- Thoughts for inspired living

June 26, 2008

You Get What You Order

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:54 am

I’ve been fighting with this idea for a long time and losing. It’s been hard for me to give credence to the idea that what shows up in my life, I ordered. It’s so easy to put the onus on the outside and blame circumstances for my delivery not matching up with what I consciously asked for.

The NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) community has a phrase that’s hard to wrap your mind around but fits nicely into reality. They state: “The meaning of the communication is the response that you get.” That means if you asked for vanilla and you got chocolate, you communicated chocolate. There are elegant, isolated examples to the contrary but when you look at your results on balance, this phrase takes on a dependable accuracy. Maybe an example would be helpful . . .

When I was in the radio broadcasting business we had a listener measurement service called “ratings.” Ratings in radio were delivered 4 times per year in many cities – Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. They would be an approximation of how many people listen to your station based on sampling a small portion of the population. The amount of money a radio station makes in advertising is largely based on these ratings. The difficulty is that any specific rating period can be dead wrong.

I can remember one rating period indicating that our station lost 50% of our male listenership. Anyone with two working brain cells knew that was not accurate. It’s like the umpire sneezed on a crucial pitch and, with his eyes closed, guessed and called it a strike, causing us to lose the game. You could go on and say he’s a lousy umpire but, upon further inspection, his calls throughout the season were highly accurate. If you judged his entire body of work by that one blown call, you would be doing his umpiring a disservice. The same is true with ratings. Any one reporting period can be an aberration, but over the course of time, they pretty accurately tell you where you fall in the pecking order.

The response you get in life (what keeps showing up) is the meaning you communicated. Again, it’s easy to point to examples to the contrary and extrapolate them across our life, but that would not be an accurate barometer.

What shows up, on balance, is what you ordered.

Paraphrasing Jerry Stocking, one of the great teachers of our time,

“We get what we order but we don’t yet understand the ordering process.”

I don’t claim to know what it is. I know for sure what it isn’t. The ordering process is not a conscious phenomenon. We don’t get what we order through thought and willpower. The ordering happens at another level. The reason we don’t get what we consciously order can be thought of this way: We order in English but the waiter only understands Greek. Our order is bound to be screwed up.

The law of attraction is working in all of our lives. We just mentally discount the law when it’s not working in our favor. That’s like saying gravity doesn’t exist after you’ve fallen off a cliff.

The reversal of fortune begins with the recognition that you are the source of your production. “I am creating this” is the phrase of recognition. The next step is to notice that there are patterns of behavior that you constantly use that act as the delivery route for your order. The patterns produce the result – not your conscious desire. The trap that we fall into by not diligently observing our patterns is the diversion the exception delivers.

The sport of Golf is the primary example of this diversion. Most golfers suck. It’s a fact of life for us duffers. The thing that keeps golfers coming back is the exception – the spectacular drive they hit once a round or the miracle putt they get once in a blue moon. When they experience that, they say, “I’m a player” no matter what the scorecard says. This keeps them from diligently looking at the patterns that are consistently producing horrendously high scores.

The conspiracy keeping you from what you want is self created.

Getting in touch with the feelings associated with what you don’t want is a step in the direction to outgrowing the patterns that keep giving you the same results.

Notice the frustration, sadness, anger, fear or whatever emotion accompanies the “wrong” order. Feel it fully in your body. Don’t dismiss it because it’s scary. That will have you just close your eyes again and miss the ingredient that’s necessary for your growth. Feeling your emotions fully allows them expression. When you do this, you allow, as they say in music, the chord to resolve. This resolving is the ending of the tensions that have been keeping you from getting what you truly want.

It’s a process and not a quick fix. The application of being with your feelings has a progressive effect that leads you to the critical mass of outgrowing some old patterns that kept delivering chocolate.

All the best,


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