Positive Dissension

June 12, 2013 § 4 Comments

That’s an important sounding title, eh. If I think of a better one I’ll change it, but right now I just want to get on with it… which is, that certain ideas take hold in the mind, get tossed around and shared and pretty soon become part of a mass consciousness. Hearing, speaking or seeing something with enough repetition often becomes “truth” to a great many people. Kind of like how advertising works (well, a LOT like how advertising works), and politics (but I won’t, WILL NOT, go there…) ~ both are selling concepts, often cloaked in a happy disguise, to as broad a base as possible, hoping for buy in.

It doesn’t mean that these concepts are necessarily dark and evil ~ it just means that the thought form that’s being repeatedly projected has the opportunity to “stick” in our minds and become a “belief”. Once that happens, it can be hard to shake without something dramatic flaring up in our face, affecting us in a personal way. (The same goes for things we learn at home and in school, whether positive or negative, and while usually even more influential, it’s on a smaller scale, not a “mass consciousness” level.) And you know all this, but I’m on a roll, so …

Some people are content to go with the consensus, to follow popular thought processes. Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m not one of them. It’s fortunate, because it gives me the sense that I have control of my thoughts. It’s unfortunate because it can lead to too much “thinking”, which, trust me, isn’t the easy way to skip down the road of life. I can probably blame my parents, for the genetics as well as the lessons, because while I don’t remember them specifically saying “always question authority”, we were taught to “think for ourselves”.  I’ve been a good girl in that regard.

Which leads to my positive dissent. Catch-phrases, meant to explain or alleviate our troubles or help us navigate to a more fulfilling life, can be powerful if they’ve withstood the test of time ~ but some, if not tested, can lead us astray. Like armchair psychology. It gets in the air, we start spouting off without having truly considered them.  Again it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just that it can lead us on a much twistier path. Of course, we all follow our own path, and I make no judgment. Just my viewpoint.

So, there are two of these phrases that recently prompted this whole rambling essay I’ve embarked on. 1.) “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist, and 2.) The idea that you have to be out of your comfort zone to experience magic.


First one. A friend posed this Coelho quote as a true-or-not-true question, and everyone was commenting with “oh yes, most definitely!” Then I chimed in as a dissenter. (And let me also add that Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is one of my favorite books of all time. But the notion that fear of failure is the sole reason for unrealized dreams just rubs me all the wrong ways). I don’t believe this is true!

There are many inhibiting factors, all kinds of blocks – intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical – real or nurtured – that can inhibit actualization of dreams, and fear of failure is a big one, but, in my opinion, certainly not the only. There are also lots of dreams that may even not be associated with fear or failure, just as there are those that actually have fear or failure at its core. Too many variables to chalk it up to this very common, and I think, easy, reasoning. I don’t buy it.


Second one. Yes, it’s great to venture out of one’s comfort zone. It leads to breakthroughs of all kinds, personal growth, opportunities you’d not have crossed, new doors opening, wonderful people and experiences you might not otherwise have known, and perhaps even magic and miracles. But do you have to go >>> over there to experience magic? I say no.

One of the most incredibly powerful actions we can take is to shift our thoughts. “Yea, yea, right”, some say – “that’s too simplified, it doesn’t take into account my circumstances and struggles and strifes; it’s not that easy. That’s a bunch of pie in the sky mumbo-jumbo, you don’t really understand how it is for me.”

Well, yes, it IS simplified ~ and that’s part of the beauty!

For the naysayers, I suggest trying it. Realllly try it. Miracles, magic, or wonderful changes (to keep it sounding real), can occur from where you sit. From a place where you DO feel comfortable, at ease and strong. You don’t have to go out on a limb and dangle with trepidation. You can do that too, and still get awesome results, but my point is that you don’t have to. You DO, however, have to change how and what you think. Thoughts, as I’m apt to say a lot, so forgive my chant, are very powerful. And just like collective, or “mass” consciousness, the more umph and energy and clarity and conviction ~ and the more repetition ~ behind a thought, the more power it holds. There is magic there.

And now I’ll get off my soapbox, but leave you with this, which I do believe to be true.


Choose your words carefully and think well!  ~  Patricia

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§ 4 Responses to Positive Dissension

  • Rand MacIvor says:

    Hi Patricia, having a fear of failure is indeed a factor in any mature individual but I agree not the only one. Forging ahead with courage and valor in spite of this, or any other fear is something we all deal with. Being told at a young age to “keep your place” and “who the h*ll are you to think of doing that?” and “you can’t make an honest living doing that” are factors as well. You are indeed fortunate that you grew up under the assumption that questioning things was a right of passage. Some grew up being told not to question. Because if you do that, why, you’re just showing how much of a problem you are. These are people that have no idea of what the “magic” is. Have never reached for the stars. They are from another viewpoint. Not a bad one, just one that has walls. And if you’ve grown up, or have adopted the practice of questioning and secretly knocking down walls, there is no comfort zone to step out of. There is just the world of possibilities… 🙂 My 2 cents…


  • Elephant says:

    Dear Patricia,

    I read the first to mean that while many things can cause a dream not to come true the “only one thing” that guarantees failure is the fear of attempting to achieve the dream. If you do nothing at all to make the dream come true, it likely won’t. I agree with you completely that just dreaming and driving forward is no guarantee you will achieve your dream – that is sort of obsessive magical thinking. I don’t know why people parrot this idea that if you just stick with it long enough your dream will come true – it seems like bad advice and leaves the dreamer waiting, always waiting.

    The second regarding magic, well what is magic? Magic happens everywhere – that’s part of what makes it magic!



    • saxtonstudio says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Elephant! You’ve got me re-thinking that quote now… since clearly I read it differently ~ which, as I understood it, is that the reason most people don’t succeed in fulfilling their dreams is an inner “fear of failure” – they “believe” they’ll fall flat on their faces – and that they may even make attempts, but never achieve the dream as much as they achieve failure, because that’s where their trouble lies, that fear being the root cause of the lack. Which, as I said in my long post, I don’t believe is the “only” reason people don’t fulfill their dreams. Some people haven’t got that all-so-tossed-about “fear of failure” syndrome, yet somehow still fall short of their mark… for any number of reasons, just not necessarily THAT one. Of course if you’re afraid to even make an attempt, no matter how feeble, you’re pretty much doomed!

      And I loved your words on magic – so true! : )


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