It is a chilly autumn morning, and a man with the enthusiastic yelp of a used car salesman vibrates into my ears:
“I am a money magnet!” Then, echoes in each ear, “magnet! magnet! magnet!”
In the YouTube player, I see a slow Ken Burns effect across a $20 bill.
“I know the key to a prosperous life! …prosperous life! prosperous life! life! life!”
This is one in a series of affirmations that I have been listening to in the morning as I wake up. This “I am a Money Magnet” video is exactly as corny as it sounds.
Re-programming my mind
I listen to these videos because, as I understand the human brain, we basically wear down easy-to-follow tracks of thought over time. The more often you run the same patterns, the more tempting those patterns become.
For years of my adult life, I have run nasty little patterns, because they seem deliciously reasonable. “I could be successful, but it’s unlikely.” “Most creative people who try to make money at their craft fail– what makes me special? Nothing.” “My work isn’t valuable. In fact, my work is pretty stupid.” “Harper, you’re pretty stupid.” “Harper, people only care about your body. And your body isn’t anything special anyway.” “Give up. Get a retail job.” “You don’t deserve success in your chosen field.”
That’s pretty nasty, isn’t it?
Sidebar: if you don’t like other people talking to themselves that way, take a moment and consider– do you talk to yourself that way? Try to treat yourself a little nicer than you’d like a stranger to be treated.
Okay, sidebar over.
Letting in other voices
I spent far too long giving those nasty voices all of the floor-time in my mind. Eventually, I realized it might be time to consider other opinions.
Nobody knows whether or not I am some stupid, ridiculous slut with delusions of grandeur. I don’t know how my story will play out, and neither do you.
It is equally possible that I am a brilliant and beautiful young visionary who is going to redefine what success can be for creative workers. I could be the person to bring prosperity and success to myself, my friends, and the person who guides the way for many many people after me. As the years go by, I might provide a lush and beautiful home for my family, joyously working and being able to provide for all of their needs easily.
This is where I come to my main reasoning for listening to ostensibly silly little affirmation videos. It matters what I believe about myself. I behave differently if I expect success versus failure. Getting down on myself is, in essence, a form of sneaky self-sabotage. I want to use every tool I can to cultivate success and prosperity.
If I can reprogram my mind over time to instinctively believe that wild success is my destiny, I think that future becomes wildly more likely.
A lesson from Mixed Martial Arts
I love watching mixed martial arts fighting, and I’ve noticed something. In interviews with the fighters, at all rankings, you never hear them say “I don’t know if I’m that good, maybe I’ll be a big winner someday.”
NO. Those motherfuckers walk in, arms swinging like a gorilla, and they grab the mic with a declaration that they ARE the rightful champion, that they need their title shot immediately, because everyone knows they are the best.
That takes balls.
I am growing my balls.
Harper and Max release a Bonus Episode into the public feed. Max asks: can you defend the idea that smoking crack is a great decision?
Harper and Max release a favorite Bonus Episode into the public feed! Max asks: a cartoon character from your childhood is secretly guilty of rape. Who did the dirty deed?
Harper sent Max a video of a woman shitting a double-ended dildo into another woman’s gaping asshole. Why would she do something that?