Many years ago, I went to hear a speaker talk on beliefs. She had interviewed thousands of people about their beliefs, and in her talk that day she recounted real life stories of how these beliefs came to pass as reality time after time. The title of the talk was something like “You Get What You Expect” and it opened my eyes to the power of the mind. I started paying attention and looking for this phenomenon in my life and around me. There are thousands examples I’ve noticed over the years, but here’s a few that are intriguing:
- Guitar prodigy, Joe Bonamassa, born in 1977, has explained in interviews how he was mesmerized by Eric Clapton’s guitar performance on his father’s copy of the Cream’s Farewell video recorded in 1968 in the Royal Albert Hall. As he watched the recording, at the age of five years old, he decided “This is what you need to do. I don’t want a real job and I want to play the Royal Albert Hall.” He decided that day to learn to play the guitar and hatched a dream of one day playing the famous venue himself. He asked his father for a guitar and practiced every day. By the time he was 11 years old, he had played with BB King and other blues greats. After twenty years of playing professionally, Bonamassa walked onto the stage of his own sold-out performance at the Royal Albert Hall. That night he saw the culmination of a dream when he invited his childhood idol, Eric Clapton, out on stage to play a duet of Further On Up The Road, the first song he had learned to play on the guitar.
- It has been widely reported that Amy Winehouse always believed she would die young and join the ’27 Club,’ a group of famous musicians that passed away at that age. This group includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. She died at age 27.
- Many people thought Federer had peaked, after winning his Wimbledon title in 2009. His game had slipped and other players surged to the forefront. But, he silenced his critics in July 2012 by once again clutching the Wimbledon trophy in London, one of the greatest moments of his life. He defeated Andy Murray, ending his extensive Grand Slam drought. He told The Taipei Times, “I always believed I would get back to No. 1,” and “It’s a dream come true and I’m happy I was able to do it because Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are in their prime. I shouldn’t be normally at my age.”
- In an interview with the London Telegraph, Barry Manilow said, “I’ve always believed it. My goal was always to be involved in music that would outlive me. And maybe that’s actually happening.” To date, his 1978 hit Copacabana alone continues to roll in thousands of dollars in royalties each year.
- On Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class, Goldie Hawn said, “At 11 years old I made a very definitive decision, and my decision was that I wanted to be happy. Above and beyond anything I ever did in my life, I wanted to be happy.” Renowned for her contagious giggle and upbeat personality, Hawn now runs a foundation with school programs focused on the happiness and well-being of our youth. It teaches children techniques for mindfulness, and why this program is not in every school in America is beyond me?
Now, if we could all just have the strength, stamina and determination of Federer, the creative genius of Manilow, the talent of Bonamassa, and the happy demeanor of Hawn, wouldn’t we make up a world of super heroes? Rhetorical question I know, but what was the genesis of all these great feats – these great lives? Thoughts. Beliefs. Do we not all already possess both? Do we not all have the capacity for courage, self-belief, determination, a positive outlook and the ability to keep working toward a dream, even when things get hard or don’t look like they will work out? Of course. Yes, we all have thoughts and beliefs, but the precise mix makes us uniquely ourselves and determines our life path. There’s power in cultivating positive thoughts, positive beliefs and a positive mind. How are your beliefs shaping your life?
Sandra M Bell
Author of “Lunchtime Joy Magnet”
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