Mind over Matter…. Achieving what you want


We’ve all heard the saying at one point in our life, mind over matter, yet how often have you really sat there and put it into practice? You might sit there and say, “Well, it’s easier said than done”, to which I’d have to respond with the following:

1. Nothing worth having in life has ever come easily.

2.  Once you learn how to do it…surprise, it really is that simple and will come with ease.

Now, you might be saying, “Hold on there…those two statements contradict themselves”. Actually yes and no. While it would seem that they in fact are opposed, the devil as they say, lies in the details. Yes, in this life we all have to work hard at some point in order to achieve the things we want, but there are also moments when we learn ways to work smarter instead of just harder. This is where the concept of mind over matter can really make a difference in between living the life that’s been carved out for you and the life that you dream of living.

In order to make that dream life into reality you need to realize that the only limitations that we have are the very ones we place on ourselves. By believing and constantly telling yourself that something is impossible all you end up doing is manifesting that very negative outcome of impossibility. Yet, when you set aside that doubt and open yourself to the very real possibility of achieving what seemed impossible there are no limits. Okay, at this point some of you might be thinking how new agey and full of bs this sounds, so let me give you a personal example.

In spring 2010, I was still attending school for my degree in Anthropology and taking classes in Mandarin Chinese. I had really gotten into learning Chinese and thought about how great it would be to go to China and learn through cultural immersion. Well, low and behold our professor came into class one day and told the class about a study abroad program the school had for the summer in China. Needless to say, I was very excited about the prospect until I found out about the price. It was gonna be $2200 for the program plus regular tuition fees for the 6 credits, $175 non-refundable fee, and no, flights were not included. And with that the dream became just that a dream, so as my friends in class went off to China, I sat back at home wishing I could’ve been on a plane with them. All the while, however, I kept thinking about what an impossibility it was and how I never would have found a way.

Flash forward 3 months and I’m back in Chinese class for another semester listening to everyone talking about how amazing their study abroad turned out. In that moment I made up my mind that I was going to get to China for the following summer abroad. I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I kept that thought at the forefront of my mind never doubting or questioning its probability. When the time came to sign up for the trip a couple of months later I did. I was accepted into the program, for which I was overjoyed, but I still had no idea how I was going to pay for it.

The saying goes, “Ask and ye shall receive,” and so it was. My mind was so set on going that it set out the vibration to attract those opportunities that would allow it to become a reality. I found out about a scholarship specifically for studying abroad posted on a board at school while walking to class one day. It was an extremely competitive scholarship, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me…in my mind I had already won it. I went about the process of applying, — I applied for financial aid, wrote my personal statement, wrote a follow-up project — and started preparing for my trip to China.

A month before the trip I bought my flight to Shanghai and a week later I found out that I would be receiving the scholarship. Some might say that it was crazy or irresponsible of me to go ahead and make plans, but in my mind there was no room for failure. I would get there one way or another and that scholarship was like a gift that fell from the sky. Now, I worked hard to get the grades to be accepted into the program and I worked hard on writing the type of statement and follow-up projects that would make me stand out, but creating the mind set that set me in motion was the most difficult.

Initially it was hard to go against everything that I had been thinking to pull through to a positive outlook on my situation, but once I did and the ball got rolling there was no stopping.  In fact, that very thinking followed me to China and managed to get me to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Ningbo just for kicks. (Pictures of that will be up on the past travels section 😉 )

The point of the story is that regardless of what you are tackling, if you set your mind to it you can overcome any challenge. So don’t just sit there and dwell on what-ifs, get up go out and make it happen, starting with your thoughts 🙂


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