It’s amazing how your mind creates reality.
I once heard the script writer Frank Muir talking about the first time he went to New York.
He said he was terrified because he’d heard what a dangerous town it was.
As soon as he got off the plane at Kennedy airport he felt jumpy.
He kept looking over his shoulder, suspecting everyone.
But he managed to make it to a taxi without getting mugged.
All the way into Manhattan he was sure the cab driver was going to drive up a back alley where a gang was waiting.
But it didn’t happen and he got to the hotel safely.
He made it from the cab to the hotel in one piece.
He checked into the hotel, got upstairs to his room and began to relax.
He looked out of his window at Central park.
In the twilight it looked beautiful, sun setting behind the skyscrapers on the other side.
He was filled with a sense of just how great New York is.
He thought he’d been overreacting, he felt foolish.
He thought, “I can’t be in one of the greatest cities in the world and hide in my hotel room.”
So he decided to go for a walk.
He left the hotel and started walking along Fifth Avenue.
As he was looking up at all the tall buildings a man bumped into him.
Then the man backed away, turned and walked off quickly.
Frank Muir thought, that didn’t seem right.
He felt inside his coat and his wallet was gone.
He couldn’t believe it, everything he thought about New York had been confirmed the minute he dropped his guard.
He yelled at the man and started running after him.
The man turned round, saw him coming, and took off.
Into the park.
Now the one thing you don’t do in New York is go into the park after dark.
But Frank Muir was furious and he wasn’t thinking properly.
He chased the guy into the park and caught him under one of the bridges.
He spun him around, slammed him against the wall, reached inside his coat and grabbed the wallet.
The man took off, running as fast as he could.
Frank Muir walked back to the hotel.
He thought, you don’t have to be scared of New York, you just have to stand up for yourself.
Only weak people let themselves get taken advantage of.
He went up to his room feeling pretty pleased with himself.
And, when he opened the door to his room, he noticed his wallet was lying on the bed.
He hadn’t taken it with him.
He looked at the wallet in his hand, the one he’d taken off the man, and saw it wasn’t his.
He’d been so preconditioned, so petrified about New York that he realised what he’d done.
He’d chased an innocent man into the park and mugged him.
The other man was probably just another tourist like him.
Also petrified about being in New York and expecting to get mugged.
See, we think our mind interprets reality.
But actually our mind creates reality.
That’s a pretty empowering thought.
All the things you thought were stopping you actually don’t exist.
Unless you say they exist.
Then you make them exist and your behaviour reinforces them.
Sure objects exist, New York is there, that exists.
But as something to be terrified of it doesn’t exist, unless you say it does.
If you decide to be terrified, then you will make it exist.
Once you know that, you are free to choose the reality that’s going to make you empowered.
Rather than the one that’s going to make you disempowered.
The one that’s going to allow you to do the best work.
To fulfil your potential, whatever you decide that is.
Instead of the one that isn’t.
You choose the reality.
Then you live it.