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James Arthur Ray

James Arthur Ray

Posted May 6, 2009 | 12:30 PM (EST)

The Business of Fear


For months now, we've been literally inundated with how crummy the economy is and how, in the words of many (including our president), it's the worst recession since the Great Depression. Now if that weren't enough, the media has a new drum to beat: Swine Flu.

Look, let's be rational here for a minute (something the media can't really afford to do)... You have a greater chance of dying of lung cancer or diabetes than you do of swine flu. I wonder how many people are watching the news in the morning worrying about a pig virus while they eat their Krispy Kreme and smoke a Camel?

If I come across as irreverent, my irreverence is directed at the media, not at those individuals being programmed daily with the latest scare tactic. It's time to wake up and take a look at the facts.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, stated, "In the United States, over 60,000 people per year contract the seasonal flu." According to the CDC, about 36,000 of those who contract seasonal flu worldwide actually die from it. In contrast, according to the latest USA Today tally, there are a grand total of 695 cases of verified swine flu across (get this) 15 countries!

Yet, for the 30 minutes CNN was on during my morning workout, the anchors droned on for a full fifteen minutes about the swine flu. And the TV next to that one had Fox on... They were talking about (you guessed it) the potential "pandemic" that has less verified cases than the 822 people per day (300,000 per year) that die from obesity.

But you know what? Fear is a business.

And it's oh so sellable, isn't it? It's in the media's best interest to keep things dramatic. It draws us in and keeps us watching for fear we might miss something that will save us from being flat broke with a pig virus.

I will also mention that it's in the Obama Administration's best interest to address the pig virus fast as well so they aren't perceived to be out of touch like our past administration was during Katrina. It's in the drug company's best interest to pump the fear of disease onto the airwaves consistently. Everyone has an agenda, but that agenda is rarely the harmony and well-being of our nation or our world.

The world needs a voice of reason.

We each individually need to wake up, take a stand and decide what type of life we choose to live. Those who continually take at face value what they're being fed will continually get smacked in the face.

And what about the "economic crisis" we hear so much about? I'm not suggesting that we're not in a recession... But the greatest one since the Great Depression? Untrue!

Just take a moment and reflect back upon the 70's, and you'll recall that you couldn't even buy expensive gas. Remember the odd/even days and the lines at the pump? Gas is plentiful today.

In the 70's, interest rates were 24% and unemployment was over 10% (as it also was in the early 80's). Today, you can get a 30-year fixed loan for around 5%, and unemployment is at about 8% nationwide. It's not the worst recession since the Great Depression. However, give the media long enough, and it'll scare us right into creating it.

Energy flows where attention goes.

What we neglect to remember (and what we're never reminded of) is that 8% unemployment means 92% percent of the people in this country are employed! I guarantee you'll be hard pressed to hear a news anchor on any station stating, "Great news today! 92% of the people in our country were employed and received their paycheck last week."

The Wall Street game and the economy are as much psychological as financial. Peter Lynch, one of the greatest investors of all time, stated, "If you spend more than 15 minutes a year worrying about the market, you've wasted 12 minutes." How about you? The things you give attention come to life. In fact, attention equals love.

Think about it. If you love your mate, do you give him or her attention? What about if you love your kids... Do you give them attention? The answer is obvious.

Attention equals love.

So what are you giving your attention to? If you're really honest, you may realize you're in love with your misery. That's right. You love your misery because you're attending to it all the time.

So we continue to give attention to our crummy economy. "Give us more fear," we unconsciously plead... It keeps our endorphins pumping! What's worse than being broke? Being sick and broke. Oh boy, now that's really scary! Energy flows where attention goes.

You think we'd learn our lesson after Y2K. Or how about the eight years of the "Global War on Terror." Are we any more at peace because of it? Not even close. Think about it... We haven't had one major terrorist issue since 9/11, and yet we're more terrorized then we've ever been.

I'm on the road 200 days a year, and not one single day during the last eight years have I heard an announcement from TSA that the threat level was less than orange or yellow. What does orange mean anyway? Who knows, but it sounds pretty scary doesn't it? Our consistent focus of attention is feeding the bonfire of terror. It rages on, and we wonder why it never goes out.

Let's wake up and take a stand.

Your consistent thoughts, feelings and actions determine the results you create in all areas. In fact, the formula for success in any area is to: Think, Feel, Act.

There's never been a time in recent history where it's been more vital to direct and control your attention. What you're allowing into your consistent thoughts and feelings is going to determine your subsequent actions, as well as the results you produce.

Turn off the business of fear. Read good books, watch inspiring movies and listen to educational CDs. These practices make you better and more resourceful. When you change your thoughts and feelings, your actions must follow, and your life will change.

The time is now to take action: big, bold, immediate. For fate favors the bold.

When you let go of the fear and refuse to allow it to be pumped into your home and head on a daily basis, you can place your attention on becoming more creative, resourceful and empowered.

Resources always flow to those who are more resourceful. They always have and always will. Get resourceful, lock your attention on what you say you love, and you'll have more to love. You deserve it... And so does our world.