Writing that post On Wanting and Being Content made me think more about appreciation. To be more specific, it made me think more about the aspect of expressing appreciation, and what role it plays in the entire process of getting what we want.
I have noticed that when it comes to attracting good things into my life, they come easily when I am putting very little (or rather: very light) energy into the thought of wanting them. Almost as if I am not even really aware I want them. It’s like the thought “Oh, this would be nice” just kind of flies by, and I only remember it when I suddenly receive whatever it was I thought would be nice.
For instance, a friend posted something on Facebook about how she had gathered so much burlap that she was able to make 6 lbs of pesto from it. That friend was nowhere in my vicinity at that time, so when I commented how cool I thought that was and how much I loved burlap, it was not a subtle way of inviting myself over for dinner. I just wrote what I thought. A few days later, another friend came to visit. She brought me a bunch of burlap. Yes, I know, it’s technically possible that she saw my comment (she didn’t mention it, though).
Still, it felt like the lightness with which I had expressed my appreciation of burlap had kind of send out a message, and someone who was in charge of bringing people joy had just picked it up, and thought “Oh, here’s someone who shows appreciation of burlap. We’re in the business of bringing people joy, so let’s send this lady some burlap.”
Maybe this all sounds very silly because, seriously, who gets that excited about burlap?! I know, but here’s what I believe: when we are able to wish for something with lightness, it’s easy to have that wish fulfilled. I believe that whoever is in charge of this Business of Bringing People Joy likes it when we ask for things out of a state of “This would bring me joy but my life’s happiness is not dependent on it. If you can do it, it would make me happy – but I’ll still be happy if it doesn’t work out”. That’s why it’s so easy to have those seemingly small and not very significant wishes fulfilled – because those are the ones I am capable of sending out there with that kind of lightness. Like expressing that I enjoy burlap.
When it comes to The Big Ones however … Not so easy maintaining that sort of attitude, that’s why they are The Big Ones, right? They are the wishes we feel are important, the ones our happiness depends on. So is the reason why it’s harder to have those fulfilled that the folks at The Business of Bringing People Joy don’t like it when we pressure them with desperate requests? Maybe they don’t like it when we burden them with the claim that our entire life’s happiness is dependent on our satisfaction with a specific order we placed? Maybe. Here is what I believe:
I believe that the communication between us customers and folks at the BBPJ is off a little sometimes. OK: a lot, and like, all the time. And like with any order we place with any company these days, we click on the button that says “Yes, I agree to the terms of service” without actually reading the fine print. Because, seriously, who has time for that?! We just kind of trust that it’ll be alright. And it is. After all, it’s The Business of Bringing People Joy. However, if we did bother to open the file with the terms of agreement we’d find out it’s actually not that much, and the rules are very simple:
1. You get exactly what you ask for. To the t. Because the employees at the BBPJ are a very literal bunch, and they would get into serious legal trouble if they gave you anything you hadn’t asked for.
2. Your order is not just the words you use, it’s also the emotions behind it. And again: they take you very literally. If there is ease behind your request, you get your order with ease. If there is pressure in it, pressure is what you get. And so forth. You get it.
3. Maybe you’ve heard that if you want to remember something, you should tell yourself “Remember to do xyz” because if you tell yourself “Don’t forget xyz” you’ll actually forget because the mind doesn’t really know how to compute the words “don’t” and “not”, and just skips them. The BBPJ works just like that. They don’t understand the words “not” and “don’t”, so they just skip them. So always use positive descriptions to place your order. For instance: instead of saying “I don’t want more burlap”, place an order that states what it is you want instead.
4. And, the most important rule of communication: you place your order by thinking and through your actions. Your orders are prioritized, that’s why not every single thought and every single action is being answered right away. It’s all about focus. To the employees at the BBPJ “focus” is “appreciation”. They assume that you want more of whatever it is your focusing on, so naturally those orders have top priority. Again, they take the emotions behind your focus into consideration when processing your order. That is why customers who seemingly place similar orders may receive services/products of varying quality.