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Writing Daily Affirmations: Are You Kidding Me?

Silly exercise or invaluable practice?

Here at Metropolist we preach and practice affirmations. Why do we do this and why should you?

It’s all about the brain

Our brain in a funny thing: it believes what we tell it and repetition its friend. You see we become masters at what we do repeatedly. Our brain simply relies on us to tell us the direction and our ego loves to be right.

So to work with the systems already in place (in our body and spirit), why not repeatedly write down what we want and let our ego and brain go to work to make us right about it?

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic, writes affirmations

Scott Adams is a world famous cartoonist. He is also a firm believer in written affirmations. In his book, The Dilbert Future, he wrote about his own experience in writing affirmations.

“The idea behind writing affirmations is that you simply write down your goals 15 times a day and somehow, as if by magic, coincidences start to build until you achieve your objective against all odds.”

“Prior to my Dilbert success, I used affirmations on a string of hugely unlikely goals that all materialized in ways that seemed miraculous. Some of the successes you can explain away by assuming I’m hugely talented and incredibly sexy, and therefore it is no surprise that I accomplished my goals despite seemingly long odds.”

“But some of my goals involved neither hard work nor skill of any kind. I succeeded with those too, against all odds. Those are harder to explain, at least for me, since the most common explanation is that they are a delusion. I found my experience with affirmations fascinating and puzzling, and so I wrote about it.”

It’s not immediate gratification though

In his first attempt he did not get admission to the M.B.A. course he desired. Not only that, he got very poor marks in the admission test. He had read about affirmations and had some knowledge about them. So he wrote an affirmation that he scored a certain number of marks (he wrote the exact marks) in the admission test and got admitted to the course.

Adams wrote this particular affirmation 15 times per day for six months. He shared in his book that somehow his study methods changed, he worked harder and got nearly the same number of marks he had predicted. He finally did get admitted to the M.B.A. course.

Another study in success

Later on when he was doing a job, he wanted to be a cartoonist. He sent his cartoons to many newspapers, but was rejected everywhere.

He then wrote the following affirmation: I, Scott Adams, am a successful syndicated cartoonist. He wrote this 15 times daily for more than six months.

Circumstances arranged themselves in such a way that a few months later he got his first break as a cartoonist. He first published his Dilbert cartoon in 1989.

He continued writing his affirmations and the result was as follows: he was published by 100 newspapers in 1991 and 400 by 1994. By 2000, his Dilbert comic strip appeared in 2000 newspapers in 57 countries and 19 languages. Scott Adams attributes his success in large part to written affirmations.

Improve your ability to notice

Adams goes on to say, “My best guess about what really happens when you use these positive statements is that several normal phenomena come together to create what seems abnormal.”

“I think part of the mystery of affirmations has to do with the fact that it improves your ability to notice an opportunity.”And when you do, it seems like a lucky coincidence.”

“In my case, about half of my seemingly miraculous results with affirmations could be traced back to my noticing something important. I’m not sure if optimism is what inspires a person to go through the effort of written affirmations, or if the affirmations cause the optimism.”

“But in either case you would expect that people who are writing them would more readily notice opportunities than the average non-optimist.”

Take the advantage

One advantage of written affirmations is that it helps you focus on your goals. Writing implies you are willing to invest yourself. You are making a commitment.

Are you willing to make that commitment? If so, try it and see for yourself how this one practice, that takes just a few minutes every day, can hone your awareness of the opportunities that will present themselves.

Definitely share in the comments how it’s working for you.