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Dr. James Michael Nolan Headshot

New Thought on Job Creation

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How Do Jobs Get Created? The Way You Believe They Do...

Most conversations about job creation carry an assumption or perspective that jobs are created out there in the world, that when economic conditions are thus and such, and the political climate is this and that, then the market does that thing it does, and people start hiring again.

OK, that's fine, as far as it goes.

There is a line of thinking, thousands of years old, going back to the hermetic teachings, and running through all the ancient wisdom traditions, then through Emerson and Quimby in this country, that offers another perspective or possibility to consider.

(If you are the type to quarrel with metaphysics, I would probably suggest you head to another blog about now. The ancient wisdom tradition folks generally did not do double-blind studies, they just watched the universe closely ... You're not going to like this...)

This line of understanding holds that we effectively create a significant part of our own reality, our own experience. I see two angles on this one, related but subtly different.

The first one is reflected in Henry Ford's famous quote: "If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right." Our attitudes and beliefs, whether within or outside consciousness, go a long way toward creating the experience we have. I am reminded here of the silly old cartoon in which an exaggeratedly sheepish door-to-door salesman, shoulders hunched, head down, asks the woman of the household: "I don't suppose you'd have any interest in buying an assertiveness program, would you?"

At the mundane level, we know that when a person enters a room in a bad mood, an ornery, disagreeable mood, he will probably find (create) the fight he is looking for with somebody, somehow. Energetically, that is exactly what he is asking for. We also all know certain people who bring sunshine into a room, and that's that. Both persons are creating their experience, whether intentionally or consciously, or not.

The second, related angle goes like this: "That which is like unto itself is drawn." The idea is that all of life is energy, is vibration, and that similar frequencies find each other more readily. Birds of a feather. The better it gets, the better it gets. The worse it gets, the worse it gets. Like attracts like. What goes around, comes around. We get this at the everyday language level.

This line of understanding has huge currency today as "The Law of Attraction," which casual observers of pop culture often think was "discovered" or made up just recently. But it is an ancient teaching, and you'd be hard pressed to find a wisdom lineage that did not have this as a core principle.

If you focus your energy and activity and thoughts and beliefs in a certain direction, toward a certain range of outcomes, and especially if you do so with passion, with directed emotions, then you are increasingly likely to "manifest" that outcome.

So, to the extent that one can be open to these perspectives, the greater the chance of manifesting a job, a career, a satisfying and meaningful life path. The focus becomes less on the world, the economy, whether Chevy or Ford are hiring, and more on working where you have the most control -- on yourself.

Counseling Psychologist Kathleen Mitchell takes a similar view in her writings on "planned happenstance," wherein she holds that there are certain attitudes, intentions, and behaviors that will potentiate all of your gifts, efforts and education, and which will enhance greatly the likelihood that you will find a job or career that will be satisfying to you. Her writing does not exactly carry a metaphysical charge, but it is not inconsistent with those that do. Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich was all about energy and vibration, but the editors had him pull that stuff out. Anthony Robbins walks these same roads, in his own way. The world "gets" this stuff, though the Academy does not usually allow itself to get it. So it goes.

I am a psychology guy. I work with individuals, in helping them cultivate, discover, marshal, and unleash their potential into the world with the aim of creating the kind of life they most desire, and with which they are most aligned. I know how to do that, and I believe in it. I have no idea in the world how to make Nambé , one of the only manufacturers here in Santa Fe, sell more high-end tchotchkes so that they have to hire more help. I leave that to people who know that end of things.

In my coaching and mentoring, I do not focus so much on the outside world and getting people to stretch, conform, sometimes contort themselves to fit what that world happens currently to be offering. I have a lot more faith in helping individuals align with their own passion, their inner knower, their own dreams and desires, and then focus everything toward those passions and dreams, letting the universe line up some possible landing spots for them. Of course these are the kinds of processes that wildly successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Tony Hsieh have been familiar with, and which are explored in The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, by Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen.

I don't know about you, but looking back on my graduate studies and almost every single job I have had since, it is inarguably clear to me that non-linear processes had a massive influence on my life. Others might call it synchronicity, serendipity, or dumb luck. Stuff that never should have happened, and could not be scripted in a million years did happen. I understand now that I was creating opportunities without exactly being conscious of doing so.

So now some kid from Cleveland proper, who had a 2.34 GPA in public high school, is sitting here blogging for the Huffington Post, president of a spiritually-sourced graduate institution, Southwestern College, in storybook Santa Fe, laughing out loud at fifty-plus years of manifesting (not always good, mind you, just what I was unwittingly asking for), and making this offering to those who might want, and resonate to, a less linear, less "evidence-driven" take on how jobs get created in the universe. You can do it yourself.

It doesn't matter whether you believe in the law of gravity -- you are not going to float away. It does not matter whether you believe you are actively co-creating your experience. You are.