As a university student I used to have a very strict teacher who repeatedly delivered the following piece of advice to the class: Expect the best and prepare yourself for the worst.
This teacher was a renowned neurosurgeon who taught courses on the intersection between physiology and psychology. One of his methods to make sure that students were studying on an ongoing basis, and not only for the final exams, was to give surprise exams. These surprise exams would count for a 10% or 20% of the final grade, so they were quite important. I remember occasions when we would have two surprise exams in a row, precisely because it was so unexpected. Those of us who had the habit of studying on an ongoing basis would do well on these exams. For others it could be a bit stressful. Or more than a bit… some students would leave these exams in tears!
In this article I will discuss how the piece of advice Expect the best and prepare yourself for the worst applies to succeeding in life. At the time I didn’t realize the depth of it – now I do.
Your life experience unfolds in two registers simultaneously
Here’s a secret to life that may be eye-opening to you: your life experience unfolds in two registers simultaneously. On the one hand – and this is the obvious one – your life experience unfolds in the mind-made reality that we habitually call “the world”. The mind is closely linked to the eyes, so the mind-made reality emphasizes what’s visible. In short: what is visible exists – what is invisible, doesn’t. That’s false, of course, but that’s the logic of the mind.
This premise becomes even more evident in the virtual world that humans have created for themselves: the internet. As soon as you connect to the internet, an infinity of visual stimuli tries to captivate your attention. This goes both ways. You too are probably trying to captivate the attention of others, by being visible in spaces where your audience hangs out on a regular basis.
The other register is the Universe. As humans we are holistic beings, and the Universe is constantly interacting with us and inviting us to dance. However, if we try to understand this through the logic of the mind only, we are likely to stumble upon some difficulties.
First of all, because the hints from the Universe are visible only when we stay alert and are receptive to this kind of communication, we easily miss them. Secondly, because the mind is excessively reliant upon the visual aspects of things, it can be manipulated. Think of all the tools available out there – starting with Photoshop – to manipulate images to make them look better. However, the Universe cannot be fooled. It looks at things through the vibration that they emanate. It couldn’t care less about the appearances at the surface, which is the register of the mind.
Staying alert is key
Staying alert is key for success in both registers. If you don’t stay alert, you will miss out on fabulous opportunities that the Universe is presenting to you – and you might be taken advantage of in the mind-made world. In previous articles available here and here I discuss and demonstrate how untrained minds operate under a mindset of lack.
Because the vast majority of humans still operate under a mindset of lack, humans live in fear. Fear leads to all kinds of difficulties and suffering, and it can be hard to know in whom you can trust. Therefore it’s paramount to prepare yourself for the worst, as the title of this article suggests. Preparing yourself for the worst will help you overcome any obstacle, even if your worst-case scenario doesn’t actually manifest. If you are not prepared, when challenges come, they might pull the rug from under your feet.
That being said, you don’t want to focus on problems either. You want to be aware so that you can take action as needed, but without giving problems or challenges too much attention. Your attention is your life energy, and the best use you can give it is to focus on creating your dream life.
Therefore, it serves you well to focus on expecting the best, as the title of this article also suggests. The Universe cooperates with us in everything we do, however, it’s neutral. This means that it abstains from judging our decisions and actions. Whatever we focus upon, the Universe helps us get more of – whether we focus upon something that we perceive of as desirable or undesirable. It’s up to us to learn how to use our powerful focus wisely.
As you learn to master your focus, you learn to master your destiny
Think of how cookies work in the internet-world. When you give attention to a particular site or product, you’ll notice that it starts appearing everywhere. Web advertising has made visible an aspect of how the Universe operates: we are being held accountable for everything we do! Even for where we direct our gaze, as briefly as it may be.
This realization can feel frightening at first. But it’s also incredibly liberating, because as you learn to master your focus, you learn to master your destiny.
My teacher at the university must have known this. Why else would he insist on this piece of advice? You see, the best teachers are not the ones who teach everything they know to their students. The best teachers generously share their expertise and experience, but they also plant seeds for students to keep learning years after their course is finished. I don’t remember all of my teachers from university. I do remember this neurosurgeon for his precious advice on how to succeed in life. In truth, as long as we are alive, we remain students.
About the author
Susanna is a Highly Sensitive Writer, Energy Worker, and Psychologist on a mission to help raise Human Consciousness. She offers 1:1 sessions as a certified Emotion Code and Body Code Practitioner, as well as group workshops about Conscious Manifestation.