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 hard work. Invariably, when I do, the thing delayed or held in suspension is suddenly unleashed. In fact, not only is it suddenly resolved, but the entire issue or matter had been forgotten!

That is precisely what happened the other day when I was waiting on a payment so I could send a link to my client to start using our web-based software application. Rather than concern myself with it, I lost myself in an important research project. Several times earlier, when I tried to track the status of the payment, there was no indication that the payment was on its way. But after I buried myself in the research work and checked the status again, it was suddenly moving towards 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 was in limbo. But now that it was in transit, would it actually arrive at my doorstep? After all, there had been several delays, and anything could still happen. Once again, however, rather than worry about this important payment, I buried myself in work. This time it wasn’t research work, but the cleaning of my bathroom floor! And so I cleared out the room, gathered together the best cleaning utensils and materials I could find, and scraped and scrubbed in ways I had not done in years. My goals was to clean out the accumulated grit that had gathered in the deep recesses of the bathroom tiles, which required considerable physical effort on my part.

After completing that strenuous task, I collapsed back onto my couch with the feeling of both exhaustion and accomplishment. Then a few moments later, I heard a knock at the door, and I knew just who it was. It was the FedEx delivery person with the longed for 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 had not only attracted the payments’ arrival, but faster than expected; even sooner than indicated in the online FedEx tracking system.

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

Just as focusing on an illness can intensify it, so too worrying about a matter can delay it. Yet doing something very much the opposite, such as doing hard work in a completely different domain tends to cancel our negative emotions and attract positive conditions from the field of life. 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)