Human Science

One of my favorite strategies to take when things appear to be in limbo -- such as when an order is pending, or an important shipment is on its way, or an invoice is not yet paid -- is to shift my attention away from it and bury myself in something else, particularly when it involves hard work. Invariably, when I do, the thing delayed or held in suspension is suddenly unleashed. In fact, not only does it manifest as a sudden positive response, but just before it happened, it had all but been forgotten!

That is precisely what occurred the other day when I was waiting on a payment so I could send a link to a client to start using our web-based software application. Rather than worry about the matter, I simply lost myself in an important research project. When I had tried several times to find out the status of the payment, there was no tracking information available. But after I buried myself in the research work, and then later casually checked the status again, I learned that it was moving to fruition.

Now I saw that as a result of my inattention to the problem, by focusing on another matter, I was able to attract the payment that previously had been in limbo. Then there was a further development. Though the payment was now clearly in transit, would it actually arrive? After all, there was reason to be skeptical since it had been delayed several times, and anything could still happen. However, once again, rather than worry about the important payment, I buried myself in another work. This time it wasn’t the research work, but the cleaning of my bathroom floor! And so I cleared out the room, gathered together the best cleaning utensils and materials, and scraped and scrubbed in ways I had not done in that room in years. Specifically, my goal was to clean out the accumulated grit that had gathered in the recesses of the bathroom tiles, requiring considerable physical effort on my part.

After completing the strenuous task, I collapsed back onto my couch, feeling both exhaustion and a sense of accomplishment. Then a few moments later, I heard a knock at the door. I knew just who it was. It was the FedEx delivery person with the longed for, often delayed payment. And yet when I examined the time, I realized that it had came an hour earlier than expected, indicating that the physical effort of cleaning the bathroom not only attracted the payments’ arrival, but caused it to come earlier than what was indicated on the online tracking system. That struck me as a further indicator of luck.

When we shift our focus away from worrying about an issue or matter, and instead put our energies elsewhere -- e.g. by making a full, even exhaustive effort in another direction -- positive conditions quickly move in our direction. More often than not, the thing we had hoped for but then put aside is suddenly realized.

Just as focusing on an illness can intensify it, so too worrying about a matter tends to delay it. Yet focusing on something very much the opposite, such as hard work in an entirely different domain not only overcome our negative emotions, but attract positive conditions. For years, I have used this approach to overcome anxiety, worry, and delay about a matter; and in nearly every instance, it has worked its magic!

--Roy Posner 16:07, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

See also other Case Studies on Life Response

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