But, if you’re receptive to this idea, it could change your life.

Here goes:

You are exactly where you are in life because of the way you think.

You may be rich, middle class, poor, fit, unhealthy, in a career you love, in a job you hate, etc; The overarching-contributing factor of your circumstances is your way of thinking.

You think I sound naive, don’t you?

If you give me a minute to explain, I’ll show you the practical implications of thinking positively, changing the way you view yourself, and changing the way you view the world.

How You Got Here

Let’s address the elephant in the room.

Your current circumstances in life can’t be a product of your thinking, right?

Your thoughts didn’t cause you to grow up poor, or have bad parents, or get sick, or lack a support system, or be a minority, or [insert reason why you’re at a disadvantage].

Our upbringings and influences help create our personalities and perceptions of the world. And, although each of us isliving one of 7 billion versions of reality, we take our own at face value.

This is why circumstances do, in fact, cause cycles of poverty, bad luck, ceilings of achievement, and many other situations that look like they’re not the fault of the affected party (which, to a degree, they aren’t).

If you grow up poor, it’s more difficult to have a mindset of wealth. If you are told you can’t succeed because you’re [insert reason or trait] it’s difficult to have the mindset that [insert reason or trait] doesn’t matter.

It’s not just that you believe in physical reality — you know jumping from a building won’t end well — but you also construct a psychological reality that dictates what is and isn’t possible. This psychological reality is anything but trivial. It’s the invisible hand that shapes your future. It’s more powerful than you can imagine.

And until you realize the existence and prevalence of your psychological perception of the world, you’ll stay stuck.

Do you want to be free?

Stick with me here…

How Perception and Reality (Really) Work

Do you ever wonder why people continue to get into terrible relationships?

Or why the rich get richer and the confident get more success, thus even more confidence, thus more success?

Or why negative people seem to always have bad things happen to them?

Your perception of reality is reality. The way you see the world and yourself manifests in ways that cause self-fulfilling prophecies.

If you’re negative and pity yourself, you will display your thinking in your behavior. You’ll have poor posture, give off negative vibes, and be generally anti-social. This will repel people. People’s reaction to you will cement your beliefs about yourself. The cycle will repeat.

If you think you’re destined to be poor, you won’t aim higher than the minimum. You won’t bother to learn anything about money, business, and self-improvement. Then, when you can’t find a good job and you’re struggling, you’ll tell yourself, “I told you so.”

The converse is true. If you’re confident, you’ll attract people, which will make you more confident. If you set goals and follow through, you’ll think of yourself as someone who executes, which will cause you to keep reaching goals.

It’s simple. It’s not hokey at all. Think about it for a second. For perhaps the first time, think deeply and honestly about the way your perception shapes your behavior.

I’ll wait.

Are we on the same page that the concept is at least plausible? Ok, good. Now let’s talk about what you can do about it.

How to Change Your Life

I often tell the story of how becoming a video store manager for 10$/hr shifted the entire trajectory of my life.

It was the first time someone gave me any real responsibility. I took it as an opportunity to make something of myself.

I started working on myself and sought to become a better leader, have a positive attitude, and genuinely give my best effort.

Something weird started happening…

People started to catch my vibe.

They’d say things like, “You’re going somewhere in life.” A business development manager at the top company in the city invited me on a tour around his company and offered me a job.

I wrote motivational facebook posts, which lead to someone asking me to write for their website, which led to a career in writing.

Before all of this, I was dead broke and hopeless. Literally, the only thing that changed was my mindset.

If you look around, you’ll find stories similar to mine.

I read a story on LinkedIn about a Taco Bell employee who dedicated herself to the job and gave off good vibes to every customer. A frequent customer — who worked at a top company — noticed her effort and recruited her to work at his company.

In the book, The 10X Rule, the author tells a story of his first job at McDonald’s. He was working there to make some extra change. His co-worker, however, planned on owning a McDonald’s — and ended up doing just that. Same job title, two totally different mindsets.

Stories like these prove that the object or circumstance doesn’t dictate the action and results. Perception does that. You can look at situations as obstacles or opportunities.

You have two options in life. You can accept your current reality or you can create a new one.

How to Create Your Own Reality

Have you ever seen the movie The Matrix?

The main character, Neo, to make a long story short, learns of the Matrix’s existence — and joins a group of freedom fighters to protect the Matrix against Agent Smith, who is literally a malicious computer code.

Neo begins training for battle but can’t overcome his psychological hurdles.

Even though he knows he’s in a computer simulation that’s not real, he hesitates when he attempts actions that defy the laws of physics.

At the turning point of the movie, he visits the Oracle. While waiting to see her, he sees a child making a spoon bend with his mind.

Neo wonders how this child is breaking the laws of reality. The child tells him, “Don’t try to bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.”

Once Neo internalizes that the Matrix really isn’t real, he starts breaking its imaginary laws at will.

Why am I telling you this?

Because you’re in the Matrix right now. No, I don’t think you’re literally in a computer simulation, but your reality is shaped by your imagination — to a degree much much much much larger than you realize.

We all live by a bunch of subtle psychological rules that have nothing to do with physical truths like gravity, but impact our lives and feel as real as gravity.

What I’m saying is, much of your life is entirely a product of your imagination.

There is no spoon. It’s all in your head. You’re deluded. Life is a game.

Once you stop taking everything so seriously and literally, you can change your life. I’m being dead serious.

You are who you think you are.

So how do you put this into practice? I’m glad you asked.

Try This Experiment

I’ve done this experiment multiple times and it always works.

I learned it from self-help pioneer Earl Nightingale. For the next 30 days, act like the most motivated, confident, and successful person possible.

Be like a method actor and try to become this best version of yourself. When you’re at work, act like you own the company. Work harder on your job than you’ve ever worked before with concentration, diligence, and persistence.

Stand up straight, smile, walk faster. Put in an extra hour or two working on something outside of your job.

Act exactly like the ideal version of yourself you fantasize about. As best you can start to live that person’s life.

Grab a calendar and mark an ‘x’ for every day that you truly commit to the experiment. Then, you’ll see a chain forming, and you won’t want to break the chain.

After a while, you’ll notice people are reacting differently toward you. They might even think something’s wrong with you (why is he so positive all the sudden?). When people notice the extra pep in your step, glimmer in your eye, and swagger in your walk, they’ll send you positive feedback to reinforce your actions.

You build confidence in yourself and in your future with these positive feedback loops. You give the universe something, it gives a little back, which makes you want to give a little more.

While I don’t think the law of attraction works literally, opening yourself up to the possibility of being able to construct your own reality gives your subconscious a little boost and turns it into a friend instead of a foe.

Most importantly, it helps you spot opportunities you wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. And, trust me, you’re probably failing to see quite a few of them

Go make it happen for 30 days. Don’t even question ‘how’ it will work. See what happens. You’d be surprised.

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Originally published at medium.com