The Cowardly Lion sure did. And look where it got him.
But jump ahead to the ending of The Wizard of Oz: the Tin Man feels the power to love when he is given a mere trinket in which he has faith. The Scarecrow can suddenly parse geometry once he has a piece of paper labeled a “diploma.” The Cowardly Lion finds bravery inside a simple medal hung on a ribbon. And Dorothy learns that she has had the power to return “home”–to herself–inside all along.
We are what we believe we are. And so is the world as we perceive it.
Tell someone that “thoughts became things” (a phrase popularized by author Mike Dooley), and it may sound nonsensical to them. “If my thoughts become things,” they might say, “then how come I’m not rich? Because I’m thinking about a giant pile of gold bullion right now!”
It isn’t that simple. Mostly because of the collective belief of billions of humans that this kind of instant manifestation is impossible.
But even the most skeptical of people will admit to things like knowing who is calling without benefit of caller I.D., or wishing for a parking space and having one suddenly open up, or being able to scrape together just enough money when we really, really need it.
Our beliefs are the engine that drives our outcome. As Henry Ford, about as non-woo-woo a man as it’s possible to imagine, once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
So what do you find yourself thinking these days?
Imagine two people somehow having the exact same day: they go to their longtime place of employment, choose to work through lunch, and, at 1 p.m., are led into their supervisor’s office and told that they are being laid off.
Person One: “This is the worst day of my life! After all the years I spent there, after all I did for them–the ingratitude just enrages me! I even worked through lunch for those a-holes! What a disaster!”
Person Two: “Wow, I didn’t expect that. I mean, I was even working through lunch to get caught up. I guess things are tougher for the company than I thought. Well, I’ll have some unemployment coming while I figure out what I want to do next. Maybe this is the start of something even better for me.”
Okay, so the above is a pretty huge over-simplification, but only to prove a point: it doesn’t matter what happens to you. The story you tell and believe about what happens to you is what’s key.
So if you believe in spooks, or evil, or bad luck, or a cruel, indifferent world, that’s probably the exact experience you’re having.
On the other hand, if you believe in love, in learning, in bravery and in finding your way “home” to the best expression of yourself, that’s the experience you’ll have instead.
Flying freakin’ terrifying monkeys vs. control over your destiny. Hmmmmm.
Which Yellow Brick Road will you choose?