You find what you seek. I’ve been preaching this message for a while. I created a guided journal that makes a big deal about this, just finished a novella (to be published soon) that centers on this theme, and I talk about the law of attraction all the time. Yet, despite my constant preaching, like everyone else, I need periodic reminders. Last week life handed me one.
I’m an attorney. My firm takes cases all across the state. As a result I often find myself driving to obscure far away places around Arizona. I usually love doing it. I get to listen to audiobooks while I drive and I see some amazing scenery (Arizona is a really beautiful state and you should check out my Instagram feed if you want proof).
Tuesday Trip: Expecting Beauty
This week I had to make two such trips. The first was on Tuesday. It came about unexpectedly but I looked forward to it nonetheless. As I drove I was in a good mood. I even listened to a really dark audiobook, the Gulag Archipelago (if you’re unfamiliar with it, it goes into a lot of detail about the horrors of prisoners in Stalinist Russia and the gruesome and unjust torture and murder that took place under that regime). Work felt stressful. But despite those potentially mood-altering things around me, I didn’t care. The trip was going to be awesome.
And it was! After all, you find what you seek. I sought beauty and it showed up. Everything looked amazing. At one point I stopped on the side of the road at a lookout. The moment I got out of my car it was like I getting smacked with magic. A squirrel jumped out, looked at me and almost appeared to say, “come on, man, I know the way!” Then he bounded off down a path. I followed. Butterflies started flying all over the place. The flowers were in bloom. Flower seeds were drifting across the path in the air. There was a massive valley right behind all this. It was like stepping out of my car and walking into a cinematic rendition of paradise.
I wasn’t there long, but I felt justified. It was a good trip. I found what I sought.
Thursday Trip: Dreading and Finding Exhaustion
I had another trip on Thursday. By then I was tired and had begun complaining. I was almost dreading the trip because I knew it was going to be long. The night before I remember saying to my wife, “I’m, dreading tomorrow. It’s going to be a long drive.”
And guess what? That’s right, you find what you seek. And I did. The trip was long. The freeway was shutdown and re-routed such that it cost me an additional hour of drive time each way. The sun was pounding on me all day. For no legitimate reason I could discern, my sunglasses snapped in half at the beginning of the day so I got the full force of the light in my eyes. There were numerous large trucks in single lanes with no passing zone and I was forced to travel at 15 miles per hour for lengthy stretches.
Suffice it to say, it was frustrating. I was on the lookout for scenery, but didn’t really notice much. Keep in mind I had driven to this same location about a month earlier and everything was insanely beautiful, much like my Tuesday trip. That previous time I had expected it to be. But for some reason, I just wasn’t seeing it this time.
At one point, I stuck my phone out the side of the car window and snapped off a picture. Occasionally I’ve done this and caught some cool things. I usually look at it later. Well, this time I caught a picture of a cactus that appeared to be flipping me off. And that was the most notably scenic thing I saw all day.
I got home and felt exhausted. Once again, I found what I sought. I expected to be tired and was. I dreaded the trip and it was not my normal beautiful sojourn across the state.
You Find What You Seek: A Reminder
Over the weekend, when I had a moment to recover from work, I started thinking about the two trips. The contrast became clear. My experience in each was driven by what I expected to find.
Even if you don’t embrace law of attraction principles, pragmatically, my mental focus ended up with the same result. The psychologists talk about the “frequency illusion” or “frequency bias.” The basic idea is that if I notice something I start to pay more attention to that thing and think it’s become more frequent than it used to be. But in actuality I’ve just begun noticing things I wasn’t noticing before. It’s kind of like when you start thinking you want to get a new blue Mazda and suddenly you see blue Mazdas everywhere. They were there but now you’re noticing them.
No matter how you look at it, my perception altered the experience. I’m sure beauty was out there on my Thursday trip, but my mindset pushed it away. I didn’t find it because I wasn’t seeking it.
It was a good reminder for me that I truly do find what I look for. I did on each of these two days. And now I’ll once again double down and be extra vigilant with my thoughts. I want to find good stuff in my life. I hope you do too. After all, you too, will find what you seek.