The formula for success
Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?
Do you believe that if you wish something hard enough, and will it, and act as if it will happen, you will bring it into being?
You, my friend, are part of Donald Trump’s presidential candidate success.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a conference for work.
One keynote speaker rocked me. Listening to his story inspired me, because he shared his own story and how his particular story shaped his perspectives and present. His current success, he intimated, was the aggregation of many complex factors.
The next morning’s keynote speaker made me gag. I expressed a portion of my discomfort in this post, but I felt an overarching discomfort for which I couldn’t find words … until I heard a report on Donald Trump surpassing Hillary Clinton in U.S. voter preference polls.
I flashed back to that aggravating keynote speech and understood.
Its speaker died for a few minutes.
Long story short, he not only returned to the world of the living, but soon began running despite early doctor predictions he’d never walk again.
His take? The power of his positive thinking saved him … and it could save you, too, if you’d only relent to its power!
My take was a little more nuanced. While he was uncommon to have survived and thrived as he did, multiple factors contributed, including:
- Adequate local health care
- An uncommonly strong support network lending confidence that he’d not held up in the days ahead, including folks sharing his bed with him as he lay in a coma
- Exact dynamics of how the accident he suffered (one tiny shift in car positioning could have resulted in sudden, irreversible death)
- Positive thinking
I spent a couple days in a coma as a child.
Did you know that? No? Well, I did. I had a near fatal response to an immunization since then modified to make it less harmful.
My mom, who had little support and no money, held me and wept, hoping I would awaken.
I did, because I was lucky. Because she held me. Because she prayed. Because–
who the hell knows, in the end? The factors are too complex for one human mind to fathom,
though luck and love likely both played their parts.
Someone else’s child didn’t awaken.
Many someone else’s children didn’t awaken.
It wasn’t because they didn’t positive-think hard enough. It was due to factors too complex, and heartbreaking, for one human mind to fathom.
Trump has a hell of a lot of money.
This is tremendously appealing to a lot of people.
If he has lots of money, he must have the secret–the one, magical, all powerful secret!–to money, to power, and to success!
They see his success and think he has done it. He has mastered the formula. If they only listen hard enough, they, too, will find themselves privy to the formula that yielded his success.
If they yield the keys of the
kingdom United States White House, he will apply that formula to–via the thorough, detailed, well articulated plans he has not communicated–“make America great again.”
If they wish it hard enough, so shall it be.
Trump began his career with a “small” $1 million dollar loan from his father.
Sit with that for a minute. Imagine what ventures you could undertake with such a “small” loan from your parents. Imagine what failures you’d be able to set aside as small-on-that-scale failures failing to crush you as your larger successes–which you trumpeted far and wide, and which would have enormous impact on your credit rating–just kept gathering steam.
You could attribute your success to your business acumen, your smarts, your way with people, and people would devour it, waving off as insignificant factors like financing that were critical to your beginning and continuing.
People want to believe everything happens for a reason. If it did, well, then,
that would mean their own formula-driven success
might be just around the corner.
When my fellow liberals shake their heads in dismay and wonder how on earth someone who maligns Muslims, Mexicans, and women, who suggested a war crime to resolve terrorism, and who fails to set forth details of any kind around how he will “make America great again,” I’ll shake my own head and say, “You did this.”
Oh, what? The consequences of believing–and thus acting that–they merely need to send their intentions out to the universe and await their dividends are different than they intended?
Their intention–that they thrive, with their every intention eventually fulfilled–is irrelevant to the outcome.
They have perpetrated the same magical thinking that guides Trump supporters to believe that his prior success is indicative not of a convergence of many circumstances but of his possessing that magical thing they wish they had: the formula for success.
There is no one formula for success.
Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.
But if Trump does indeed become president, I will take some heart, anyway, in knowing that we can nevertheless learn and grow from consequences unintended that smart like hell while underway.
I will take some heart in knowing that, even if everything doesn’t happen for a reason, Trump’s presidency will have:
to disabuse people of the notion that everything simply must happen for a grand, magnanimous reason eventually beneficial to them.