This is the sixth article in our "True Power" series. If you haven't been following the series, visit The ARTrepreneur to read the foundational material on beliefs before continuing.
All people live a structured existence that is entirely make-believe. For
example, though we act as if it's true, there is no such thing as days of the
week or hours in a day. These things are completely fabricated conventions. If
an alien were to visit New York, and someone said, "Well it's Monday morning,
everyone's off to work," the alien would nod politely and think, "How quaint.
They regulate their lives into compartments." The alien would in no way mistake
the custom for reality. He would recognize the custom as an idea. We pretend
it's real, but we could pretend other customs just as easily.
There is no such thing as time really ? no minutes, hours, days, weeks, or
months. We pretend they exist, and structure our lives accordingly, but we could
just as easily do it a different way. The day could be split in half and called
"up" and "down." Someone named some cycles. There are other cycles and other
names. Musicians, for example, often operate in a no-time zone. Lots of writers
have inverted or highly individualistic work schedules. Many artists have made
successful careers by following their own personal rhythms and beliefs. They
never fell for, "That's the way it is," because they knew it was all pretend,
and they could pretend their own structure just as easily as following someone
If someone says to you, "the music business is brutal," refuse to believe it. If
they want to pretend it's brutal, then they'll get that result. You won't be so
easily deceived. There are actors who have made careers quickly in Hollywood
because they didn't realize it was supposed to be hard. They weren't aware of
the convention. Realize that all conventions that we call modern society are
just ideas. Ideas are mobile. You can use them, discard them, and invent new
ideas. In reality, there is no movie industry or art industry. In reality, there
are never "Seven Steps to Anything." There are only ideas, and your ideas are as
valid as anyone's, and certainly more valid for you.
Pretending Your Life As You Want It Exercise
There are two ways to do this exercise. Choose a time everyday, and pretend your
life just the way you want it. See yourself in your mind doing the things you
want to do the way you want to do them. This is much like the internal
visualization exercises. You try to trick your mind into believing you're
experiencing the ideal now.
If you are bolder, you can pick a day or even a longer period of time, and while
you go about your day-to-day life, pretend that what you really want is
happening. Have imaginary meetings, imaginary bank deposits, imaginary shows,
imaginary dinners out. Physically, you may be doing the dishes, but mentally
you're making your subconscious become accustomed to the ideal. The minute you
do this, it starts to create the circumstances to make it happen. The less you
negate the ideal, the less you say to yourself, "That's not realistic. I can't
have it," the easier and faster it will be produced. By thinking freely about
the ideal, you begin to whittle away at doubts. At some point you'll accept the
ideal, and the pretend world and the actual world will begin to mesh.
Every successful person ignored the pretend circumstances outside themselves,
and pretended, instead, to be who they wanted to be and live how they wanted to
live. Pretending, then, is the essence of experience and, therefore, an
essential quality. Your life is a masterpiece composed of ideas that motivate
you to act. Be the creator of those ideas. Be moved by your own impulses and
desires. Pretend your existence into what you want it to be. That's all anyone's
Question Yourself Exercise - The best advice you'll ever receive is from
S.C. Giles is a contributing author of the
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