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You Get What You Expect (Not What You Pray For)

Updated: Jul 8, 2022


When we expect good to come in our life, we see it and draw it to ourselves. We can experience good even when, at any given moment, we may be going through circumstances we don't like or are contrary to that good.


I recall a story about my role model, Nelson Mandela, which helped me through challenging times. Mr. Mandela spoke of being confined to prison in South Africa and relegated to hard labor. The court sentenced him to life imprisonment due to his efforts to end apartheid, the system of racial segregation enshrined into that nation’s laws.

At first, he thought that his vision to end apartheid would never happen. He continuously filled his mind with thoughts of failure, afraid that he’d never realize the good he sought for his beloved country.


Then one day, he had a revelation. Like a stream of light landing on a parched field, the thought popped into his mind that the good he was working so hard for could still happen.


He nurtured and embodied that thought. Soon another idea arose; he started to believe that the experience he was going through was exactly how his vision was supposed to look. He began to hold the view that being in prison was the means to achieve the goals he sought.


We all have desired outcomes in mind that we want to see in our lives. Perhaps in the current circumstances we face, there is no evidence in the physical world that the good we desire exists. Nevertheless, we can still resonate and hold in our minds the presence of that good and fully expect it to show up.


Mandela held that expectation as he began to see his circumstance differently.

He recognized that his imprisonment was how the process looked on the way to manifesting his vision.


Mandela's release from prison and eventual election as president led to contemporary history's most significant forgiveness movement. Once he got into that frame of mind, he thought of writing letters. As a result of his letter campaign, the media picked up the story and set in motion a series of events that eventually led to worldwide pressure on South Africa to end apartheid.


Mandela refused to succumb to the facts of his situation. He opened his mind to ideas that matched his desired good and combined with the feeling that the result was already complete in spirit, even though it had yet to come physically. As a result, answers and solutions began to show up.


There are times in our life when we face circumstances that, on the surface, seem like obstacles to our goals. However, when seen rightly, we understand that they are merely part of an unfolding plan that our surface mind can't know because it's focusing on the problem before it.


We can see our seeming challenges from a higher point of view and find a way forward even when it seems there is no way out. This perspective is the "God's Eye View," in which setbacks or problems are nothing more than part of a beautifully woven plan.


But we have to expect the good to nurture it. When we have a consciousness of expectancy, instead of seeing a problem as a tombstone, we see it as a stepping stone to our greater good.


There are four steps you can take to develop such a mindset:


1. Create a clear mental picture of what you want.

2. Release the notion that you must know precisely how the picture manifests.

3. Firmly, calmly, and gently affirm the most outstanding amount of good for that picture.

4. Hold and nourish the thought that not only what you seek will come, but that it also on the spiritual plane, it already exists.

5. Do some small thing every day.


As you follow these steps and fully expect your good, like Mandela, miracles will occur.


Peace & Blessings,

James

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