by Dahlia Miller
“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
Ralph Waldo Emersen
Have you noticed how you never get a peach from an apple tree? This may seem pretty obvious, but a lot of people don’t really recognize just what this means. They plant apple seeds and then complain when they don’t get peaches. Not only that, but they then go on to look at the apples with disgust and complain about how ticked off they are about having apples (not peaches). While they’re busy complaining, the apples ripen, fall to the ground and end up sprouting more apple trees. This is how someone ends up getting a whole orchard of apples when what they really wanted was peaches.
This example demonstrates two often misunderstood universal laws that impact all of us (students included): the law of cause and effect, and the law of attraction. Understanding these laws, we can use them to our benefit.
The law of cause and effect basically states that the result you reap comes from the seed you sow. Results are the fruit of past actions. Your current situation is a result of your past actions. To get different results, simply use your ability to plant the seed of what you want. If you want peaches, plant a peach tree. Don’t stand around complaining about all the apples in your life.
If you stay up late at night (cause), you’re very likely to be tired in the morning (effect). If you study consistently (cause), you’ll likely get good grades (effect). Do you see where we’re going here?
Work backward from the future effect you’d like, so you can plant the causes in the present. This requires paying close attention to what is happening now: what you are currently doing, what your current attitude is, and what resources and circumstances are available to you now.
Understanding the basic principle of cause and effect, students can take real control over their school careers. For example, if you want a good relationship with your teachers, you can take the time to talk respectfully with them (before, during and after class). If you want to do well on your exams, you can study regularly and get help when you need it. If you want to have your homework over and done with, you can sit down and work on it.
If you aren’t willing to take the actions that will lead to future success, you have no right to complain about the results that you get.
Because students are constantly being asked to stretch and grow beyond their current ability and understanding, they need to develop certain seeds that will serve them well over time. These are ‘seeds of habit’ and ‘seeds of approach’. Some ‘seeds of habit’ that will serve students well are diligence; consistent study; having routines for homework; asking for help; and handing work in on time. Some ‘seeds of approach’ that will serve students well throughout their school careers are: being open to learning more; being hopeful about future learning and possibilities; being encouraging to self and others; accepting constructive criticism with confidence; and being pleasant and respectful to teachers, classmates and parents.
Can you imagine what kinds of results these seeds will bring? Of course the future is unpredictable, but consistent persistence with planting the seeds of scholastic success is certain to bring it about. [Scholastic success is personal and individual, by the way.]
The law of attraction states that ‘like is attracted to like’, or, ‘you get what you focus on’, or, more accurately, ‘you get what you vibrate’.
Scientists have shown us how everything, including humans, has an energy vibration. Our actions, our words, our emotions and our thoughts all give off vibrations. And these echo back to us in the forms of circumstances, words, opportunities and ideas.
Imagine standing at the edge of a cliff and shouting “hello”. A moment later your “hello” comes back to you. This is the law of attraction in action: you get back what you send out. Shout, “I write good essays” and guess what echo you’ll hear. Shout, “I suck at math,” and guess what is going to come right back at you. There’s no reason to be upset about the echo. After all, you’re the one who started it, right?
The law of attraction is what allows people who assume success to have success, and people who assume failure to have failure. We all get more of what we already have. Essentially this means that if we focus our thoughts, emotions, words, and actions on appreciating how good our current situation is, we’ll be sending out vibrations that say, “I am happy, successful and satisfied.” With these vibrations, you can guess what kinds of circumstances and opportunities will start to echo back to you.
Knowing this puts you in a position of control. Simply choose your thoughts, emotional reactions, words and actions carefully. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. See the success that is around you right now (apples aren’t really all that bad after all).
Students can put this law to good use in a few simple ways:
- Notice and talk about your current successes. Stop having problems and start solving them. Look at what you do well. You may not write excellent essays, but perhaps you have lots of ideas for topics, and that is a good start. Look around at all the resources that are there to help support you and make good use of them.
- Visualize your success and then take practical steps to bring it about. Emotions and thoughts send out vibrations, so just imagining a bright future for ourselves will help it to come. Hold an image consciously and firmly in your mind of how you would like your life to be. Then work hard and intelligently to make your dream come true. Imagine getting a good grade on your next test. Imagine knowing the answers when the teacher asks. Imagine yourself confidently raising your hand to ask or answer questions in class. Imagine handing your homework in on time.
- Dream big but don’t chase after your dreams. Chasing our future causes us to not notice how wonderful things are right now. Focus on what you like about how things are now in the present. The future happens in its own good time.
- Set mini-goals. It’s possible to use this law for everything we do, not just the far away future. Picture yourself sitting down to get your homework done with a sense of confidence and capability. Imagine answering every question easily. Imagine your parents praising you for getting down to work quickly.
What vibrations you send out are what will come back to you. Use this law well and you’ll be amazed at the results.
“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”
Frank Lloyd Wright