Now, before you close this tab on your screen, hear me out: I'm not a card-carrying Christian. So when I tell you that this guy is inspiring, it's not because I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of family and friends who do and that's perfectly fine--it's just not for me. But that's what's so amazing about Osteen--you don't have to be a believer to find inspiration. He's not up on his stage screaming about Satan. He's not touting declarations from the Apostles. He tells anecdotes about himself, his family, friends, and others he knows in the community. He sometimes pairs these tales with old Testament examples. Typically, he waits until the last few minutes of his broadcast to talk about Jesus--and that's when I change the channel. But what I see in Osteen is something I don't see much of these days--a human being who recognized his talent for conveying positivity to people, and using that talent to inspire those individuals to believe in themselves. That's right--it's not about belief in Jesus, it's about believing in your own talents and abilities.
Osteen encourages people to never give up on their dreams, to look for unexpected opportunities, to always work toward that goal--even if it seems like you've been working at it for years--keep going, because it's in you to succeed. If you had the opportunity to be a part of one of my courses in the last fifteen years, you might recognize what Osteen is saying because it's what I gave to each of you, everyday...and joyfully so.
One of my "student-family," a talented young man who I just know will be a big Hollywood director one day, told me in the last few months that I should be a motivational speaker. He'd been working on this massive film project and was getting discouraged. I told him that his success had already occurred and all he had to do was move through the space between him and that success to meet it. And I truly believe it, too. My belief in this student was infectious, because he didn't give up. He remembered who he was and what he wanted, and let all the doubts that discouraged him fade. I'm happy to report today that his project is VERY successful...and lent to the success of others as well.
If there is a dream inside you, it's there for a reason. As Einstein said many times, "God doesn't play dice with the universe..." or if you prefer it in more scientific terms, "There are no coicidences...." We see universal patterns in everything from electromagnetism to quantum mechanics that prove this over and over again. Now, imagine what humans thought about related occurences to say, gravity, before Newton unearthed his defining theory? The world might seem chaotic, random--physics uncovered a great many "human mysteries," like when a driver of a horse and buggy that was going relatively fast all of a sudden stopped short but the driver, and perhaps any other goods or passengers he may have been carrying, kept going. Inertia. Simple. We know about inertia today and can compensate with things like air bags in our more modern-day transportation devices. But each step of the way on our human journey of discovery, the very things we thought we'ren't possible--the things we thought beyond imagination--have come true. Stephen Hawking, whose tome on the nature of the universe sits just behind me in my office--always accessible for my inquiring mind--announced that aliens are very likely real and very likely no different than humans in the sense that humans have that wicked "will to power" I've addressed in an entry on L-O-V-E--the ambition, the competitive nature, that ushers in most of the human evil on the planet. A highly-recognized, highly-accomplished astro-physicist believes in aliens...and apparently, so do many, many people. Because no one laughed him off the screen. There's been no public backlash. It's a very strong hypothesis that, as we exist, given the expanse of the universe, so do other intelligent beings similar to us. And, given our development, and the age of our galaxy versus much older galaxies in the universe through our LIMITED knowledge, we can easily make the logical leap that those other intelligent beings are more advanced than we are--in ALL ways, hopefully. Otherwise, we humans are in serious trouble!
So do you see what I'm saying here??? Aliens exist in 2010. The scientific community all pretty much agree. Ten years ago, that would have seemed impossible. Outside of Hollywood movies and the odd-ball crop circle, aliens were pretty much a tourist attraction in Area 51. NOW, if the seemingly impossible is suddenly possible, what does that mean to YOU???
It should show you why giving up on your dreams is simply stupid. Never give up on yourself--because when you give up on your dreams, that's exactly what you're doing. Hey, if aliens exist where they didn't before, why can't you become the next President? Why can't you attain the education to become a doctor or lawyer or whatever it is you REALLY want to be? If you're a writer, why can't you be the next J. K. Rowling? Comedian? Why not the next Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller or whoever it is you feel is the best, most accomplished comedian out there. Why not be the next Steven Spielberg? Or maybe your dreams are more personal--maybe you're looking for a happy marriage and healthy children, buying your own home--things along those lines...these things can sometimes seem impossible, especially when we are at the beginning of our dreams, our goals. But nothing is impossible...even ALIENS are real!
I try to always include a little something that tells you I'm not just talking out of the side of my mouth (odd as that expression may be...). About twenty years ago, I was homeless, a single mother, no education, no money, my car had been repossessed; I'd been fired from my job, my family had disowned me...and oh yeah, I was diagnosed with brain cancer. No, I'm not kidding. This was my REALITY 20 years ago. If my future self could have visited my past self, I'm not sure my past self would have believed how in 20 years, ALL of those unfortunate circumstances would be TOTALLY reversed--replaced with four degrees, success as a professor, success as a writer, success in surviving cancer, success with family, and even my credit score is about as close to perfect as you can get (despite a past encounter with the repo-man...seriously, one of the most HUMILIATING moments of my life...). So when I say that the impossible is possible, I KNOW what I'm talking about; I'm not just spinning Osteen-esque yarns or Hawking's musings on life beyond our galaxy...I'm telling you something very important, very rare--THE TRUTH. And I'm not special in any way. Really, I'm not. I'm as average as anyone can possibly be. The one thing that may give me a slight advantage is that I BELIEVE in myself. Totally and completely. No matter what crap comes my way, and believe me when I say, I've been wearing hip-boots for several years now--I still BELIEVE.
And that's what Joel Osteen was saying on my television this weekend with his too-white smile and slicked-back preacher-hair, that when you BELIEVE in yourself, you'll find those moments, those nuances, that inch you closer to acheiving the impossible. A few years ago, Oprah featured a book called The Secret on her show and suddenly, everyone was talking about visualizing your success. But it's not a new idea. The oldest philosophy known to man, Vedanta, the basis of Hinduism, refers to the same thing, as does Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity. Whether you believe in yourself because God is your co-pilot or not, having a real understanding of who you are and what you're capable of--even if the rest of the world has yet to catch up to what you already know--gives you the advantage. You're halfway to acheiving your dreams if you believe (not in fairies, btw, in YOU!). Sure, you have to be patient. You have to earn those degrees; you have to work through the necessary steps (unless you're a Vanderbilt...). But who cares??? As long as you KNOW you're going to make it, enjoy the journey. Always remember who you are--I used to say that to several close friends both going through cancer in the last few years. Both were strong women. But even the strongest of us can become discouraged in daunting circumstances. No matter what you face, even death itself, as long as you remember who you are--believe in that person--you'll acheive, even if it's not in the way you thought it would happen....
Expect the unexpected! Or as Joel Osteen said, look for that "who would have thought" moment. It's coming! I believe in YOU as much as I believe in myself. And if you need a personal pep talk, you know where to find me!
Until next time, dear readers....