The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

The Magic of Intentionality, Serendipity and Hard Work


Yesterday I gave a 20 minute speech at the amazing Vortex Immersion Dome in Los Angeles that was very well received.  I did not find out that I was speaking until Friday night because Suzanne Taylor was just swamped with details and forgot to tell me.   I prepared the speech Saturday, but had to dump most of it and sort of wing it Sunday morning.   Oh, and by the way, I drove to this event with two icons of consciousness research (who are also wonderful people) as my passengers; Dr. Larry Dossey and physicist Russell Targ.  All around me at this event, which was livestreamed, were people telling me how wonderful my writing was and how glad they were to meet me.

In one fell swoop I had been magically transported from being a relatively anonymous blogger with a decent following toiling away in obscurity to somehow becoming a person of some importance.  I don’t know how it feels to win the lottery, but I think this might actually be better.  Which brings us to the obvious question: How on earth did THAT happen?  The answer, as it almost always is, is that this was a combination of intentionality, serendipity and hard work.

To be absolutely honest, I WANTED this to happen and I very deliberately went to work focusing my intention to set it in motion.  I have been spending quite a bit of time and energy visualizing and putting energy into willing something to happen along these lines, although I knew better than to be too specific.  (I have more goals, of course, but I’ll get to that later.)    And happen it did.  But while a great deal of serendipity was in play to put me in the right place at the right time, it was also absolutely required that I was utterly and completely ready for this opportunity when it finally came.

I needed three things: 1)  A job that would allow me to leave town on a moment’s notice; 2)  A blog that was very, very good and had a decent readership;  3)  Very good public speaking ability.  None of these three things come about by accident.  There is no way to fake it or slip through.  You have to plan for it and work at it.  I had to make a series of deliberate decisions about what direction I wanted to go and how I wanted to go about it many years ago in order for all of this to come together.

I’m sharing this personal background information to help those of you who sincerely believe in the power of intentionality, but are having trouble getting it to work for you.  We don’t create success for ourselves solely by dreaming about it and visualizing it, although these are certainly crucial steps in the process; we also have to put our feet in motion because it’s in taking concrete steps toward success that we make the change from idly fantasizing about our dreams to making them  actually happen.  Acquiring the necessary skills is part of it, but more than that, there is a fundamental change in our thinking.  We get feedback along the way and this helps us to increase our confidence and toughen us up; both of these are crucial to success.

Many years ago when I got into construction I had a choice to go the full blown house-builder route and decided against it.  I knew from the beginning that I did not want to get tied down with long term projects, employees and large amounts of paperwork.  It did not meet my goals because if I did that I would not have the flexibility to take advantage of other opportunities if and when they came up.

I had no idea at the time what those opportunities might be, but I wasn’t going to put myself in a position that I might regret later on.  So I chose the less prestigious and lower paying route of being a high end licensed handyman.

As it turned out, this was a good idea because my business doesn’t have the highs and lows of ordinary house building construction.  I’m also better suited to this because I’m naturally happier with oddball type work (and very successful at it) and I have time to write and do other things.  The job isn’t all consuming and I make more money per hour than most people even if I don’t make a lot overall.  As I said, this was a very specific choice that I made.

Like most sensitive people, I lean towards taking care of other people, since this brings me a great deal of personal satisfaction; but while this is an admirable and useful trait for the self employed, it is equally important to look out for yourself.  Time and again, I had to raise my rates over the first few years as I adjusted to the reality of having to cover the expenses of running a business and running my personal life with only the money I was bringing in from a job that has no guaranteed hours.

I had to set minimum standards of what I would and would not do; I had to learn to push back at unreasonable requests and ignore customer fears as well as make sure that I collected the money at the end of the job. I learned how to project confidence and authority.  This job forced me to respect myself; which I had not learned growing up.

This was an immense help to me when I went down to L.A.  I met a lot of really wonderful people down there who are doing things that I have an enormous amount of respect for.  Authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, etc.  Some of these are things that I wanted to accomplish, but never succeeded at.  Although I am still incredibly grateful and thankful for the experience, I was not overwhelmed by it.  Something inside of me acknowledged that I had earned the right to be there.

I started my blog in 2009 after I did some posts on the DailyKos.  There were too many skeptics and I wanted to connect with psychic people who were intimidated by that environment so I moved over to creating my own blog.  I was already a pretty good writer, but I had to learn my subject, so over the years I have read a great deal and added to my library so that I could understand my topics better.  I made a conscious decision not to create posts that were simply off the cuff opinion type stuff and to do what I could to add relevant research to my writing.

It took awhile to get good at this and if you look at some of my earlier posts, it’s clear that they’re not all that great, but I kept at it and slowly improved.  It’s really only been in this last year that people have taken notice of my writing.  At some invisible point, others began linking to and referring to my writing on a regular basis and I began steadily increasing my readership.  Something seems to have changed well before the TED drama started, but I’m not sure what.

There is a funny thing about writing that everyone who does it has to learn: you never know what is going to be popular.  You have to give up being attached to a particular idea that you are absolutely sure is the greatest thing you’ve ever written because the reaction may very well end up being a resounding “meh.”   Meanwhile, you throw together an article in a couple of hours giving it barely a thought and sometimes forgetting that you even wrote it only to have it be a great and influential success.  It takes time to learn what sort of things people really want from you and what your overall message is; but you also have to learn to let go and not take the failures personally.

When the TED story broke I was neither the first, nor the best reporter of it.  That honor goes to C4Chaos.  I didn’t try to compete with him; experience had shown me that it’s not my thing.  I was, however, well connected and my well written article, which came out a couple of days after the whole thing started was the one that went viral in the psychic community. Partly this was due to an already good readership that spread the word, but also because I shared it psi researcher Dean Radin, who put up a link to it on his own blog.

I also had the skill and experience to properly define what was going on and to give it a proper perspective.  The feedback that I’ve received is that people liked my reporting, but they loved my analysis.  My intuition and inspiration did not have to do the heavy lifting.  They just told me to stick with the TED story and eventually led me to Suzanne Taylor, who had been reading my blog.  From there, things really took off.

Public speaking is just something that you have to practice a million times, preferably in front of an audience.  It’s a skill that is basically acquired through brute force.  First you have to get over some of your stage fright and then slowly add layers of skills to your repertoire to improve incrementally.  To get better, you can’t simply keep doing the same thing over and over; it’s too easy to fall into a pattern of mediocrity.

You have to keep practicing changing your patterns to get better.  It’s hard to do and uncomfortable.  I’ve been in Toastmasters, a non profit speaking organization for quite a few years so that I have an opportunity to speak on a regular basis when I feel like it . . . and when I don’t feel like it.  In Toastmasters you’re constantly timed, so you learn to be very aware of how long your speech is.

By the time I got to the Vortex Immersion Dome for the most important speech I have ever done, I’d given probably 300 speeches already with audiences ranging from just a few friends to 300 people including participating in about 20 speech contests.  I was a bit nervous, but not frightened.  I knew I was capable of giving a decent improv speech on a topic I knew well, throw in a couple of relevant jokes and making it coherent over approximately 20 minutes and ending on time.  (In fact, since I was improvising, I used the clock to tell me when to change directions.)   My wife (who does not sugarcoat things with me) tells me I paced too much and I said “um” and “ah” way more than I should have, but these are small forgivable things; the important part:  getting the message across with feeling, was accomplished.

The only reason I spoke at all was because I had asked for the opportunity.  And the only reason I had the courage to ask for that opportunity was because I had enough experience and feedback to be sure of myself.  When the moment came, I was able to seize it.

Which brings me to my most important part.  All of these skills that I had acquired were, by themselves, not enough.  Being a good writer and speaker and having confidence in myself did not generate the necessary magic; they were just there when I needed them after the magic had done its work.  Something more needed to be in play and that was a sequence of synchronicity, serendipity and opportunity that I took advantage of.

I wasn’t originally on the TED website and had no idea what was going on until someone else mentioned it on a forum I regularly visit.  I certainly didn’t have any input into the never ending bad decisions that TED was making.  Suzanne Taylor and I just happened upon each other in the comment thread at TED.  It was her choice to tell me what was happening and her choice to allow me to blog about it.  I had no control over that.  I had the odd sense of jumping in front of a parade that was already in progress and then finding that I was pretty good at it and people were OK with me leading it.

There is an old saying that we all make our own luck and I think that this is literally true.  I think that when we have goals, we need to put hard work into them in order to both gain skills and shape our thinking into the direction we want to go.  Changing our thinking from wanting to be good at something to knowing we are good at something is a crucial step.  And we need to visualize what we want, but allow things to happen in their own way.

Doing the work is part of this.  If you put yourself out there, you will succeed sometimes and fail others and if you do it often enough, you stop caring much about any individual effort.  You just go out and do your best because at some point you realize . . . that’s all you can do.

I see how all of this recent activity has raised my profile and I consider it a good start.  My real goal is to transition into a career of speaking and writing where I pull in an income that averages about $10,000 a month.  (I’m in an expensive area; it’s not as much money here as it sounds like.)  It’s enough to be comfortable and allow my wife to finish her masters and pursue her PhD without having to squeeze classes and working full time into her schedule.  Five years ago it seemed like a pipe dream; two years ago it seemed like I was getting there.  A couple of months ago I was getting restless and feeling ready for change; now?  I see some light at the end of tunnel.

The thing is, I just know that something will come along to propel me to the next level.  I just don’t know what.

So remember: visualize, focus your intention, imagine your dreams . . . but be prepared.

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26 comments on “The Magic of Intentionality, Serendipity and Hard Work

  1. psifiwireless
    April 25, 2013

    You rock, Craig! And, you’re an example to us all. Great share, thanks!

  2. ~C4Chaos
    April 21, 2013

    Craig,

    in case you haven’t seen this yet… apparently it wasn’t included in the Huffington Post article. it’s a good one from Ben Goertzel.

    Ben Goertzel’s reaction to TED:

    “I have spoken on my AI and bioinformatics work at multiple TEDx events, and up till now I’ve had nothing but praise for the wonderful work of the TED organization.
    For this reason, I was rather disappointed to observe the recent actions on the part of the TED administration, removing TEDx conference talk videos by Rupert Sheldrake, Russell Targ and others, due to criticisms by certain self-appointed “skeptics” and accusations of “pseudoscience.” Apparently the issue is that their work touches on psi phenomena, commonly known as the “paranormal.”

    In my own view, as a scientist with 25 years professional experience in multiple scientific disciplines, the work of these individuals is absolutely not pseudoscience, and would be better characterized as “frontier science.”   Yes, their work  is controversial and in some respects speculative.  But it is based on carefully gathered experimental data, analyzed thoroughly by thoughtful and educated people.  It might prove wrong in the end, but it’s not pseudoscience.

    It is noteworthy that the “skeptics” who have prevailed upon the TED administration to call these scientists’ work pseudoscience, consistently refuse to engage in any detail with the actual data gathered by these scientists, or others working on psi and other frontier aspects of mind-matter interaction.”

    ~ http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/goertzel20130420

    • Marcus T Anthony
      April 21, 2013

      Yeah, I know Ben. Met up with him quite a few times in Hong Kong when I lived there, as part of a group we had going there called The Mind Agency. Not surprised he isn’t too happy with TED over this. However, his main thing is artificial intelligence and transhumanism.

  3. Suzanne Taylor
    April 19, 2013

    Coming up for air after Sunday’s Ex TED event that Craig kicked off: https://new.livestream.com/newparadigm/newparadigmevent.

    From reading Craig’s TED posts, I became a fan of his blog. His smart comments made me think he was a power player, and I felt honored that he gave me the time of day. Go Craig! Bask in ever more of the spotlight you deserve.

    How to get you – and the hard-cores here — to have a more visible platform? I didn’t know about this pocket of smarts, that I so enjoyed stumbling upon.

    A crowdfunding campaign could collect hordes of us. Like Move On, that made political progressives into an online force. $25 – not looking for large donations. Money is to put on our Graham Hancock event so it can Livestream free. We have no way to collect ourselves now, and I would think doing that would be a very smart thing. We got lucky in that TED gave a common focus, but need to stay focused now.

    • marcustanthony
      April 19, 2013

      Congratulations, Suzanne, on getting the event successfully completed even after the TED drama. I will put up a few links from my own site. BTW your link to Craig’s talk was only the introduction, and not the talk itself. I haven’t seen Craig’s talk yet. I’ll have a look for it now.

      Marcus

      • suzannetaylor
        April 19, 2013

        It’s the next clip down from that little intro which didn’t have sound in the original Livestream which was why it got posted by itself. Just scroll down. Happy to be crossing your path. Let’s stay connected. Who are you off of Craig’s blog? What a great opportunity TED has given us to find each other.

        • marcustanthony
          April 20, 2013

          Thanks, Suzanne. I worked that out later! I’m not sure if that was a typo in your question, but off of Craig’s blog I am… just me, Marcus. :-). No secret identity!

        • marcustanthony
          April 20, 2013

          BTW I am already one of your FaceBook friends, Suzanne. You friended me last week. I know you had a full-on few weeks, so it’s not surprising you forgot. I put up a link to your site on the home page of my site, http://www.mind-futures.com.

      • Marcus T Anthony
        April 19, 2013

        Oh, I see now the talks are not individually listed!

        • suzannetaylor
          April 20, 2013

          That’s to come. We need to edit.

  4. c4chaos
    April 18, 2013

    Craig,

    i’m glad to see you as the opening speaker at the exTEDxWestHollywood event. you definitely deserve to be there. can’t wait for the YouTube videos of each speaker so i can spread them 🙂

    thanks for the shout out. i did my best to keep up with the story and engage people in the TED Conversation threads. clearly, the facts, evidence, logic, critical thinking, and healthy skepticism are on our side.

    keep it flowing. more power to your intention. i wish you well.

    ~C

    • craigweiler
      April 18, 2013

      Thanks,
      I wish I’d mentioned you more often while we were all in the middle of it, but I wasn’t really aware of how good a job you were doing until other people kept mentioning it.

    • Suzanne Taylor
      April 19, 2013

      Hello, my unmet friend, can we do something about that? Want to be in LA for my Graham Hancock event, the week of May 20? Will have a small crowd of hand-picked people and hopefully a major audience for Livestream. Where are you? Can I follow you? Let’s stay in touch. How?

      Craig, if you read other people’s mail 🙂 this is your invite, too. We’ll show an edit of our Ex TED day and work the new paradigm into place.

      I’m here to say you already can circulate Craig — he starts off our first session. It might take a little to get the cut. https://new.livestream.com/newparadigm/newparadigmevent.

  5. Simply a brilliant piece, Craig. It’s an honour to be a follower of your progress.

  6. Mark S. Ekdahl
    April 17, 2013

    Great article. You pulled it off. I did toastmasters briefly in the 5th grade, but have been horrible at public speaking since. Once, in highschool, I ran for some office, and all I could mutter in front of the whole school was “Please vote for me.” LOL. I just devoured your articles on the correlations of psychics with schizophrenia, HSP and bipolar, along with all the comments. Fascinating. I’ll have to post in those areas too as I’ve had various diagnoses and treatments, and doing very well aside from annoying tactile hallucinations. Its so strange to not have full control over bodily sensations, and can be very disheartening, but one way or another, whether through a holistic health approach, or in combination with going back on a med, I will overcome it.

    • neilmiller2011
      April 17, 2013

      Hi Mark,
      I’ll certainly read your posts about gaining more control over your bodily sensations. I have similar problems. Good luck to both of us.

  7. Mike Aparicip
    April 16, 2013

    Jeoshua Ben Pandira (Jesus of Nazareth) said:
    “Thought, Word and Act” … The triad for Creativity.
    There is no serendipity in Power…

  8. mtpitre
    April 16, 2013

    Way to go dude!

  9. moniquestevenson
    April 16, 2013

    I’m so happy for you! I don’t tend to use this method as much in my own life, but you’re getting such great results, and I wish I’d heard the speech! 🙂

    • craigweiler
      April 16, 2013

      You didn’t hear it? 😦 It was livestreamed.

      At any rate, the work-hard-for-many-years-towards-your-goal approach to success is generally better than the other ones. I recommend it.

      • Joe Martin
        April 16, 2013

        I finally got a free moment to watch the livestream on Sunday and it just happened to be the start of your speech. I take it as the universe telling me, “Listen to this!” This whole series of TED-triggered events has effected me at some deep level, I think.

        • craigweiler
          April 16, 2013

          You probably noticed that I had pretty much lost my voice. I had just enough left to make it through.

          And about being affected at a deep level. Yeah, me too and someone else I know. Something powerfully energetic happened, but I’m not sure what. I just feel it. It had quite the effect on TED. Everything they did came back to bite them in the ass.

          • Joe Martin
            April 16, 2013

            Amen. I just listened to the speech again. It’s great. It’s one of those curious pivotal moments. Hard to describe.

          • Riz
            April 17, 2013

            Well done, Craig. I didn’t see your speech as it was early hours of the morning here in Australia. I came in late with Russell Targ’s talk, and enjoyed what I saw. I’ll check out the link.

            With intentionality, one thing I learned from long experience is to listen to your intuition before applying intention to a goal. No amount of intention will work if applied to a goal that has no “energy” to it. So the key is to move your energy into those places where you are “invited”. Otherwise you just have the ego kicking and screaming against the world. Obviously you put your energy into the right spaces here, Craig.

            Marcus

            • marcustanthony
              April 17, 2013

              For some reason my comment came out without my name above. But it is actually me. I wrote it on my mobile phone.

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This entry was posted on April 16, 2013 by in Consciousness, Psi Wars, Psychic's Psychology, Stuff about Craig and tagged , , , , .
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