Genie in the Bottle
When I was younger, I was very into watching the Disney movies and other make-believe stories. It was a kind of escapism – going on a journey for a period of time. One concept that I found fascinating is when reading or watching stories where there will be a genie in a bottle, who could usually grant you three wishes. (The 1960 show, I Dream of Jeannie, was in the background) This leads me to the topic of wishes. Do we need to be careful what we wish for?
I recently attended a workshop by the wonderful Olga Levancuka, also known as the Skinny Rich Coach. She wrote a great book on building and sustaining your confidence: Increase Your Confidence in One Day. (This book has been recommended on the book list of my website). I would thoroughly recommend this book as the “confidence” tonic;- that’s how amazing it is.
I had previously conversed with Olga via social media and email exchanges – and when I first spoke to her, an everyday topic came up – relationships. We were discussing how we could go for partners that are the opposites in our personality, or who were at one extreme. Here, I was not necessarily talking about the yin yang concept of balancing each other out.
She then poised the question about, whether on a subconscious level, we were drawn to or attracted features in our partners. For example, the placid character dating the volatile, domineering partner. So then I thought: did I want/seek the “volatile” former partner. Was this person a manifestation of a thought I had? Should I have been “careful” with what I had wished for?
Genies feature in Arabic folklore – One Thousand and One Nights – and in the religion of Islam, in the form of the “Djinn”. They are described as “spirits” who are either good or bad, who live in a “parallel” universe.
So when having a thought, it can be “positive” or “negative”. Some theorists believe that with the law of attraction, one must be careful with the words, phrases that are being used. Illustration, Miss Shopaholic says: “I want to get out of debt”. Yes, I have used the dreaded “D” word that life coaches, mentors do not like to use. Reason why they do not like use this word is because, simply, attention is being drawn to this “noun”. In other words “attracting” more debt, losing focus, instead of being proactive – Miss Shopaholic announcing that she will auction her old, designer clothes.
Olga also mentioned how we need to be more in “tune” with our emotions, and not to confuse it with what we were picking up from the environment, and other people around us. Miss Shopaholic states that she has a sore throat, after having a discussion with a colleague who was also experiencing the same symptoms.
Come on, how many times have you spoken to your colleague at work and they have told you how they were feeling “lethargic” and towards the end of the conversation you start to feel the same? This is a perfect example of “mirroring” other people’s emotions. Maybe one should carry around a “feelings” diary, that way they can be more “honest”. Could you picture the scene of a couple having an argument, and in the middle of it, one party turns to their journal – writing down underappreciated!!
When looking at “wishes”, thoughts, desires and other stuff, we need to question what our motives are. I am going to introduce two words, one being a verb, want; and the other a noun, need. In the genie folktale stories, there were three types of genies: benevolent; malevolent and indifferent. One would do your wish, and fulfil it with your “best” interests – the benevolent genie. The other extreme, the malevolent one, will take the “worse” interpretation of your wish. So when projecting a want, it is best to be more specific since the outcome will easily be “realised”. This reminds me of the phrase that may appear in the business world when setting a goal – S.M.A.R.T (Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound). With the word “need”, this could have many “interpretations”, solutions – remember Mr Malevolent Genie and Mr Indifference?
As the conversation with Olga on thoughts triggered with me, “be careful what you wish for”.