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Mike Dooley: The Power of Thought
Follow Your Bliss
One of my favorite spiritual sayings comes from the Islamic Tradition: “Trust in Allah, but tie up you camel.” This week’s Awakin Call guest, Mike Dooley, isn’t religious, but he offers a similar path. Mike reminds us that “we are spiritual beings; we are eternal beings…literally the eyes and ears of God,” but we can’t just sit back passively in this realization. “Once you got the end results clear in your mind, you have to physically do something.”
Ironically, much of this conversation on the power of thoughts had to do with going beyond our minds and doing things in the physical world. Dooley’s guidance on this path comes from years of experience honing into the Universal flow and literally putting his money where his mouth is.
Mike Dooley is a former PriceWaterhouseCoopers international tax consultant, turned entrepreneur, who’s founded TUT, a philosophical Adventurers Club on the Internet that’s now home to over 700,000 members from over 185 countries. His inspirational books emphasizing spiritual accountability have been published in 25 languages and he was one of the featured teachers in the international phenomenon, The Secret. Today Mike is perhaps best known for his free Notes from the Universe emailings, social network postings, and his New York Times bestsellers Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams and Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life’s Magic.
Mike’s journey to his current success and alignment has not been without its challenges. In 1989, Mike along with his mother and brother, launched TUT (then it stood for "Totally Unique T-shirts," now it stands for "The Universe Talks") selling t-shirts and souvenirs to tourists out of a pushcart in Orlando, Florida. “The three of us had a very hard two years. I had no income. None of us had income the first year. Andy had another job, my brother, so he could make ends meet. I had my little savings. My mom had a little savings. The second year, we made $12,000 each which was reflective of how poorly things were coming together. The third year, our little company grows to over a million dollars, and then we were eventually in every US department store. We had wholesalers and distributors around the world.”
Yet this was not Mike’s dream or his bliss, so after growing the company for 10 years he and his brother liquidated the business. This left him without a career at 39 years old. He had huge doubts about his life, his path, his career, and his dreams: “People talk about not having a light at the end of the tunnel. I had no tunnel. I was truly rudderless.”
Mike had no idea what comes next, but he knew he had to do something. In his motivational talks, he tells audiences, “Assess your sucky options, give yourself a deadline like one week, and choose the least sucky…If you want to change this plane of manifestation, you have to physically do something about it.”
Using the email addresses he, his brother, and mother had collected from visitors to their retail stores, Mike started sending out "Monday Morning Motivators" (inspirational poems taken from his bestselling t-shirts). These weekly emails soon became daily emails, which finally evolved into Notes from the Universe — short and humorous reminders of life’s magic and our divinity. What started in 1998 as an email sent out weekly to 38 addresses has since blossomed into today's daily Notes from the Universe, sent to over 700,000 subscribers in 185 countries.
Mike uses his personal story to guide others on how to create the life they always dreamed about: “even if all you have are sucky choices, and no idea of what is the right way, and nothing else to go on, no career momentum, it’s plenty. It is plenty.”
Having lived his philosophy and seen the results, Dooley emphasizes the power of thoughts: “our physical being doesn’t receive what’s around us, it projects it in place. Thoughts becoming things, the law of attraction, the power of positive thinking, creative visualization hints at the absolute modus operandi that makes our world spin.”
The power to harness these thoughts is available to everyone. Mike believes that all of our experiences, even what some might consider tragedies, are part of the divine plan to lead us to our bliss. “whenever the unexpected lands on our path--getting fired, or coming down with a disease, or an ailment, or other such turbulence--whenever we have a wonky manifestation, as I said earlier, it would always be a stepping stone on a path to another place that we had been thinking of. The best way to get there was through this wonky manifestation, whether it was disease or anything that would otherwise be thought of as not desirable.”
Without using the word, Mike is a strong believer in faith: “We can’t always see the gift, but we can otherwise deduce that we are spiritual divine beings, that there’s order and love beneath everything, and that one day, all things will become known. For right now, whatever anybody is going through, they just need to deal with it, and yes, accept the fact that in one way or another, they created it.”
When we take responsibility for our present circumstances, we have agency to create a new reality. Mike believes in the power of thought in any situation: “Visualizing will often seem like pathetically insufficient when your life is in turmoil. Do it anyway. “
Awareness of this power of thought allows individuals to pursue their dreams. Dooley subscribes to Joseph Campbell’s famous phrase, “follow your bliss.” In a roundabout way, Mike found that following one’s heart leads to a life of service: “When we follow our bliss and shine our light, you can’t not be of service.”
Dooley’s free daily Notes from the Universe reminds over 700,000 individuals around the world that we are all special, that every life is meaningful, and that we’re all here to learn that dreams do come true.
Without these reminders a large portion of the population can fall prey to the cultural conditioning that perpetuates fear, hopelessness, and scarcity: “how important it is that every single human being ask the hard questions like, who the hell am I? How did I get here? What can I do with my life, and how can I do it? If you don’t ask those questions, you’re going to live according to other people’s answers. Generally, other people’s answers at this day and age, at this juncture are not that empowering: that God is angry; that we’re guinea pigs; that we’re being tested, judged, and sentenced; or ridiculously, that life is a random chance accident.”
According to Dooley, when we ask the hard questions we realize that “we are immersed in miracles” and “God is infinitely more than I [we] can ever be able to grasp.” Eternally optimistic, Mike summarizes it this way: “Absolute love, goodwill surrounds us all, and we are pushing in to greatness every day.”
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