Children are often told to wish on a star for something they really want. Every set of birthday candles is extinguished with a meaningful wish that is promised to manifest soon. Except it usually doesn’t and there lies the graveyard of our childish naivety. As we grow up, our conscious minds develop to become more rational and discerning about the truth. However, our subconscious minds are developing as well. We remember every disappointment that our unfulfilled wishes inflict upon us: the pony that we didn’t get, the best toy in the world that remained on the shelf in the store.
We began to recognise the fallacy of wishful thinking, but it remained still ingrained in our psyches. Perhaps because of all those years of repeated thought process in which we were told to pray for what we really, really wanted. We also sought assurances to validate these wishes: we asked our parents, we asked our guardian angel, we even asked God. But it wasn’t God’s fault why these prayers went unanswered – THe Omnipresent had never promised to secure our wishes, that was on us. It was purely magical thinking that promised us the world and only if we wanted it badly enough.
Wanting something so badly reminds me of my adolescent youth: all those hours wasted on unrequited love. No sooner than blossoming sexual passion motivated our moods and action, we ran down the nearest dark alley and got mugged by non-reciprocated passion. But it was never a random person whom we fancied and fired out wishes to become ours. More likely, it was someone who had qualified for this role by showing us an early promise of love before changing their mind.
Of course, it was the usual suspects stirring up trouble – Our conscious desire working alongside the learned behaviour of wishing extra hard to fulfil some dream.
This bad-thinking never leaves us and is often the root cause behind many bad addictions we get in life: how we can give too much to a narcissistic person, hoping for affection in return and end up being abused instead. Other examples include drug and alcohol dependencies in which our conditioned unrealistic expectations lead us down another dark alley. These promise much if we continue the habit, only to keep moving the goalposts instead of delivering.
So how come we never get the things we want so badly?
Well, the real clue to the answer is hidden in the question: we want very badly.
There is actually nothing wrong with desiring something or someone. The obvious truth is that many people do actually get what they want, but they don’t get it by wanting it extra hard. The reason why so many of us fail to get what we want is to do with the manner of how we desire: we do it badly.
The most effective way to get what you desire is to want what you have already achieved. The rich and successful are usually grateful for what they have received. They may or may not be humble, but they all value the fruits of what they have achieved. And now that they have tasted those fruits, they don’t want to relinquish them. In fact, they want even more and because of this feeling of entitlement, they will probably get it. This is why it is so damn important to remain grateful for what you have already received.
Have you ever noticed how wealthy people always seem to attract more wealth to them? Many people mistakenly ascribe this to good luck and some end up in the entourage of successful and wealthy people hoping that some of that luck will rub off on them. It won’t.
The reason it won’t is that successful ones in our midst wish differently than the rest of us. They wish for more of what they have already achieved, whilst their entourage wishes for more of what they haven’t got. Whether they are doing this consciously or unconsciously, the achievers are ignoring years of bad thought conditioning.
It is all to do with the subconscious. This is the massive part of our consciousness that remains hidden like the bulk of an iceberg or even the dark web which dwarfs the size of the internet accessible through search engines. It is the part of us that continues to drive the car when our conscious thoughts lie elsewhere. It is the part of the musician’s brain that knows instinctively where to find the chords after years of repeated practice. It is the part of us that harbours doubt when we want to leap but it secretly fears failure. This doesn’t mean it is right. Many times it certainly isn’t, but it is a background part of our thought-process which knows best through the schooling of repeated practice.
Our subconscious is the cynic hiding inside which doubts much of what our conscious mind claims. I will win that: No, You Won’t. One day I will write a book: No, You Won’t.
I wish I could become rich and successful: No, You Won’t.
It represents the biggest naysayer in our life. It is the reason why we all hate negative people. Buddha said that we only hate that which we don’t like in ourselves. And this is why we hate negativity in others, because we own it in spades, deep down inside.
So why is our subconscious such a bitch? Is it a case of self-hate. Not at all; it is for our protection. It is a coping mechanism.
It’s a coping mechanism
It is there because we have been indoctrinated to want things that we are unlikely to get since birth. It still happens now, on a daily basis, as the psychological science behind advertising still teaches us to envy others and to want what we see others possess.
Our subconscious is a protective coping mechanism which acts like an over-protective parent. It lets us down gently when we over-reach or when we wish for something that is unlikely. It is learned behaviour from all those disappointments we had as children. So that when we want something badly as adults, it makes sure that those wishful thoughts go to the back of the queue and are fully ignored. It will only change this pessimistic outlook upon witnessing actual success and achievement.
Our subconscious only processes wishful thinking if it relates to something that we already demonstrated a proven ability to achieve. This is the science behind why we only seem to notice things that have an applied meaning to us. It is why we only notice certain models & colours of cars but edit out everything else that is not already in our lives. Anything that doesn’t match what we already have is flying under the radar and is ignored.
So the positive answer regarding how we get our wishes and dreams to manifest is to be thankful for what we have already achieved so far, but to want more of it and to want it incrementally better. Then our cynical subconscious won’t have reason to secretly object. More than that, it will aim to help us achieve what it is convinced that we have already received. But before you apply this knowledge to yourself, remember Gandhi’s sage words: The Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed.