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Thursday, February 17, 2011

William Makepeace Thackeray

"The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face."

— William Makepeace Thackeray
English Novelist
1811 - 1863

This is a very profound statement.  The world that we see is a reflection of ourselves.  I tell a story in my seminars about a little girl who lives in the mountains with her parents.  One day the little girl has a fight with her mother and she runs out of the house.  When she reaches the edge of the cliff, she stops and yells at the top of her voice: "I hate you.  I hate you."  To her surprise she hears a voice shouting back at her:  "I hate you.  I hate you."  This frightens the little girl and she runs back into the house and tells her mother that someone out there hates her.  Her mother realizing what happened tells her young daughter to go back outside and shout, "I love you."  The little girl tiptoes back outside and nervously tiptoes to the edge of the cliff.  She calls out: "I love you.  I love you."  Echoing back out of the valley, she hears the words, "I love you.  I love you."  The message is quite clear:  what we send out is what we get back.

What we expect to find in the world is what we find.  If we think the world is a negative hostile place where our competition is seeking to destroy us, we will find examples to prove our world view.  If we think the world is helpful and supportive, we will find examples to prove our vision of the world.  The world we see is a reflection of the person we are.  Have you looked in the mirror lately?  What kind of person do you see?