Mark Stevenson’s An Optimist’s Tour of the Future is a hilarious and inspiring romp through some of the most promising directions in technology — from permaculture success stories in Australia who are beating the drought and sequestering carbon to nanotechnology boosters who are showing off successful prototypes for effective energy generation, water filtration and desalination, and other cool and world-changing applications.
Stevenson, a former standup comedian, writes with enormous warmth and humor, and he fast-talks his way into the presence of some hard-to-reach scientists and theorists who really represent the cutting edge of their fields, from Eric Drexler to Nick Bostrom. Stevenson does an admirable job of presenting these findings in a lay-friendly way without eliding too much important detail.
Stevenson presents his book as a curative for “pessimism.” Stevenson looks at the evidence for humanity’s impending doom and finds it wanting: even in the poorest places on earth, lifespans are longer, affluence is up, violence is down from most of human history.
He doesn’t discount all the problems that others have identified, from climate change to war to starvation, but he believes we can and will overcome them with technology. Stevenson looks at the ethical and philosophical dimensions of these technologies, signposts some of the problems they may give rise to, and brings it all off with a flourish that’s sweet and upbeat, as befits his title.
If you’re someone who believes that there’s no possible, conceivable way to solve contemporary problems with technology, then Stevenson’s argument is probably one you should be exposed to. But where I found his analysis wanting was in the presumed inevitability of technological triumph over social ills. Humanity may develop or possess the technologies to fix its problems, but capacity isn’t political will. Humanity has previously possessed the knowledge and tools to address many of its problems, but failed to bring them to bear for extremely long periods (we had a 500 year interregnum as the result of one such failure, commonly known as the Dark Ages).
Those of us on the policy side of technology are often optimistic about technology’s transformative potential, and pessimistic about its inevitable triumph. This isn’t a counsel of despair: it doesn’t mean we’re doomed. Rather, it’s a call to action: if technology can solve problems, then we should figure out how to midwife the right kind of technology and the right kind of society.
The di-polar world that Stevenson establishes — “technology can’t solve our problems” and “technology will solve our problems” — doesn’t admit of a third pole: “technology can solve our problems, if we fight to keep it free and open.”
Which is a shame, because if there’s one thing we need, it’s optimists who believe that the net and the PC and their many spinoffs can improve the world, and who use their optimism to pursue a mission of free, fair and universal access to the world’s systems. Optimist’s Tour is fine as far as it goes, but I wish it went further.
A wise master and his student. The student lives far away and writes monthly updates on his progress towards enlightenment.
The first letter: “I see visions of heaven. I’m lifted by angels, I feel light like I can fly. I can see the whole world.”
The master grumbles and rips up the letter.
The next letter a month later. “I’ve seen all the universes. I’ve created worlds. I’ve seen the inside of myself.”
The master grumbles and rips the letter into even tinier shreds.
The next letter from the student: “I’ve sat in meditation for one month straight without eating. My mind is an empty sea. I can see everyone’s aura. I see the whole past and the whole future in this single instant.”
The master says to nobody in particular, “this is shit.” And puts the letter in his paper shredder. The master gets lots of letters from students.
Six months go by and no letter from the student. Finally the master, curious about an update, writes the student and asks what’s going on.
All of the psychological principles in these lessons lead to the truth that properly utilizing your creative energy will magnetically draw to you the experiences you desire.
The power of personal magnetism cannot be understated, for it will draw to you all of the outer, physical experiences necessary for you to fulfill your desires.
By following through with these exercises, by committing to change, by clearly defining your goals, by believing in your power to change, and by focusing your mind in the direction of your goals, you automatically set up a magnetic field of energy that will draw to you the people you need to meet, the circumstances that will help you on your way, and the money you need to fulfill your goals.
This magnetism is a simple and natural extension of the same creative energy which has built your life for you so far. As I stated earlier, unless you consciously decide upon the direction of your life, you will unconsciously repeat patterns that were programmed into your mind many years ago. In this way, you allow the magnetic energy of your spirit to draw familiar experiences to you even if those experiences are limiting and unsatisfactory.
These unconscious patterns explain why most people tend to repeat the same mistakes in their relationships and careers. The only way to override these patterns is to consciously decide to. Through the proper utilization of your conscious beliefs you can begin to magnetically attract optimistic, positive people and events into your life, rather than limiting, negative ones.
In the next few lessons you will learn specific, practical techniques to kick the magnetism of your creative spirit into high gear. For today, simply be aware of this quality in your life.
Realize that everything you have ever experienced has been drawn to you by your conscious beliefs, and decide today to consciously attract more constructive experiences on a more consistent basis.
TAKE ACTION: Sit quietly and visualize the energy of your spirit as a visible magnetic force that emanates outward from your body in all directions and flows over the entire planet, touching every person alive. Now visualize that this magnetic field of energy responds unfailingly to your conscious thoughts, and automatically brings into your life precisely what you desire.
“Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious.” –Napoleon Hill
Several years ago, in the closing pages of my otherwise humorous book titled The Dilbert Future, I told a weird little tale of how I used a technique called affirmations in my attempts to achieve a number of unlikely goals.
Since then, I’ve received more questions on that topic than on anything else I’ve ever written. So I know this will pin the needle on the blog comments.
The idea behind affirmations is that you simply write down your goals 15 times a day and somehow, as if by magic, coincidences start to build until you achieve your objective against all odds.
An affirmation is a simple sentence such as “I Scott Adams will become a syndicated cartoonist.” (That’s one I actually used.)
Prior to my Dilbert success, I used affirmations on a string of hugely unlikely goals that all materialized in ways that seemed miraculous. Some of the successes you can explain away by assuming I’m hugely talented and incredibly sexy, and therefore it is no surprise that I accomplished my goals despite seemingly long odds. I won’t debate that interpretation because I like the way it sounds.
But some of my goals involved neither hard work nor skill of any kind. I succeeded with those too, against all odds. Those are harder to explain, at least for me, since the most common explanation is that they are a delusion. I found my experience with affirmations fascinating and puzzling, and so I wrote about it.
At this point, allow me to correct a mistake I made the first time that I described my experience with affirmations. If you only hear the objective facts, it sounds as if I believe in some sort of voodoo or magic. That’s not the case.
While I do think there is something wonderful and inexplicable about affirmations, I have no reason to conclude it is any more than a pleasant hallucination. But if it is a hallucination, it’s a totally cool one. When I have flying dreams, I know they aren’t real, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of them. And so it might be the same with affirmations. Affirmations might be nothing more than a wonderful illusion that you can control your own luck.
Skeptics have suggested — and reasonably so — that this is a classic case of selective memory. Perhaps I tried affirmations a bunch of times and only remember the times it seemed to work. That’s exactly what I would assume if someone told me the stories I’ve told others. But working against this theory is the fact that affirmations leave a substantial paper trail. It would be hard to forget writing something 15 times a day for six months. And if it turns out that this is what happened to me, it’s fascinating still, because it says a lot about how the mind works.
My best guess about what really happens when you use affirmations is that several normal phenomena come together to create what seems abnormal. I’ll describe a few theories of what might be behind affirmations. Maybe there are more.
There’s a book called The Luck Factor, in which researcher Richard Wiseman describes studying people who considered themselves lucky, to see if they had any special powers along the lines of ESP. It turns out that they don’t.
But he did discover that people who expect luck have a more powerful ability to notice opportunities in their environment. Optimistic people’s field of perception is literally greater. And the best part is he discovered that when you train people to expect luck, their field of perception increases accordingly.
I think part of the mystery of affirmations has to do with the fact that it improves your ability to notice an opportunity. And when you do, it seems like a lucky coincidence. In my case, about half of my seemingly miraculous results with affirmations could be traced back to my noticing something important.
I’m not sure if optimism is what inspires a person to go through the effort of writing affirmations, or if the affirmations cause the optimism. But in either case you would expect that people who are writing affirmations would more readily notice opportunities than the average non-optimist.
I also wonder if affirmations are one way in which the subconscious (if such a thing exists) communicates with the rational part of your brain. Writing affirmations takes effort. Perhaps your subconscious only allows you to spend that much time on goals that it feels you have a chance of obtaining even if your rational mind does not. For example, my rational mind didn’t believe I could become a syndicated cartoonist with no experience and virtually no artistic ability. But maybe some other part of my brain knew it was a realistic goal.
Viewed in this light, if you can write a goal 15 times a day for months, there’s a good chance that some part of your brain views the goal as achievable even if your rational mind doesn’t see how.
Writing affirmations also helps you focus on your goal, moving them from wishful thinking to something in which you are willing to invest yourself. If you have ever managed people, you know that your staff’s level of commitment makes a huge difference to their success. Perhaps affirmations are a way to manage your own level of commitment. In effect, you are brainwashing yourself, and this might help you get through the tough patches that come with pursuing ambitious goals. When I started Dilbert, I didn’t take a day off for ten years. You only work that hard if you fully expect something good to come from it. I did.
My favorite explanation for the power of affirmations also has the least evidence to support it, i.e. none. The idea behind this explanation is that human brains don’t have the capacity to understand all the complexities of reality, and so our brains present us with highly simplified illusions that we treat as facts.
In this model, affirmations are a lever on some entirely natural chain of cause and affect, but not a chain that our brains are capable of comprehending. While this view is unlikely to be correct, it has the advantage of being totally cool to think about.
Since the publication of The Dilbert Future, I’ve received thousands of e-mails from people recounting their own experiences with affirmations. Most people seem to be amazed at how well they worked. I heard all kinds of stories of people changing careers, marrying the person of their dreams, making money, and starting businesses. I also heard stories from people who claimed affirmations didn’t work for them, but the failure stories were the minority. To be fair, the people who had success were more likely to get excited and write to me about it, so the most that I can conclude is that lots of people BELIEVE affirmations worked for them.
Your Questions about Affirmations
Since I know you are going to ask me a bundle of questions about affirmations, let me answer the ones I can anticipate:
1. If affirmations work, it’s probably because you are focusing on a goal. Therefore I doubt it matters exactly how you word the affirmation, or if it’s handwritten or typed, or if you keep them or throw them away, or if you stop for a few days and then continue. I won’t answer any other questions about technique because I’d be guessing.
2. I’ve never heard of a “monkey paw” affect where you achieve your goal but something horrible happens to you to balance it out.
3. I’m not doing any affirmations at the moment, mostly because I already have everything I want except a Nobel Prize. And even that wouldn’t change my life much. But I do visualize all of my goals and I always expect good luck, so I probably get the benefits of affirmations — even if those are only psychological — without the effort.
4. I don’t know how long you should try affirmations before concluding that they don’t work for you. But trying it for less than six months probably doesn’t give it a chance.
5. Affirmations have not worked every time for me. But the few times they did not work, I must say I wasn’t fully invested in the objective. For example, there are a few cases where if I had achieved an objective it would have caused a lifestyle change that wasn’t entirely positive.
I know from my experience describing this topic that fully half of you reading it just concluded that “the Dilbert guy believes in magic.” The truth is that I believe in cool things that haven’t yet been explained to my satisfaction.
So here’s a good test of your personality. If all of your friends told you that they win money on the slot machines whenever they stick their fingers in their own ears, would you try it? Or would you assume that since there is no obvious reason it could work, it’s not worth the effort?
Spiritual masters say that enlightenment can happen in an instant or like the blooming of a lotus flower. The same can be said of realizations, and learning.
As you read a book on any subject you will have moments that you stop reading just long enough to say “Ah ha!” or “Wow, that’s how that works” or “that’s why that happens!”
When you first look at a new math equation and it makes no sense, then later after you learn the process, you can look at the same equation again and you not only understand it you can solve it.
The point I am trying to make is this: There is a point where something is gained from any knowledge. First you are ignorant, and then you inquire, next you realize, now you have the power of that knowledge and can apply it to your world.
People will sell you courses and charge you thousands of dollars to beat around the bush and flush out the truth I am about to tell you.
I have used this method that consists of only 2 words to create anything I want usually within 24 hours if not instantly.
I have told these words to very few close friends, accompanied with the warning “Be careful what you wish for…”
There is only one guideline when using these key words and I will get to that immediately after I tell you what these words are.
All you have to do is know what you want to make this work.
Then put it in this sentence: I Command – (Then just state whatever you want)
I know it sounds too simple. Your disbelief in this might actually aid in its power.
You remain detached from the outcome because it just sounds too easy “This couldn’t possibly work, I’ve tried everything” – your mind will say.
Good. What can it hurt to seriously give this a try?
“I Command” all day, everyday and I have come to realize the power I have over the outcome of my life. So have those I have told these words to through their own experiences with it.
Of course your mind may just dismiss the acquisition of your desires as coincidental. But does it really matter? After all you got what you wanted and never worried about how.
If you honestly begin to use this take into consideration that this command once made is not concerned about the how it will happen. The power will just take the shortest possible path to accomplishment.
All things great and small are possible when you use the words “I Command”, but whatever they are be prepared. Of course you can always change what you want if you realize it’s not what you thought it would be. It is never too late in this world and nothing is final.
The only thing constant in this world is change. You can either be conscious of your creating or dragged along oblivious to it.
There is only one rule.
One limitation and this is important if you truly want to apply this knowledge. “You cannot command something for or concerning someone else.”
Such as: “I command so-and-so to fall in love with me” instead use- “I command my true love to make himself known to me”
That’s it. These words are yet to fail and you can command anything within the realm of your imagination – nothing is impossible. All you have to do is command, and then look for the command to be fulfilled.
Now with everything I have noticed there is an evolution that happens after the “I Command” has proven itself to you. More and more all you have to do is clearly know what you want. Soon the verbal commands aren’t even nessesary. I hope you have read something here that helps you. If you apply it be prepared to get what you want. Just be ready for the change.
In a previous lesson you practiced bringing your awareness into the present moment. Hopefully, you were able to feel that by shifting the focus of your mind to what is actually happening around you in this moment, your emotional state literally changed to a calmer, more appreciative level.
This is the first step to using the focus of your mind. Once you feel the power available to you in the present, you can then begin to focus on how to bring about the events of your life that you desire.
The ability to focus your mind is the most physically practical skill you can develop. The simple reason for this is that the focus of your mind attracts to you the experiences that you consistently dwell upon. I realize that I am beginning to repeat myself, but it is vital that you truly understand this truth if you are committed to enjoying prosperity in your life.
The part of your inner self that we call the subconscious mind literally creates for you the experiences of your life. But this creation is not random, arbitrary, or accidental in any way, and you are definitely in charge of this power.
Your inner mind faithfully creates your life experiences according to your conscious beliefs. And you have one hundred percent control over the thoughts of your conscious mind. This should be an extremely liberating idea, for you are free to choose precisely the focus of your mind and the direction of your life.
So in order to bring experiences of prosperity into your life, you must focus on the wealth you already have, be grateful for the blessings that are already in your life, and focus on the abilities you already possess that will bring wealth to you.
By practicing each day, as you are now doing, you will naturally change your consciousness from a state of lack to a state of abundance. Remember to practice the focussing technique you learned yesterday.
Simply be where you are, and notice the world as it is in this moment. Then focus your mind on how you wish things to be, and project your desires out into the world.
“The forces of Nature are at the disposal of the person of vigor and determination and desire. Such a one has but to knock at the door of attainment and have it opened to him.” –William Walker Atkinson
When I want to make a significant change in my life, I often think of it in terms of switching dimensions. My attention is focused on my current reality right now, and my desired situation can be said to exist as some alternate reality outside of my primary focus. In that other reality, there’s another me who’s already where I want to be. My goal then is to become that other me and to shift into his reality.
In practice this is fairly straightforward. It may sound odd to you at first, but try not to get caught up on the words I use to describe the process. You may choose to frame it differently than I do, and that’s fine.
First I’ll explain how the process works in general, and then I’ll walk you through a specific example to illustrate it. Here are the steps:
1. Ponder Other Possibilities.
First, imagine that all possible alternate realities can and do exist. The multiverse is an infinite honeycomb of possible universes. You may be aware of only one universe right now, but suppose that the others exist in some alternate dimensions, and you just aren’t aware of them.
In some alternate reality, the Cuban Missile Crisis kicked off World War III. Or the USA is debt-free. Or there’s an alternate YOU living in a different city. On a personal level, for every choice or event you experienced, some YOU in another reality made a different choice and/or experienced a different outcome, so there’s a whole network of new realities that splintered off from that one, a network that includes all possible branches of possibilities.
So in some other dimension, there are other versions of you who are living completely different lives.
Now ponder that in some of those dimensions, there are versions of you who are much happier, more successful, more socially supported, wealthier, etc.
Feel a sense of oneness with those other YOUs. Know that in fact they are all YOU. You exist in multitudes, but you normally focus your attention upon just one of all possible realities.
Sometimes you may get confused, however, and not be quite sure which reality you’re in. Is this the reality where you experience abundance or scarcity or something in between? At times you may wonder which it is. Other times you may be quite certain about which reality you’re focused upon right now, like This is a reality where I’m in love.
2. Explore the Relationship Between Your Reality and Your Vibe.
Second, begin to notice that there’s a relationship between your reality and your vibe.
Your vibe is your personal energy signature. It includes your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes.
You may recognize the vibe of another person based on the overall feeling you have about that person. If you find someone creepy, you could say that the person emits a creepy vibe. You may find that others emit vibes that are peaceful, loving, joyful, depressed, angry, frustrated, stressed, guilty, worried, etc.
Our vibes fluctuate a lot. On any given day, your vibe may shift all over the place. Or it may remain relatively constant. But in the background, you will tend to have a fairly stable default vibe that you keep returning to. It’s how you generally operate about 80% of the time.
If someone has a depressed vibe, you may still be able to make them laugh and feel happy from time to time, but their normal default behavior will be to return to that depressed vibe again and again.
The dimension you experience is largely determined by your default vibe, not by your momentary fluctuations.
Imagine you’re listening to a song. The flow of the music will of course change over time. There will be different instruments and notes coming and going. The song’s vibrations aren’t the same from one measure to the next. But a song also has structure; otherwise it would just be noise. And so the song itself can be said to have an overall vibe, such as peaceful, uplifting, enthusiastic, depressing, powerful, etc.
The overall vibe of a song is like the overall vibe of your life. You may have lots of variation in the vibes within your life, but you’re still subjected to the structure of the overall background vibe.
So, for instance, if your default vibe is depressing, you can still access some happy vibes and therefore enjoy happy experiences now and then, but those can only exist as exceptions.
3. Identify Your Default Vibe.
Next, see if you can identify your current default vibe. Since you normally spend a lot of time there, you may not even notice it most of the time. It’s easier to notice it by contrast. When your default vibe is fearful, and you feel really confident for a few hours, then you may realize just how fearful your default vibe actually is.
Remember that your vibe is more than your emotions, so feel free to use both emotional and non-emotional words to describe it. You may understand this part better when I share the walkthrough later on.
Again, it’s easier to understand your current default vibe during those times when you’re having peak experiences that shift your vibe in exceptional ways. When you’re in a high or a low period relative to your default, you can view your default vibe from the outside looking in.
Another way to understand your default vibe is to spend some time with people who have very different default vibes. They will draw your vibe towards them, effectively stretching you away from your default experience, and during those times you can gain some perspective as well.
If you try to understand your default vibe from the inside, you’ll probably just label it with words like “normal” or “average.” But your version of normal may be another person’s version of timidity. You have to stretch yourself away from the center to understand what that center really looks like. Contrast is essential here.
4. Identify Your Desired Vibe.
Once you have some clarity about your default vibe, notice which of the exceptional vibes you feel most drawn to. What if you could turn a combination of those exceptional vibes into your default vibe, such that what was once exceptional and unusual becomes your normal day to day experience?
Suppose you notice that your default vibe has a lot of scarcity in it. When you do the contrast exercises in the previous step, you can see that you’ve been pessimistic, envious, and needy. But every once in a while, you have peak experiences of abundance, appreciation, and gratitude. If you could experience these peak vibes as your normal, default vibe, your life would change radically for the better. You would effectively switch dimensions into one where another YOU is experiencing delightful levels of abundance right now.
Vibes have many different frequencies, but for the sake of this change, you have a couple basic options. You could focus on just one aspect of your desired vibrational shift, such as switching from scarcity to abundance, or you can try to combine lots of different shifts into one. I find the former approach more effective since it’s simpler. Once I’ve locked in one change, then I focus on the next one. However, I do sometimes have to work on multiple shifts simultaneously because of their potential interactions. A vibe of low self-esteem can sabotage efforts to create a vibe of abundance, for instance.
5. Create a Trigger for Your Desired Vibe.
It’s not necessary to perfectly label a vibe with words. Vibes are much more expressive than words anyway. But it is important to come up with a way to reload your signature vibe whenever you want.
One way to trigger your desired vibe is to create a scene in your mind that evokes the vibe. After some practice this only takes seconds to load the vibe.
You may need to play around with the scene in your mind to reach the point where it feels just right. Keep tweaking your imagery till you feel it’s helping you experience the desired vibe.
In your imagery be specific. Imagine you’re playing the scene in a movie theater. So it’s not blurry or fuzzy or riddled with options. You just click a mental “play” button and watch it go.
Note that you are not necessarily trying to manifest exactly what’s in the scene. You’re simply creating a trigger to reload your vibe.
Other ways to trigger your vibe would be to find a song that evokes the vibe. Or create a shrine in your home that evokes the vibe when you look at the shrine; a shrine is simply a collection of objects.
Now here’s the biggest and most important step. Commit to spending time each day triggering and experiencing your new vibe. Do this for at least 20 minutes a day, and keep it up for 3-4 weeks minimum. You don’t have to do the 20 minutes continuously though. Just aim to spend at least 20 minutes out of each day consciously practicing your new vibe.
If you do less than this, you’re probably wasting your time. The new vibe will not stick.
The idea here is that you have to condition the new vibe as a permanent, long-term habit. It typically takes about 3-4 weeks to do that.
If you hold the vibe of abundance every day for a week, for instance, and then you slip and get sidetracked, nothing much will change. Your default vibe of scarcity will not be dislodged. You’ll continue to experience essentially the same reality.
Once you’ve consciously done this for 3-4 weeks, the practice of loading up the new vibe will become a habit. This means that you’ll continue this practice automatically without having to think about it. At this point it’s only a matter of time before your new vibe begins to infect your default vibe, gradually shifting its frequencies over time. With each passing week, your default vibe will become increasingly abundant.
I usually do this by setting aside some time each day to meditate. During these meditations I load up my trigger, experience the desired vibe, and revel in it for 20 minutes or so. This practice not only turns the daily experience of the new vibe into a habit, but it also helps me get comfortable with it. After a few weeks, the new vibe no longer feels so exceptional to me; it begins to feel normal. Pretty soon I’ll be experiencing this vibe throughout each day, not just during my meditations.
Additionally, I also nudge myself to reload the new vibe whenever I can remember to do so. I do it when I wake up first thing in the morning and when I’m lying in bed before falling asleep. I do it when I’m showering, exercising, or making meals. Sometimes I remind myself to do it when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone. Basically I conspire to trigger my new vibe many times per day.
7. Act on Your New Vibe.
Your vibe controls which thoughts you have access to. As you begin to shift your default vibe, your thinking will change as well. You’ll begin to get new ideas that are inspired by the new vibe. Notice especially the ideas that are out of sync with your old vibe but which are clearly spawning from your new vibe.
Take action on these ideas as much as you can. Give yourself permission to be very spontaneous during this time. Don’t hesitate. Just act.
You won’t do this perfectly, so don’t beat yourself up if you miss an opportunity. Just keep leaning into your new vibe with action. Take action again and again.
Similarly, hold back on taking action when you identify ideas as stemming from your old vibe. Let those ideas fade.
So here you’re simply getting your actions aligned with your new vibe.
8. Shed the Incongruent.
This step is absolutely critical, and it’s a huge stumbling point for many people. I see lots of people crash and burn here. I can’t caution you enough that you’d better prepare yourself for it. This step often takes a lot of heart and courage to complete.
As you shift your vibe, your reality is going to shift too. But you must cooperate with these shifts. If you fail to cooperate, you will effectively block the shift from taking place, and you’ll remain stuck in your old reality.
As you shift your vibe internally, you’re going to see some flare-ups of polarized energy in your external reality. Some of it will be very positive. New forms of support will rush towards you to encourage you. But much of it will take the form of resistance.
A common form of resistance is people telling you that they don’t like what you’re doing, especially people who are close to you now. If your vibe has been fairly stable for a while, then realize that your personal relationships right now are a result of your current default vibe. As you shift your vibe, your relationships must change as well. Some people may shift their vibes to join you, but many won’t.
It’s a mistake to try to negotiate and compromise with the people who are putting up resistance. Simply disconnect from them and let them go. This will create space for new people to come into your life, people who are vibrational matches for your new vibe, not your old one.
If you want to create abundance then, expect to lose many of your scarcity-minded friends. If you can’t stomach that, realize that this is actually a result of the scarcity vibe itself. From the vibe of abundance, this is needy, clingy behavior, but from within the vibe of scarcity, it will more likely be labeled as loyalty.
The tricky part about shifting vibes is that some vibes include sticky elements that make them very stable. Scarcity is such a vibe. Depression is another. When you’re depressed, for instance, you’re going to repel happy people from your life, and so the only people who will deal with you are probably depressed, angry, or otherwise down on themselves. You won’t see much evidence of what a happy reality could be like until you shift your vibe. So some vibrational shifts are a bit of a catch 22 indeed. If you’re waiting for evidence that shifting your vibe will improve your reality, and you’re unwilling to try shifting until you see such evidence, you’ll be waiting a very long time. Your vibe will repel such evidence from even entering your reality.
This is why I like to have my default vibe infected with a sense of exploration and the desire to embrace new experiences. This helps expose me to new potential vibes to explore, and it helps prevent me from getting stuck. In fact, I’ve probably enjoyed the biggest and most positive shifts by embracing friends with vibes that were very different from my default vibe at the time I met them.
In order to complete my own shifts, I sometimes have to shed old friends who aren’t compatible with the other side. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it. People are like magnets, and keeping people in my life who will keep pulling me back to my old vibe isn’t helpful. Whenever I let go of those relationships, I feel relieved, and it’s so much easier to complete the shift afterwards.
Just to clarify this a bit more, I’m not really letting go of the people. I’m letting go of the vibes they’re currently holding. If they were to shift their vibes later to something more compatible with mine, they could easily re-enter my reality. For instance, I recently had to tell a friend that as long as she insists on holding herself in a vibe of depression and abuse (and remaining loyal to people who treat her like dirt), I’m not going to continue to connect with her because that’s incompatible with what I want to experience. But I let her know that I’m happy to reconnect when she shifts her vibe to something more compatible with me (positive, growth-oriented, etc).
On the other hand, it’s also quite beautiful when I connect with other growth-oriented people who are on a similar path, so we can work on our shifts together and help support and encourage each other along the way.
9. Embrace the Dimensional Shifts.
As you see your reality begin to shift, welcome it. Notice signs that you’re making progress, and celebrate them. Creatively observe that your reality is indeed changing.
These shifts happen over time, usually weeks or months in my experience. I like to think of this process as traveling through the intermediate dimensions between my old reality and my intended new reality. During much of this time, I’m no longer in my old reality, but I’m not quite in the new one yet either. I’m crossing through other dimensions that represent combinations of my old vibe and my new one.
This is where you will see a lot of partial matches. A business deal shows up, but it isn’t quite right. A new potential relationship partner shows up, but s/he isn’t interested or is already involved with someone else.
My advice here is not to force anything to happen. If you get too involved in these partial matches, you’re very likely to get stuck partway through your shift. So don’t get clingy with these intermediate universes and the “opportunities” they present to you.
Keep your focus on your new vibe, and do your best not to succumb to the lure of partial matches. I know they’re tempting, but don’t take the bait. This is especially tricky when shifting out of a scarcity vibe, where clinginess is part of the vibe. Just do your best to keep moving forward.
What happens to these partial matches as you continue to shift? In my experience they typically go one of two ways.
The first possibility is that they simply fade from your life, and something better shows up later.
The second possibility is that the nature of the connection shifts. So the same business deal or relationship exists in your desired reality, but the circumstances are different. In these situations, as you continue to shift, you’ll see changes occurring. New funding will come through that wasn’t there before. Someone who was unavailable becomes available.
When dealing with partial matches, it’s very important to allow them to be as they are without undue attachment to outcomes. If you try to force or push the partial match to become a full match, you’re going to stick yourself to one of those intermediate dimensions, and you will block yourself from experiencing a full match. I have fallen into this trap so many times it’s not even funny, but these days I’m really committed to not forcing things when I observe a partial match. I have enough experience that I don’t need blind faith to keep me going, just the remembrance that partial matches are a clear sign of progress but not a reason to pause in mid-shift and proclaim victory.
When you don’t fall for the temptation of a partial match and hold out for a beautifully aligned match, you can keep moving forward vibrationally. Then when your new vibe is locked in and your old vibe seems like a distant memory, you’re going to be in your new desired dimension, and that’s where the really good matches will appear with grace and ease. When these matches hit you, it’s like a smack upside the head. Their alignment with your desires seems almost too good to be true. Just be careful not to push them away by seriously thinking that they are too good to be true. Welcome them with appreciation and gratitude, and know that you’re ready to experience and enjoy them.
10. Enjoy Your New Reality.
Vibes can be very sensitive, and it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve what you might label as perfection. It would be really tough to lock onto the exact dimension you wish to experience and go there specifically. These tools are not that precise. But you can get close enough to your desired universe that you can still proclaim victory.
At some point I usually reach a tipping point, and I can tell when I’ve tipped. I’ve escaped the gravity well of the old vibe, and I’ve clearly been pulled into the gravity well of the new vibe. I may not have shifted completely into my desired reality, but I have enough momentum that I can predict I’m going to get very close to it if I just maintain course.
A good way to lock in your new vibe is to appreciate your new reality. You’ve come a long way, and now you’re in a whole new universe. This new universe has a different energetic signature than your old one, and it’s a good match for your new vibe.
If you resist this shift and start loading up your old vibe, you can shift back. There’s no rule that says that just because you made a positive shift, you can’t undo it. You can certainly undo it and backslide. So to prevent this from happening, make a point of appreciating what you have now.
It can take some time to get used to your new reality. Try not to get too excited about it, as if it’s something exceptional that won’t last. Try to embrace your new reality as normal; expect it to persist for a while. Feeling good about it is great, but don’t get so excited that you doubt its continuation since that may ultimately backfire on you. If you believe it’s too good to be true, you’ll attract a universe that validates your belief. So even if you attract something really amazing to you, know that you deserve it.
When you’re ready for another shift, you may wish to hold the more desirable parts of your current vibe/reality stable, and work on creating the vibrational shifts that will allow you to slide sideways into a nearby dimension that has your desired improvements. For instance, once you’ve shifted into a reality where you enjoy financial abundance, you may wish to shift from there into a reality that includes social abundance as well.