Make Believe

I don’t want anyone to worry about me when they read this post, so I want to start out by saying everything is 100% fine, and this is not a post about any health issue of any kind. That said…

About a month ago, I got some really bad personal news. It was bad enough that I had to leave work and just go home and be sad. I told my wife about it and after a few hours of being sad together, she started asking me exactly what this new future would be like and exactly how it would affect our lives.

My reaction, as it is so often to potentially bad news was “not just yet.” I told her that I hadn’t given up and I had not accepted in my mind that this bad news was actually happening yet, even though we had just been told that it most certainly was. Even though the bad news had been presented to us as an absolute certainty, I told her that before I started planning for this new future, I wanted to do everything in my power to cause it not to happen.

Very much to my surprise, last night I was told that the bad news is no longer reality! Minds had been changed, and the course of future had been altered. Today, I woke up extremely happy and excited.

Positive thinking and envisioning the world that I wanted to create had won again.

I am a very lucky person. I’m married to the coolest girl I’ve ever met, and I have three fantastic kids. I live in a town I love, and I have friends that I truly admire and respect. Running Techstars makes me very happy, because I get to help so many entrepreneurs every day. I have consistently been lucky in life. Not always, but usually.

And all of this was created by me, first in my mind, and second in reality.

Whenever I feel a cold coming on, I tell myself that I will not get sick. I tell myself “Self, you are not getting sick.” 8 out of 10 times, I can fight that cold off immediately. It’s not the medicine, it’s the belief that matters.

Of course, you can’t change everything in the world just by visualizing the outcome you want. But (and this is the important part) I am a firm believer that visualizing the future that you want has a profound impact on the odds of that future actually happening. It focuses your mind and brings positive energy to the situation.

I am pretty sure that this has something to do with quantum mechanics, but I’m not smart enough to know exactly why.

People say that you make your own luck. More and more I believe that this is true. I think that said a better way, in many cases you can make what you believe.

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About David Cohen

Geek. Hacker. Investor. Founder and Managing Partner at Techstars.

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  • http://weddings.storymixmedia.com Mike

    I wonder what Nassim Taleb would say about this post.

    I agree with your premise, to a point, but I dare not get into any religious discussion ๐Ÿ™‚

  • http://msitarzewski.com Michael Sitarzewski

    I totally agree with this philosophy. If nothing else, a positive mental attitude is a great way of life. I try not to react to “maybe.” Reacting to “is” is a more effective use of time. Another helpful tip is to remove the drama from your life, be they people or situations. Great post David!

  • http://www.jakenickell.com Jake Nickell

    Excellent post. I believe this as well ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad to hear that the bad news is no longer a reality.

  • http://jhatchdj.com Jason Hatch

    Brilliant! I believe it too. What is reality without our ripple in the pond and our perception of just what that ripple can do? Imagine the possibilities and you find new realities!
    Great post! I’m glad Micah tweeted it out. I’ve added you to my feed! Looking forward to exploring the archives and to new posts in the future.

  • http://www.stickergiant.com john fischer

    This is my mantra, it works, and I always feel like I NEED to thank somebody. Since there is nobody to thank, I pay it forward. Cpuld this be the merging of 2 based ideas?

  • http://shelby.tv Joe Yevoli

    Awesome post David! Totally feel you on this.

    Also, you’re right, this does has a lot to do with Quantum Mechanics. I have a documentary I can bring you about QM if you want…

  • http://killyourlunchhour.com Jody Reale

    Yep, life is good.

  • http://scratchaudio.com Herbrandson

    I believe ScratchAudio.com will be invited to TechStars… I believe ScratchAudio.com will be invited to TechStars… I believe ScratchAudio.com will be invited to TechStars… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • http://foodzie.com Emily Olson

    I wholeheartedly believe this too. Something recently just happened to me where I stopped and thought, woah I put that out into the universe and it came back to me like I asked. I remember Tony Hsieh’s keynote at SXSW two years ago when he mentioned he asks that question to potential candidates they are interviewing. Are you lucky in life? Helps to filter for the people that make stuff happen. We ask this question in our interviews at Foodzie now too.

  • jessica serbin

    This was inspiring to read. It’s interesting that knowing what you want can lead us to feel lucky when we actually get it.

  • http://nearlynicole.com/ Nicole Glaros

    There is a lot of research done on this topic for sport psychology. In sport you can absolutely affect outcomes by mentally rehearsing with clarity and belief. It’s no stretch at all to say it can happen outside of sport as well. Belief is reality. Whoa….