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"No matter what I had in my pocket, no matter what my suit cost, nobody could prevent me from acting as if I was a winner. Nobody could prevent me from acting as if my problems were all in the process of being solved. Pretty soon, my acting as if was so convincing that I started to believe it myself. I began to think futuristically, as if I had already passed the test as I weighed what would happen next." Chris Gardner, Author of The Pursuit of Happyness. "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24.

Years ago (at least ten), I read a book entitled, "As If Principle," The Radically New Approach to changing your life." At that time, I think I was looking for (well kind of noticing) the trend of the times to find a quick fix or a short cut to reaching certain goals. I also read "Think and Grow Rich," by Author Napoleon Hill. Suffice it to say that I did not grow rich. The book was entertaining, but for the amount of thinking I did, I was a little upset at the outcome. I am not bitter; there was a reason I did not grow rich. I digress.

Nevertheless, I was drawn to all the buzz about the "As If Principle." When I first read about this principle, it was my understanding that if you acted (pretended) as though you had something already, it would soon manifest itself. This was akin to other literature that I had read about speaking your thoughts into the universe. They would materialize at some point. Hold on, I haven't lost it, I did not buy this hook, line and sinker,

However, there is some merit to speaking your plans out loud. At least in my opinion. You see, when you speak your thoughts/plans out loud, you confirm to and for yourself that you are serious about what you want to do. Going to this length means that you are drumming up motivation to do the work to have your goals realized.

It also helps you to discover or review your "why." Why? You need to know why you want what you say you want. All the quick routes in the world will not get you to the desired location if you are not sure where you are going and why you want to get there. In life, we may arrive at a destination and not know why we are there or even how we got there. Most times, we make the best of it. A more satisfying outcome would be the one that we planned for and applied the necessary effort, knowing that we are purposely targeting a given outcome. However, it does not hurt to stop or listen to the experts who have studied long and hard and give us their findings which they believe will improve our lives. The book (The As If Principle) suggests that we can change our lives by creating any feeling we desire at any time we desire.

"The notion of behavior causing emotions suggests that people should be able to create any feeling they desire simply by acting as if they are experiencing that emotion. Or as William James, Philosopher and Psychologist famously put it, "If you want a quality, act as if you already have it." I refer to this simple, but powerful proposition as the "as if principle." To think that you can act as if you have something by acting like you have it already is quite exciting and invigorating. In fact, I recently tried to put this theory to the test. I did not get far enough. The truth is I imagined myself having achieved a very specific goal; a goal which depended on a number of variables. In my opinion, I could not simply by thinking alone make my goals actualize. Now, I am not saying that I gave up.

I was compelled to take a closer look at the "as if principle." After all, this book is a best seller. I read the book again, more thoroughly this time. In my humblest critique, this book is about changing behavior through emotions. This is no small matter. When embarking on any pursuit, the right attitude is needed. An example of behavior in this book (The As If Principle) is listed as follows: COMMON SENSE SUGGESTS THE CHAIN OF CAUSATION IS: You feel happy - You smile, You feel afraid - You run away. THE AS IF THEORY SUGGESTS THAT OPPOSITE IS TRUE: You smile - You feel happy, You run away - you feel afraid.

If nothing else, this principle draws attention to what you are feeling and why. Changing your emotions to feel uplifted can go a long way toward being motivated to accomplish what you say you want to accomplish. A great attitude makes everything better. It starts with a smile because it can change your attitude. James Laird, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and noted in this book, pg. 117, discovered that by simply smiling in his car it had made him happier. He also determined that the people (those who had been smiling) and who had participated in his (experiment) testing of this theory were significantly happier than those who had forced frowns on their faces.

As I stated previously, There is some merit in acting as if you are in a good state of mind even you are not quite there. I think we have come to know this as, "fake it until you make it." But, let's look at this from a biblical standpoint. Mark 11:24 reads: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." In explanation, when we ask for things in prayer, God already knows about these things, and He has already provided for them even before we ask. When we finally do ask, we have shown that we understand God's will about it. For those of us who are believers, we understand that there is a supernatural element to prayer. In essence, when we are led to pray; it usually means God is prepared to act. With confidence in God's word and in the power and character of God, we can believe that God will act and that He has already acted. To believe otherwise is to be not aligned with the Spirit and will of God, and it demonstrates that we do not have faith in God. "And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:6.

God knows our needs before we even ask. "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Matthew 6:8. We must have faith that God can do what His word says He can. The "as if" principle invites us to go deep into ourselves and come up with a strategy (or the strength) to change our outlook on life by changing our emotions. In a nutshell, it says if you want to be happy, think happy thoughts or simply smile more. While this may not be longterm, its is a good place to start. A healthy attitude and faith can lead to confidence, gratitude and victory. An example of this is in the Bible story of David (later King David) who slew the giant Goliath. He declared the victory over Goliath before the battle began. David believed and had faith that God would make him victorious. God did. "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands and I will strike you down....All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves: for the battle is the Lord's and He will give all of you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:46-47.

There is power in believing we have received what we have asked for when we have placed our belief and faith in the "One" who has the power to deliver. Believe in yourself by all means. But, be aware that you have access to a greater source of power. Our God has the power to change thoughts to actions. Only believe.

  1. Decide what you want, when you want it and why. Be determined to put in the time, energy, hard work and resources needed to achieve your goals. The right attitude is a must; if the "as if" principle will help you to achieve this, then use it. Begin with prayer, faith, and the confidence that you can and will do great things.

  2. Believe in the abilities that God has given you and have the assurance/confidence in what you have studied, practiced and mastered. When you understand that your actions play a role in reaching your goals, you can receive information and decipher what of that information is beneficial to you. For me, I benefit from the ability to change my mood to positive based on thoughts. This motivates me to conduct myself in a way that exudes confidence and a joyful disposition, thereby enjoying the plans I have, bumps along the way notwithstanding, on the road to successfully achieving my goals. For example, I am a writer; I have studied and earned a Masters Degree in writing. I have written two novels; one published. I can accept that I have something to smile about (to God be the glory) and so I do. This drives me to challenge myself further.

  3. Keep your purpose in front of you. Sometimes we must remind ourselves why we are on this journey in the first place. Do a check to see if you have switched paths without realizing it. Ask why? That is if you have switched. If you did not mean to switch, regroup and get back on track. Do not beat yourself up. The pause is just a slight setback for a big comeback. Remember, you have the ability to control your thoughts and actions. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he...." Proverbs 23:7. You got this!

  4. Don't give up on your dreams. You will never know what heights you can reach if you give up. Great men and women have changed the world because they refused to give up. Yes, there will be obstacles along the way. Go around them, go through them, but do not let them stop you. Pray about it, and then be about it.

  5. Get help when you need it. Read, go to the library, ask people with experience, etc. There is no harm in asking for assistance.

The bottom line is that no amount of thinking or acting "as if" will make things magically appear. However, you cannot go wrong by securing the right motivation that will keep you going (on task), and moving in the direction of meeting your goals. REMEMBER, YOU ARE A WINNER (GOD SAID SO). CLAIM THE VICTORY! You are filled with joy and destined for great things. What are you waiting for? BELIEVE IT, THEN ACT ON IT!!


Yours, Yvette

Thank you always for your support. You can comment at I appreciate you. If you are interested, my published novel is entitled "Rescue Me" and is available on Amazon under the name Carolyn Murdaugh Lane. Please feel free to purchase a copy and to also tell a friend. Again, thank you.


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