Key To Success

What do you do when you come across a key to success in a book you're reading? You ponder over it. Since I read many books and come across many keys, I thought it would be fun to share the ideas that arise as I contemplate a key to success. Reading is not just about absorbing information, it's also about contemplating, allowing the ideas to blossom within, and nurturing a seed tossed in the rich soil of the inner garden.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

I got my Master's degree in psychotherapy more than a decade ago. Since then I've studied the human condition with fascination. Over the years, I've learned a singular lesson: your life does not work when you oppose your soul nature. If you want a magical life, you have to drop your inauthentic transactions with the world. You discover your own power when you spend time alone to figure out what you really love to do.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Explore Your Potential

Your potential is not quite a thing, yet more than an idea. It awaits in a twilight zone between idea and reality, where all things are possible but none are actual.

It took 15 billion years of evolution for you to be where you are now: a conscious being capable of self-consciousness. It is from the depths of this interior awareness that you can shape your destiny. With imagination alone, you can shape what has never been before. An act of imagination is the seeding of an idea that will bear fruit in a time that has not yet appeared.

This specific form of imagination is what you can call visionary thinking.

When your heart and mind can look into the past, into your reserve of memory, select its most choice ideas from it and project it into the future, then you have begun the journey of exploring your potential.

Will you be rich or poor, well-educated or ignorant, loved or abandoned, alive with a new intensity and purpose or merely drifting upon the tide of circumstances, depends not on the movement of the stars nor on the opinions of those who hold you dear, but on one thing alone: your inner clarity about who you are and what you want your life to mean, both to yourself and all those who will come to know you.

All men and women dream but only some have the courage of their convictions. Most through default float upon the sea of mediocrity, responding to biological and social needs but creating nothing new, ennobling, or in some measure liberating.

Many, unfortunately, are capable of going through their days without entertaining a single original idea, content with acquiescing to the propaganda of vested interests. A few, however, think about their potential and what they can do to explore and expand it. These are the ones who push the race forward, stretching the limits of consciousness further into the realm of new possibilities.

You cannot succeed in anything alone. Your success is a wave that carries others, inviting them to examine their own potentiality. You vibrate at a higher frequency when you choose excellence; you influence others with your presence alone.

The urge to be more than you are right now, to express a nobler speech, a finer mind, a more uplifting outlook, a larger reach of resources is the urge of life itself to explore its dimensions.

The idea of entelechy, a motivation for self-determination and directing inner strength for more life, growth, and capacity is an idea that arises from Aristotelian philosophy.

A human being is in a perpetual dynamic tension between potentia and actus. In other words, a quest to translate a potentiality into an actuality. Potentia is determinable. Actus is determined. These terms should not be confused with the ideas of physics which refer to the capacity for change through work from one state to another. With a human being, the urge to translate potentiality into actuality is intrinsic. With material objects, an external force is extrinsic, some outer force is making the conversion from one state to the next.

The ultimate goal of self-determination is happiness. For as a sentient creature evolves, it increases its power, secures its survival, and experiences the happiness of a broader and fuller expression of itself.

Another way of looking at it is to say that all human misery is due to some level of frustrated potential. At times, this frustration is felt so acutely as to result in self-destruction, either through suicide or self-degradation.

A human being is rooted in teleology. The human psyche hungers for design, and it will do almost anything to satisfy the quest for meaning.

The best and most satisfying lives are those where meaning is found and where a conscious and deliberate movement is made from potentiality into actuality. Ultimately, the conversion is one through the medium of intelligence, from the creative intelligence of envisioning to the practical intelligence of bringing about and maintaining a higher order of adaptation. As intelligence and adaptation increases, so, too, does happiness, which is a symptom of increasing power as the means of survival are ensured. As Spinoza once said, "Happiness is power increasing."

Happiness, like life itself, is never a final state, but an evolving one. You can be happy now and as you increase your power in the world, converting more potential into actuality, your happiness will also correspondingly increase. The highest state of happiness, of course, is self-realization, when you transcend the limitation of the idea of a singular ego battling a hostile world intent on its destruction and embrace the idea of being unified with all sentient life everywhere. Mystics have reported this state of oceanic consciousness as blissful.

As the cosmic conspiracy unfolds, life becomes more complex, more engaging, and ultimately more fulfilling. Our task is to engage the great game of life and ride the beam of evolutionary advancement of consciousness itself.
Resource Box

Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you're up to the challenge and want to create the kind of freedom and lifestyle you truly deserve - starting now - then get his free book from


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Monday, January 15, 2007

How Reliable Is The Law Of Attraction?

If thoughts are things, then those who are familiar with the Law of Attraction should be living the life of their dreams.

While a few may attain this enviable state, the majority do not rise to that level.

Is it the Law of Attraction that is at fault or the person who uses it? Does it work for some and not for others? Does it work some of the time and not at other times?

It is my contention, both from my study of it and from my many years of experience with it, that the Law of Attraction is as reliable as the Law of Gravity; if applied correctly, it works with unfailing exactitude. I also hold that anybody who studies it and applies it will come to the same conclusion.

"Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened unto you."

Those are the truest words ever spoken. They not only come from an expert source, who repeatedly demonstrated it, but they can also be proved through your own experience. These are not idle words, philosophical opinions, or rhetorical exhortations; they are words that stand up to the test of observation and experience.

There is no need to rely on authority, even if it happens to be the highest known to the human race. Experiment will definitely prove its value.

The problem of insufficiency then has to do with the practitioner.

Everything that you desire can be yours with the Law of Attraction. If most people appear not to be living in abundance it is due to either not knowing about it or dismissing it as a serious idea.

If this is the great secret of life, now openly revealed by many teachers, why is success with it not apparent everywhere?

Assuming that you know about the Law of Attraction, what is preventing you from living the full expression of it?

In reflecting on this subject, I have isolated three possible factors:

1. Improper application.

Ask for something, then let it go with the full expectation that it will show up. That is the entire principle right there. However, when you fail to ask properly, being vague in your asking, or if you fail to let go, clinging to the idea, then you have not fully exercised the law.

Another way of improperly asking is to merely ask using words devoid of positive, expectant feelings. Your feelings are the vibrational signature that sets the law in motion.

2. Fear of failure.

People are afraid to get what they want. They are afraid of being disappointed and not getting it. They feel unworthy of asking. And they are even afraid of what will happen if they do get it. These fears and others are disguised as doubts, rationalizations, and anxiety. Unless there is a complete lack of resistance to getting what you want it will not show up.

3. Unclear vision.

People are not clear what they want. Unless there is a clear vision and a strong sense of what it means to you, things will not show up.

4. Reluctance to pay attention to intuition.

Sometimes your answer comes as an idea. This idea is subtle. If you do not pay attention to your subtle faculties and develop it, the answer to your problem may very well have shown up but you did not notice it.

5. Reluctance to act.

Sometimes by acting you speed up everything. The action to take is the action before you. Even if action is not necessary, as the answer may come from a person or event that has to show up in your experience, action reinforces the energy that you have sent out. It is making a statement that you are in earnest. The use of feet and hands has an amazing way of putting you in the right place at the right time. The Master Practitioner may not need to act, but at an earlier development stage, it does speed up results.

Resource Box

Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you're up to the challenge and want to create the kind of freedom and lifestyle you truly deserve - starting now - then get his free book from


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Sunday, January 14, 2007

The World As Experience And Idea

The world is an illusion. This is a view held by Vedanta, Sikhism, Buddhism, Plato, Arthur Schopenhauer, Christian Science, and A Course In Miracles.

Contradicting this view is your own sense experience of realness, the constancy of stimulus, the enduring nature of time and events.

Which view is correct? The idea of the illusion or your experience of the realness?

This answer proposes an objective observer, one who is not part of the system that is being observed. Newton held that time is absolute. Einstein held that it is relative to the observer. Perhaps that same paradigm shift can be applied to answering the question of what is real and what is not.

Those who propose that the world is an illusion are correct.

Those who propose that the world is real are also correct.

The idea that the world is an illusion can be argued in the following way.

1. You do not see the world as it is.

You see the world as you are.

This happens in two ways:

One, you can never escape your subjectivity. You may claim that the world is objective, but this is a claim made from the subjective state. Hence, if you were to lose your mind, you would also lose the world. Without an observer, there is no world. With your disappearance, the universe disappears. Does it exist despite you? If you are not there to ask or hear the answer to the question, it has no meaning.

Two, the world that you see is a direct result of your experiences in it. A rock is not just a rock; it is also your memory of all rocks seen by you. When what you see is more complex and engaging, you experience more emotions, sensations, and ideas about it. Thus, you never really see anything as it is. You only see it through the lens of your own thoughts about it.

2. All forms will pass away.

Entropy is built into the system. Nothing can escape this iron law of nature. Neither beauty nor truth, wealth nor power, genius nor intent ever last. Death and decay is the lot of everything, from atoms to stars, from our own sun to the universe itself. However, this collapse is a dissipation of energy, not an absence of it. According to the law of conservation of energy, which has never been refuted, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. What dies, then, is the form of things, the structure the energy was supporting.

3. The microscopic.

On the level of atoms, a vast space exists between the electrons and the nucleus, and even the subatomic particles are not solid bits of matter but transient energy forms that appear and disappear and reappear again. It is mainly empty space.

4. The macroscopic.

On the level of the cosmos, a vast space exists between stars and moons and planets, gas clouds and nebulas and galaxies. The universe, too, is mainly empty space.

5. The field of all possibilities.

On the level of the consciousness that organizes all things, this world is only another possibility out of an infinite choice. How many worlds with sentient beings exist? Is our universe only an electron in a cosmic atom? Given a field of infinite choices, how much weight does one choice hold?

The idea that the world is real can be argued in the following way.

1. What you are experiencing is real to you.

When you think of the world as an illusion, a sense of despair arises because it slights the beauty of your realness. It is pleasurable to touch and hold, to see and hear, to act and change things. It is ennobling to see the vast sky above your head and feel the wind in your hair and hear the squawk of a passing bird. It means much for us to be here and to be alive in this moment.

Neither science nor philosophy can deny the realness of your experience.

And in this context, even your dreams are real enough, because while you are in them, your entire experience is authentic enough for you. If you are being chased by a lion in your dream, it will feel as real to you as if you were being chased by one in the waking state.

2. Who you are is important to you.

Your life is important. You desire to be more than you currently are because you can feel the vast throb of life within you expanding ever forward to know more, experience more, and touch a fullness not yet known.

Your past is not just useless memory but a scrapbook of struggle and change, triumph and adversity, risk and new learning. Your present is the vividness of your current experience. Your future is your promise, to yourself and to the world.

Reality, then, is not fixed. It is an interpretation of consciousness and how it is interpreted depends on the inner and outer experiences of the observer. The world you live in is real enough to you as you live it. If this world is an illusion, does it mean that there is a really real world, as Plato conjectured. Probably not. If this world is an illusion, then so, too, are all worlds. And if this world is real, so, too, are all worlds.

Appreciating the miracle of having a consciousness to live in a world may be all we need to know to live happy, fulfilling lives, whether in this world or in other worlds which we will transition into after this one.

Consciousness, like the law of conservation of energy, can neither be created nor destroyed. Where you find consciousness, you will also find energy structured into the form of a world. And since consciousness never dies but appears to only grow increasingly more refined and sophisticated, worlds, too, probably evolve along similar lines. Are these worlds illusory or real? They are real enough to those who live in them.

Resource Box

Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you're up to the challenge and want to create the kind of freedom and lifestyle you truly deserve - starting now - then get his free book from


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