What if Karma was conspiring to make your dreams come true?
What’s up everyone and welcome – or welcome back – to episode 38 of the Men’s Self-Help Podcast. I’m your host Dr. John Moore and if you haven’t already done so, please hit that subscribe button so you never miss another episode.
In today’s show, I’m going to talk to you about why Karma is conspiring to make your dreams come true. I know some of you listening are thinking to yourself, “Wow – Dr. John is really off his rocker!” That’s OK, just stay with me here because by the end of this pod, I think you’ll be shifting your mindset, where new beginnings are possible.
OK, before we dive too far in, I need to offer the following disclaimer. This podcast isn’t designed to act as a substitute for mental health counseling and I am not your personal therapist.
OK, back to the topic – why karma wants to make your dreams come true. And as I say the show title again, I know some of you listening may be thinking – oh wow is he spewing a bunch of BS.
In fact, I can almost hear a few of you now saying to yourself, “I’ve had so many bad things happen to me in my life – I grew up poor, my dad was abusive, my mom was an alcoholic, my relationships have sucked. I didn’t choose any of these circumstances – they just happened to me.
Look guys, I feel you on this. But just hang with me for a bit and let your mind open up to a different way of thinking. OK?
So, all of us have heard of the phrase “paranoia”. You know, like “That person is paranoid”. I mean that is not a new word to you, right? But what does that term really mean?
Well, in non-clinical speak, it’s a belief that the world is out to get you. And maybe you know someone like this? In the work that I do as a psychotherapist and coach, I’ve met many people who have a true, clinical form of paranoia – often as a result of schizophrenia or something that lands along the schizophrenia spectrum.
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As I say that to you now, I am reminded of a client – let’s call him Chuck – who I worked with years ago. And let me tell you, he was the nicest guy in the world – truly. But because of his condition, he would never eat food someone else had prepared for him, like a family member – and would never think of grabbing a bite to eat at a restaurant.
And the reason for that is because he believed that people were trying to poison him. It wasn’t that long ago I ran into Chuck at a community event here on Chicago’s North Side and I can tell you to this day, he still is paranoid of people out to get him. Like I said, super nice guy – but he’s always on guard to make sure nobody hurts him or screws him over.
So, that’s a basic definition of paranoia. With that said, did you know there’s a term that is opposite of paranoia? Yep, there is and it is call pronoia. Let me say that again – pronoia. In a nutshell, pronoia is the belief that everyone and everything happening in your life is conspiring to make your dreams come true.
Does that sound delusional? Maybe – but for our purposes that’s OK because you are going to use it to your advantage.
Let me ask you some questions. What do you think your life would be like if Karma – that energetic force in the universe – was conspiring to make your dreams come true?
What if you pulled out a pen and a piece of notebook paper and wrote down your intentions – and said to yourself – this intention – this goal – is going to become a reality? What if you linked that intention to the belief that every single thing you do and every single action that swirls around in your life is conspiring to make your dreams come true?
How might your viewpoint on your life change? Imagine if you had pronoia, how much better your life would be. Instead of opening your eyes in the morning and thinking to yourself: Crap, I have another busy, miserable day – I don’t want to get up.
What if instead the opposite happened, where work up and the first thoughts that entered your mind were: Wow, it’s another day! I can’t wait to get out of bed and see what amazing things the universe has planned for me this day.
I know some of you listening are thinking to yourself: Dr. John has lost his mind. I wish my life could be like that. I wish that I didn’t have this negativity in my life or have these negative feelings.
But here’s the thing – everyone streaming this podcast right now and can hear my voice right now can choose to have pronoia. In other words, to switch your mindset and choose a different reality. To choose right now to belief that every single thing that is happening to you – good and bad – is part of a larger plot where karma is conspiring to make your dreams come true. To make your life happier. To make your life more fulfilling.
Look, I get it folks. We all have challenges in life. We all have crappy, terrible things that happen to us.
When I look back at all of the nasty, ugly things that have happened in my life, there was never a time that I sat there and said, “Oh heck yeah – this is amazing. I’m so glad I am going through this messed up thing right now. There was never a time where I was excited to face the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or the collapse of a relationship. Frankly, when those things happened, they sucked.
But if you were ever ask me would I go back and change any of these things, I can honestly tell you the answer is no. I’m serious, I would say no.
Just a few weeks ago I had someone ask me, “If you had a magic wand and could change your past so that your life growing up as a kid would have been easier, would you?”
And here’s what I said back to this person: NO – I would not change anything. Not one darn thing. If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you probably know some things about me.
First, I grew up poor in a single parent home where my adopted mom was a raging alcoholic. And when I say poor, I’m talking about the kind of poor where I stood in line at the Salvation Army at 14 years old to get a box of food so that I could eat. In fact, we were so poor that my family couldn’t even buy a proper jacket for me to wear in winter. I can still remember now a Catholic priest having compassion for me and taking me to the St. Vincent DePaul Thrift store and buying me a coat with gloves so that I wouldn’t freeze to death.
Now keep following me …
Second, I didn’t find out I was adopted until late in life – meaning 38 years old – because nobody wanted to tell me the secret. Third, I never got a chance to meet my biological parents because by the time I found out I was adopted, they had already died.
As I tell you that, you are probably thinking: “Dam John, you wouldn’t want to change any of that?” or “Hey John, come on. Aren’t you a little pissed off about that?”
Folks, I can honestly tell you that the answer is nope. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have known my biological mother and father. It would be great to have them around now to talk about their own life struggles and gain new insights from their collective wisdom. And no doubt about it – my life would have been easier growing up with money to buy the basics. Of course, all of that would have been amazing.
But here’s the thing. I still wouldn’t change things. And the reason for that is because I would probably never have known what it was like to break my ass to work for the dollar.
I probably would never know what it was like to have compassion for others who were having a tough time. I probably would never have had the chance to attend a military school where kids from broken homes are taught things about respect for others, including ourselves. Finally, had things been different, I probably never know about the struggle.
I can tell you 100% now that I would not be doing what I do now, had I grown up in a different way. And while all of these things were certainly unpleasant, they were also a blessing, because they changed the course of my life.
Now hang on for a minute and I’ll meet you on the other side of this break.
Alright, so as we were talking about, I wouldn’t change any part of my life, including the ugly stuff. And so, I want you to take a minute now and think about the most difficult parts of your life.
Maybe you broke up with someone or maybe you lost your job. Perhaps you are going through it right now. Is it possible that you can look at this event – whatever it might be – and see how Karma was throwing you a challenge at you to help you become more resilient, to help you become stronger, to increase your sense of compassion – so that you can relate to someone who might be going through something similar?
What would it be like if you tried this? I’m not saying this is easy to do. But I bet if you tried to find the positive in that difficult event, you could find something positive about it.
And that’s the amazing thing about pronoia. It allows us to see things through a different lens. That doesn’t take away the pain and suffering you went through. It doesn’t minimize the loss or that you endured. But it does allow you to be in the here and now and not be a victim of your past.
I’m going to tell you a short story to help drive home this point. The year was 1992. I was working for TWA in ground support making less than $10.00 an hour. But, as crappy as the pay was, we got free flights. And so, one weekend, I decided fly from Chicago to New York City because I had never been there and wanted to see what the Big Apple was all about.
So. when you fly free as an airline employee, you are always the very last person to board the aircraft because you only get a seat if one is open. Anyway, I can remember sitting at the gate and finally getting called by the gate agent at O’Hare to get my boarding pass.
It was a Boeing 727-200 aircraft. In fact, I still have the boarding pass because I saved them as keepsakes. I was on the aisle seat in 15-C. There was nobody in the middle seat. And in the window seat was a pilot for TWA. I would find out later that he was commuting to JFK because that’s where he lived. I couldn’t tell you exactly how old he was but if I had to guess, I’d say early 60’s. And at that time, I was probably 22.
At any rate, after we took off, that pilot and I got to talking to one another. He told me about his family and how he had been employed at the company since the late 1960’s. And as part of our chat, I had asked him what it was like to work at the airline during the company’s good old days, because back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, working for TWA was considered a huge deal.
And he shared with me his experiences and regaled me with stories of years gone by. I loved it. But you know something, that wasn’t the coolest thing that happened on that trip.
What was amazing was this. As we neared Kennedy Airport, he asked me to look out the window. I can still remember him using his hand to motion me over to look out the window.
When I did this, I dark purple sky with the last traces of the sun settling off on the horizon. It was that magical time where day transforms into night. It was amazing and beautiful all at the same time. If you’ve ever experienced this, you know exactly what I mean.
At any rate, when I leaned back into my seat, he looked at me straight in my eyes and said, “Son, here’s what you need to know. These are the good old days. What you just saw is part of your golden era. It’s all about being grateful for what you have right now.”
Let me tell you, I’ve never forgotten that pilot and never forgotten the life lesson he taught me. And that lesson might never have happened had the trajectory of my life been different. At its core, he was telling me to appreciate the here and now.
That’s a really powerful lesson, don’t you think?
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So, what if you looked at all of your life experiences as gifts. What if you looked at the crummy things that have happened in your life as Karmic lessons to help strengthen your resolve?
One of the things that happens with trauma is that the pain can be so profound that people close themselves off from getting close to others because they don’t want to feel that pain again.
That’s a very human thing and very understandable. But for those who choose to do so, they can also work through their trauma and use some of that experience to create a new reality.
Folks, I don’t know your spiritual background or personal belief system and to be clear, this isn’t a religious show. But I will say that in the Karmic sense, the universe will never give you more than you can handle. It may not feel like that in the moment. I get it. But in the general sense, the universe – meaning God or Karma or whatever you identify as your higher power, never gives you more than you can handle.
Now think about think about all of the different people in your life. It doesn’t matter if they come from your past of folks you interact with in the here and now. What if you looked at their presence in your life as a gift given to you so that you can gain wisdom in whatever ways you need to.
Again, big picture here and in the karmic sense, every single person you’ve interacted with in your life was placed there to be a teacher in some form. It could be the person who smiles at you on the street for no reason or it could be someone you occasionally interact with.
And yes, these same teachers include folks who you may have struggles with. In fact, these are probably your biggest teachers. Shoot, there are people in my life that get on my every last nerve – big time. But rather than get pissed off and work myself into a place of anger, I allow myself to take a step back and ask: What is being activated inside of me by their behavior? How can I use this experience to better myself? I’ll even say, “Thank you Karma for sending this. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live in the here and now and look inward.”
You can take this same approach with the people in your life that you love. What are lessons they are trying to teach you? What is it about their presence can you appreciate? You can even say, “Thank you Karma for sending this person to my life. Thank you for their presence”.
Thank you – thank you – thank you.
In leaning into pronoia, one of the things I’ve been training myself to do is have gratitude for even the smallest things in my life. When I walk around my home, I often will pick out something random, like a plant sitting on a table, and say something like, “Thank you Karma for this beautiful plant” or I might see a bird flying outside of my window and say, “Thank you Karma for letting me see that beautiful sparrow.”
Imagine how your day might improve if you expressed gratitude for little things like that? For example, what would it be like to show gratitude for the shoes you put on your feet – because here’s the thing – many people in this world don’t own a pair of shoes.
And here’s the thing with pronoia and gratitude. When you have that gratitude mindset, you begin to change your brain chemicals so that eventually, you become addicted to gratitude and happiness. And when you say “thank you” as an expression of gratitude in your mind’s eye, you are training your brain to look for the positive – to step into the happy.
And conversely, if you focus on the negative and live-in anger, you are training your mind to create the negative as your reality. Overtime, you can even become addicted to rage and resentment.
Wouldn’t you rather choose gratitude? Wouldn’t it be better to choose happiness? Of course, happiness better, right? What you are trying to do is pump out those brain chemicals called serotonin that naturally make you feel better. This can happen if you choose to believe in the idea of a prospiracy, which is the opposite of a conspiracy. To believe, no matter how crazy it sounds, that Karma – the universe – is prospering to make your dreams come true.
What if you started saying, “I am grateful for that old car I have parked in the driveway. I am thankful for the hot water that comes out of my shower faucet. I am even thankful for this difficult person in my life right now because they are teaching patience.”
When you look at the stars at night, allow yourself to imagine that all of them have been placed there for a reason and be thankful for them – because they are part of a prospiracy to make your dreams come true.
Look, there’s no such thing as a guarantee but I will tell you this. If you try doing what I have suggested here daily for one week straight, I am extremely confident that you will find yourself in a happier, calmer, and more fulfilling place.
Alright, that’s what I’ve got for you today. If you loved this podcast and found the content to be helpful, please share it with your circle on social media. Please leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you might be listening because it’s one of the only ways to help this podcast grow organically.
Make it a goal today to make someone else smile.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to this show and I hope you have an amazing day!