helped that I'd seen the documentary called "The Secret" on Netflix, which explains the law of attraction in greater detail. But basically, it's sort of part of a three step process. So, namely ask, believe, and receive.
Step one is ask for what you want. Step two believe that you'll get what you want, then take action. And three, receive what you want by becoming a vibrational match for it. So, I was all about the first two steps but then Jack lost me on this whole vibrational match. I don't know. Just the word vibration makes me kinda feel uncomfortable, and it sounds like this new age spiritual goddess type of language that I don't really understand or resonate with. I mean, I can't be the only one that feels this way, right? At least I hope not.
But, anyway, I was actually relieved that while I didn't like the vibrations terminology, I did agree with the underlying concept. And that is to focus on creating positive emotions of love, joy, appreciation, and gratitude throughout the day. And I will say that since this podcast is really all about uncovering my journey in real time, I feel that it's okay to say that you know I don't fully understand or even 100% believe in the law of attraction. But, I did commit to having an open mind when I started this journey. I said that I could be skeptical but I had to have an open mind.
This story isn't just gonna end with me sort of saying "All right, let's stop the process." In fact, I can actually confidently say that at least one concept from this chapter has been a really big game changer for me. The concept is, and I quote, "Start intentionally creating your future." The idea is that once you decide what you want, you need to become more intentional about your thoughts. You also need to practice feeling the emotions you'll have when you finally get what you want.
Simply put, you need to express and visualize what you want. So, how does this play out practically speaking? Because, if you guys know me, I like to deal with "All right, what does this mean for me on a day-to-day basis?" Well, as part of my morning routine, I write in my journal. I usually start by writing down any random thoughts that are occupying my mind. Then I write down five things that I'm grateful for, and then I now write down three things that fall under this start intentionally creating your future category. I'll give you an example.
So, I write down any consulting projects that I really want to book. Or, I'll write out on any given day any short or long term goal that I want to achieve. This can be either professionally or creative or entrepreneurial. Any places that I want to go. So, big dreamlike vacations for next year or the year after, or even for the winter. It's never too soon. Or, things that I want to do. The point is, I don't just write it down and move on. I actually take anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds after I write the item down to visualize how I would feel when that thing becomes a reality.
For example, I'll visualize an email from my dream consulting client saying that they want to hire me, and I'll actually allow myself to feel the excitement for a few moments. Or, I'll visualize what it would feel like when I finally purchase my dream home. And I allow myself to feel like a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. Like I said, I try and vary it up every morning, but I always do this intention and visualization exercise. And then, every night before I go to bed, I lay in bed, close my eyes, and I ask myself "What would make tomorrow a perfect day?" And then I visualize the different steps or activities that would need to happen for the next day to be perfect.
Now, let's be clear. Is the goal to have a perfect day? Not really. And I'll explain why. When my husband asked me the other day why I do this morning and evening visualizations, especially over the last three months, is I've really started to take this journey on, I told him that doing these exercises make me feel like I actually have a say in how my day goes. So, before I start writing down, before I started writing down I should say, what I wanted, and then visualizing it, I would wake up in the morning, and the day would just sort of happen to me. You know that feeling. You sort of aimlessly wake up, and you feel like you have no say at what life decides to throw you that day. It could be good or bad, but you're just like "All right. Here I am, Life. Make it happen."
Well, I don't have those days anymore. To be clear, I don't have perfect days, but I always have a vision for what I want out of the day. In fact, the combination of dreaming big, which I talked about in episode three, and writing down the components of the dream big goals every morning, and then visualizing how those dreams will come about has helped me to start the day already thinking big. And, in the evening routine actually allows me to reset. So, no matter what happened that day, whether it was a perfect day or not, I'm always excited about the possibilities for the next day when I go to sleep.
Which leads me to a recent example that I'm actually really proud and excited to share. So, about a month ago, actually it was closer to like two months but very recently, after several rounds of interviews with a potential consulting client, I was asked to come in for a final interview with the CEO of the company. Again, this was not for a full-time job. It's just for a pretty focused consulting project, but it was a big initiative for them, so they did want me to come in and interview for the final round. Normally, at this point I would have treated this like any other interview and prepared for this very specific project at hand. But, because I've been practicing how to dream big, think big, as I like to call it, I decided to really have fun with the week leading up to the interview.
Instead of just preparing for another typical long, you know kind of boring discussion about my consulting skills, and what I could bring to the table, and why I was a good fit for the project, I literally told myself, and my husband can vouch for this because I told him I was going to do this. I told myself "Victoria, this isn't just a regular interview. This is an interview for something bigger. You need to really figure out what your story is. Who are you? What are you passionate about? What do you want to achieve in 10 years? How does this interview fit into your bigger picture? How does this interview fit into your bigger goal?"
Every morning, I would write out and practice out what my answer would be. Sometimes, I would even just start talking to myself and pretend I was in the actual interview and talk out loud. And to make the process easier, I used one of my dream big goals as I like to call it again, which is to present a TED talk, to help guide my response. So, I would visualize being in the interview and saying "In 10 years, I want to be a successful keynote speaker." And I would visualize that I made such a strong impression that the CEO would ask me to be a speaker at a big conference that he was organizing. Did I know he was organizing a conference? Of course not. That wasn't anything about the job description or the project but, it's my story, I get to create what I want.
I said "Okay, he's gonna love me so much that he's gonna ask me to be a speaker at a conference that he's organizing." So, did I actually think this is going to happen? Not really but, again, I think there's a bigger purpose for all of this. And for me, it was, I was just having a lot of fun thinking about the possibilities and sort of daydreaming my options. And, to be honest, it actually made preparing for the interview a much more interesting task. So, as I think a lot of people can relate to this, especially if you're sort of at the MBA or post-MBA professional level, I'm at the stage where professionally speaking, I know how to interview well. So, adding this extra layer of unexpected, you know, "pretend questions" made prepping so much more fun.
The day before the interview, I did the usual evening exercise of what would make tomorrow a perfect day. And I visualized having a great interview. I even told my husband about my intention that evening to treat the interview as something more, as I had been preparing for. So, the day came. I went up to the interview room, and I was excited. I met with the CEO, and he was fantastic. We sort of did the usual "Tell me about your background." And then the usual consulting type questions, you know, nothing unexpected. But then, I remember clearly, he leaned back in his chair and he asked "Okay, so tell me about you. Who are you? What do you want out of life? If you were attending an MBA reunion in 10 years, what would you be doing?"
I literally and figuratively, I could have dropped out of my chair. I had fake prepared for him to ask me that, but I obviously didn't expect for it to happen. Or maybe I did. I'm not, I don't know. But either way, I was prepared. I told him about my goal of being a keynote speaker, and I felt like after writing my book "The Insider's Guide to Maternity Leave", I knew that a lot of professional women felt lost or forgotten about when they became mothers. And I wanted to create something that combined motherhood, career, and purpose. And share that message to women through talks, workshop products.
As I'm talking to the CEO, I'm secretly like glowing inside. I can't even explain it. It felt so natural to be talking about these goals, almost as if I believed it. I mean, I did believe it. But I was talking about it in such detail that it made it feel real. I actually felt like I was this person that was going to achieve these things. So, then the CEO asked me about this book that I'd written, and sort of what that whole process was like. And then he asked me if I'd gone through a publisher. And I said "No, I didn't really go that route." And part of the reason was because I was impatient. I had something to say, I wanted to do it, and I just didn't wanna wait. It's the activator in me. I get very impatient about having to wait on things.
But I did say "You know, looking back, a few people have told me that I could have gotten a publisher or a literary agent if I had really taken the time to go through that whole process and try and find an agent. But, to be honest, I didn't really consider myself to be a writer. And I didn't want to wait the usual 18 to 24 months that is typical for a publishing cycle to get my book out there. I kinda wanted to seize the moment and put it out into the world." So, we talked some more, and then he gave me some great advice on what I could do with the book. And then he said "You know what? Let me connect you with this publisher I know."
Mind you, this interview is supposed to be about my consulting skills. You know, I'm here to talk about this project, not this book. So, I'm just going to stay focused. This is what I'm trying to tell myself. I was extremely grateful, and when he gave me the publisher's contact information, I didn't really know what to do. I said "Thank you so much", but I'm still trying to stay focused to the task at hand, which is closing the deal on this project. But, mind you, one of my big dream goals, after being a TED talk speaker and creating this whole motherhood career purpose brand is to get a publishing contract and outsell the book "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Again, I talk about all of that in episode three.
But, you can imagine, when the CEO gives me this publisher's contact information, I'm blown away. So, the interview ends shortly after, and I continue on with one more interview. And then, I have to do this happy hour meet and greet at the office with the other employees, which is always a good sign. And then, after all of that, I sort of excuse myself, and thank everyone for their time, and then I literally sort of burst out of the office. I called my husband, but he's not available. He's too busy playing with my daughter, which is fine. But at this point, I have so much excitement, I don't really know how to contain it.
So, I go, to be honest, I may have even been running but I don't even know if I want to admit that, to a nearby bar, and I order a martini. And then, I immediately take out my phone to Google this publisher. And I quickly find out that not only is this contact a publisher, but she's a rockstar publisher. So, for one of, if not the biggest and most prestigious publishing houses in the US. So, I start freaking out at this blessing that has literally just been handed to me, and I'm desperate to write out my emotions as I'm now used to doing that.
I grab the only piece of paper I have, which is a copy of my resume. I turn it over and, of course, I start sipping that martini and writing, both furiously. So, I'm just eager to document this entire experience so that I know that it's not this figment of my imagination. Long story short, I do my research, create a formal email for the publisher a few days later, outlining what my book is about, and I send it off. At this point, I'm just so grateful to be sending out this note that I really don't expect much. Anything who knows anything about books and the author process knows that the response rate is just very, very, very low. There's a lot of great authors out there. A lot of writers. A lot of great books that just never get published.
And so, my expectations were very low. And, actually the CEO himself had said "You know, this publisher is extremely busy, so she may not respond right away, or actually, ever." But, having someone like the CEO believe in my vision was actually amazing enough. So, I sent it off, and I realized you know what? I'm just so grateful, I'm not really losing anything in the process so just be excited as is. Three days later, I received a response. The publisher said that the book actually sounded interesting, and that she wanted me to send a copy of the manuscript to her office later that month. So, yeah, I can't even tell you what reading her response was like. It felt amazing. It was also amazing because I had been visualizing getting a yes response ever since I had sent out that initial email.
In the morning, I'd been written "You will get a response", and in the evening I'd been sort of visualizing my perfect day, and my perfect day always involved some sort of response from the publisher, and I continued this during the three day period leading up to her response. So, I'm proud to say that yesterday, Fed Ex confirmed that the manuscript of my little pet project of a book had been delivered to the office of a VP at a major publishing company in New York City. So, call it law of attraction. Call it vibrations. Call it visualization. Call it whatever you want. I no longer even care what it's called, but I am a believer.
So, to end the show, I would like to challenge you to really think about what you are doing to start intentionally creating your future. So, that could be, are you going to bed and asking yourself what would make the next day perfect? Or are you waking up and writing down what you really want from the day? Or are you even daydreaming about not just a typical upcoming project or event, but rather pretending like I did that the event is linked to your bigger vision or goal? Whatever it is, my only advice is to have fun with it, and leave room for the possibility that this is not only going to happen but that it will happen. And you're going to be ready when it does happen.
You have nothing to lose, and honestly, you have everything to gain. And, like me, you'll no longer feel like your day is just going on without you. As always, if you're up for sharing, I would love to hear about your experience with this challenge. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you want to find links to all the resources that I talked about in this episode, visit activatepurpose.com/episode5. And lastly, if you enjoyed today's episode, make sure to leave a review and subscribe to next week's episode. It's been so wonderful speaking with you and sharing my journey thus far. Until next time.