Deliberate Delusion Strikes Again!

There was a job I was really stoked on a few weeks back that I applied for and didn’t get. Then an internship that seemed even more awesome and suited to me came along. I applied for that and didn’t get it either. (Now there’s another position that seems even better suited to me that I’m applying for…I’ll have to let you know how that one turns out.)

What’s been most interesting is my reaction to this series of events:
Excitement. No offer. Bummed, but not for long.
Curiosity.
New posting.
Excitement. No offer. Bummed, but not for long.
Curiosity.
New posting.
Excitement.

And I realize that the key thing that supports my optimism is harnessing the power of deliberate delusion. That is: I choose to think that better things must be in the works for me even in the absence of “evidence” that this is the case (or in the face of “evidence” that builds a contrary case, like not getting 2 positions in a row).

I think that if those past positions truly held the personal and professional lessons I need to learn at this time and allowed me to use my talents to meet the needs of other people’s projects, I’d have gotten them. Not having gotten them, I choose believe that there is a better fit, and it must be on the way.

Deliberate delusion gives me hope, optimism, wonder, and peace of mind. It means expecting the best, even in the face of what seems like the worse (or even the less than ideal). It allows me to react with curiosity instead of negativity:

Hmmm, that’s strange. I really thought that job was it. I guess not since it didn’t happen. I wonder what it is and when we’ll find each other.

Rumi says, “What you seek is seeking you.” And who can argue with a Sufi mystic?

One last thing: The lesson here isn’t about finding “truth,” it’s about finding perspective.

You might say, “But it’s true I feel pessimistic. That was the perfect job.”
And I might ask, “What is also true?” (I ask myself this a lot when in need of a shift in perspective.) And if I put you to the task of listing all the good things in your life and dwelling in those to get some good feelings rolling, might you also feel a shift? Truly?

And once you’ve gotten a good look at all the things that are true, good, bad and otherwise, I might ask you one last question: Which would you most like to grow? Because putting our attention on any thought or feeling is like watering a seed. Be deliberate about what you cultivate and what you eradicate.

Why do I feel so bad?

When our behavior (what we actually do) doesn’t match up with our values (what’s important to us) it feels icky.

Icky = agitation, sadness, confusion, anger, anxiety, stress or a number of other unpleasant feelings.

The more plagued you are by icky feelings around a certain issue, the wider the gap between your values and actions.

Don’t know what your values are? The good news is that feelings always point the way home.

A poem for Boston

boston

What is the essence

of our

pain confusion anger sadness frustration helplessness distress

?

Longing.

A deep yearning

for more and deeper

peace harmony

connection

respect and consideration

love trust

and

safety.

 

Photo Credit: ZelenyOko