Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cosmic or Coincidence: The Value Of Belief

I have been using the phrase "Cosmic or Coincidence" quite a bit in the past few years and it has really started to help me gain focus on the value and direction of my professional goals. A good example of this was when I was explaining to my wife about the success that I had during that days long run. 

You see, I saw a Jack Rabbit that morning and for what every reason I choose to focus on him throughout my run.  When I was home, I was excited to share my success. So with a big smile I began to tell my wife how the run felt and about the rabbit that crossed my path.  The conversation ended with, "be it cosmic or coincidence that rabbit motivated me"

So what did I really mean by that and why does it matter?  I don't know if there is a god, spirits or energy that influence us on a daily basis. Really, it isn't my goal to find that answer. I am ok with "I don't know".  Honestly, I really don't know if in this specific case there was a divine or internal influence that motivated me. What I do know is that it made a difference in the outcome. Recognizing this and realizing it's value is important because it added a new tool to my motivational toolbox.

"When people start believing in one thing—for example, that they’re doing things that will enhance their luck—they begin paying more attention to the events that reinforce what they already believe."Karla Starr Psychology Today

We have two interpretations of the rabbit. The first is the divine or cosmic view of "the rabbit was sent to guide and motivate me". Pretty simple, something out of my scope of understanding has influenced me in a positive way. The second is, "I saw the rabbit, he can run fast so I will remind myself that I can run fast by thinking of the rabbit throughout my run". In my opinion neither is incorrect, since both could be true. Your interpretation could be influenced by confirmation bias but again, that doesn't matter because as Sturat Vyse mentions in his post "Can Believing In Luck Actually Make You Lucky?" just believing in either interpretation can improve your chances of getting to the end goal.

 So no matter what you do or don't believe, be it divine or psychological, your mind can and will use it for motivation. Maybe your are soul searching, praying, meditating, relate to a song in your playlist or see a rabbit, each can have an positive influence. My biggest suggestion is to stop over thinking it's reason and just recognize the effect. Then use this tool to get to the next level.

Whats in your motivational toolbox?