Most of us spend our lives without intention, without articulating what it is that we really want. Somehow, we acquire our life’s script from society and believe that it’s what we want. Even those of us who chafe against these pressures often feel like we have no choice but to conform. Very few of us are courageous enough to name what we want and to go after it.
If you’re in the minority that is living life intentionally, then congratulations. Setting a clear intention is the first step in seeing it come to fruition.
But what is the second step?
Most people would say that the second step is to start working towards the goal. They desire something, then they break down their goal into ‘actionable steps’ and then they take those steps.
If our goal is to see one kilogram of matter moved from one place to another, we have to go to where it is, pick it up and move it. It’s so obvious. And over the course of our childhood, society and institutions have trained us that reward is always in exact proportion to effort. And then we break out of the protective embrace of childhood and find that the world is not so simple. That anything is possible, with all the good and the bad that it entails.
When our desires become bigger than the capacity of our institutions to provide in a predictable manner, we have to learn to work with the Universe. And this is where the attitude of confrontation fails us. The forces of the universe cannot be overpowered or coerced by humans.
The Universe is indeed a wish-fulfillment machine. But the mechanism for this is not well-known at all. When we wish for something we have to invite it into our lives.
The idea is simple. You have a goal. You have a task list. You have a plan. And now instead of treating reality as an adversary to be overcome, you treat your desired future as a loved one, who is to be invited into your life.
Do you feel the difference in the two energies? The energy of the hustle is one of taking something that doesn’t want to be given willingly, of subterfuge and trickery even. Young men will recognise this same energy in their early fumbling attempts at romance – the idea that what they want has to be somehow stolen from an unwilling counterparty is how most men start their romantic lives. It is only much later that we realise that women want to relate as well, they also want to flirt and play and be wooed, not stolen. And when we learn to invite them properly, what wonders we find!
Women readers might be baffled by this but now you can explain all that odd behaviour young men engage in.
It is the same with your desires. The universe wants to play and flirt and be in loving relationship with you and it is entirely baffled why you would be so rude, so serious, so joyless as you go about the task of living.
What does the invitation look like?
I can best illustrate this with some examples.
A few weeks ago is went to visit a friend and his team at their office. It was a basic office in a co-working space. Nothing really the matter with it. We talked about his business and so on and then he said – Sid, I want to hire better people. What should I do?
My answer - get your own office.
Why? Because this co-working space does not reflect your personality. When you want to invite your new team in, where are you inviting them? In this co-working space, you cannot even keep books lying around, put up posters or add anything like a personality to the space. Then why will anyone want to work here? The first step to inviting the team in is to build a space where they would be happy to come. And when you commit to the lease, in your mind you have burned the boats that will allow you to back out of your course of action. And when you build that space of your own, a shrine to work, set up with attention to detail and optimised for knowledge work with a library, great tooling, coffee and so on, then you will see how everyone who enters there will feel your vibration. And as you go about setting up the place you will always have in your mind the images of the future with you and the best team ever.
And this subtle self-hypnosis will lead you to those people. When you make the invitation, you prepare yourself to go out and find the thing you’re inviting in. It is already there. Waiting for you. It is you who has to change, not the material world.
A lot of young people say that they don’t know what they want to do in life. I ask them ‘well, what is it that you want?’. Usually they say that they don’t know. I tell them to find out and they ask ‘How?’.
It’s simple I say. You have to invite that truth in. How? By making a place for it in your life. The surface level answer is that you journal every day, but it is not the journaling that is important. It is the invitation. It is entirely possible to journal from a place of resistance and never have your Truth accept your invitation. But if you sit down and invite your Truth in sincerely, by making a specific time and place for journalling, by being consistent in your habit, by being humble in your ask, then one day your Truth will acquiesce and it will shoot out of you in a torrent of words, words running on the page from the tears that flow from your eyes as you finally recognise who you are.
The power of the invitation is very simple. When one invites a guest into one’s house, it comes from a place of love, not from a place of lack. We want to experience their company and a time of joy with them. We want to serve them and keep them comfortable that the time spent may be even more pleasant. We take trouble over the food we will serve and the entertainments of the evening. That’s what an invitation feels like. Who can resist such an invitation?
And yet when it comes to our goals we do it either from a place of frustration, lack or anger, or alternatively from a place of indolence and wishful thinking. Neither of these has the correct energy for achieving the goal.
In the end, all achievements are a matter of luck. And the longer we can work towards the goal, the more lucky we can hope to be. And the energy of invitation makes it a pleasure to work on the goal. As we wait for the guests we make small adjustments to the seating arrangements, review the music playlist, taste the soup once again. They are late, no problem. This gives us time to put up the nice lights.
You get the point? The energy of the invitation is quite special.
There is a reason we have Gods for everything. And prayer is the ultimate invitation. All prayer is an invitation to the God to bless us. An invitation to Laxmi. An invitation to Saraswati. And so on.
Live your life as a prayer, as an invitation to the Universe to bless you.