By Roy Posner
When we focus our minds on a thing, we are generally unaware that we have set in motion a process in which knowledge and circumstance related to that object will suddenly come back to us, entering our field of awareness from seemingly out of nowhere. These sudden, unexpected echoes or reverberations of what we originally perceived are truly a miracle to behold -- an experience of an instance of the phenomenon of “life response.”
Recently one evening, I woke in the middle of the night and thought about possible solutions to a technical problem I had been grappling with. Since my mind was now fully engaged, I thought about other matters as well. One subject that came up was the pending release of the Apple IPhone. The thought I had was that this was indeed a monumental undertaking -- where everything needed to go just right to insure its success in the marketplace. It occurred to me that this was especially true in three areas. First, the devise needed to function as advertised for the user. Second, the actual purchasing of the device through phone centers and other outlets, -- where accounts and multi-year contracts were established -- needed to go smoothly. And third, people needed to know how to use the product once they purchased it.
I felt confident that the first two areas would work out reasonably well, but I had questions about the third. Yes, I thought, it was an Apple product, which is generally easier to use than the technology of competitors, but this was still a powerful integrated device with many sophisticated features. Would people know how to use it right out of the box after purchasing it? Apple, as well as their competitors, have rarely included training with their products, but instead require the user to fend for themselves by purchasing a book on the subject, or go to a training class, or use on-line training of sorts if available. How then was Apple going to provide user help with its fledgling, yet sophisticated IPhone product?
The next morning I turned on my computer, and then went to Apple’s site. Normally on the startup page, there is information about new products – such as new models of computers released, an ad about an operating system upgrade, or a presentation about a new technology breakthrough -- such as the IPod, or even the IPhone. Well to my surprise on the start page for the entire site was an invitation to watch a 20-minute video on how to use the IPhone! There in front of me was a huge graphic imploring the audience to watch this video in preparation for purchasing the device so that users would be up and running from day one!
This was an astonishing development because just the night before I had thought of this very issue. In decades of watching Apple and their site, I had never once seen the subject of training presented so prominently -- whether in anticipation of a pending product or even after its release. Training was normally addressed on the back pages of their enormous site. In addition, I had not seen a single article in the technology-oriented press on the subject of learning to use the IPhone in the run up to its release. And yet there in front of me, the morning after I had thought about the matter, was an ad imploring the world to watch a 20-minute video on their upcoming, new product! It was a starling experience, which appeared to be a direct response to my previous night’s keen interest in the subject.
Wherever we put our focus on something, it tends to quickly come back to us in the form of related information, striking us as nothing less than miraculous. Hence its moniker of life response. E.g. one thinks about a subject, and ten minutes later, newscasters are discussing that very topic on TV -- when in fact that person has never once seen that subject discussed in 40 years of television viewing! What occurred is that life responded to one’s focus and interest in a matter with related knowledge, information, and circumstance. Sometimes, the response comes as more information on the subject; other times it also brings practical benefit, such as it did in the IPhone episode. Let’s explore this a little further, by considering three scenarios.
Scenario one: I think about a popular music group, and an hour later I suddenly encounter several people discussing the band on TV -- when in 20 years I had not seen a single mention of them until that very moment. In this case, life responded to my mental interest in the matter, which in turn attracted more information about that group. I.e. I had a passing mental thought, to which life responded with more data and information related to that subject.
However, if I not only show an interest in a subject, but have a deep desire to see something come about in terms of that item, then life responds with tangible, beneficial results as well. In the above IPhone incident, I not only thought about the idea of the user being educated on the device, but I aspired for there to be a way for it to happen. I.e. I had the desire and will for tangible benefit. As a result, the next morning life responded with a video that in fact brought them such tangible, beneficial results to that collective of individuals. In other words, not only did I have a mental interest in the matter, but my vital wants and desires were also engaged, which in turn attracted mirror-image utilitarian results from the vital field of life.
There is yet a third scenario involving our intention. It is when we derive personal benefit through response from life -- contributing to our own personal success. This type of response comes not from a mere interest in a matter, or even a yearning for something beneficial to come about for any and everyone, but to a decided, deep aspiration for personal gain. For example, I have a deep aspiration and yearning to be directly involved in educating people on the IPhone, and suddenly thereafter, I receive an unexpected call from my broker informing me that I have been offered a contract to train hundreds of high level executives around the world on this new device. That deep, abiding interest in personal gain attracts a powerful personal result, contributing directly to my success in life.
Thus, we can thus say that life responds along a “continuum of intent” -- from a mere interest in a matter, to a general desire for benefit to come about, to an intense aspiration and yearning to directly gain and profit from a situation. Understanding these shadings can help us in our efforts to consciously evoke such powerful response from life, whenever we choose to do so. It not only gives us a great insight into an important secret of life, but puts at our disposal a vast power to quickly attract the infinite potentials of life!