Read Part 1 HERE.
That first day, the miracle that I asked for was for my aimlessness, confusion, searching and wandering to be replaced with a crystal-clear vision, diamond-hard purpose, absolute clarity, and total certainty that I knew my true purpose in life. But that wasn’t all that I asked for:
I want to pursue my purpose steadfastly and relentlessly, letting it guide my work, career and calling, and allowing it to direct every other area of my life. And more than that — I desire to pursue my calling with passion and zeal and never grow weary because it is founded on my true purpose in life. I ask God to tell me, in unequivocal words, what my life purpose is, the one thing that he put me on this earth to do, my life calling.
Every night after that first day, I wrote down my list of things I was grateful for. C.S. Lewis once wrote:
I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, working and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.
This is exactly what I did. Every time I wrote, I prayed. Every time I listed things, persons and events that I was grateful for, I prayed. I couldn’t help it. I was helpless. It was through my writing that I reached out to God for help.
I’m not going to lie and say that I felt grateful all the time during this 40-day exercise. There were many days, certainly on those days when absolutely nothing seemed to be happening, that it was a chore to write. But I forced myself to write what I was grateful for, even though many times, I felt like I was faking it or lying to myself.
When it was hard to write that I was grateful for something, I instead wrote, “today, I give thanks for…” because that way, I wouldn’t be lying. I merely wrote ‘thank you’ for things, people and events, because I remembered that ‘in all things, give thanks’.
The ‘ripple effect’
I heard a speech delivered by a friend and colleague of mine from my local Toastmasters club about how the things we do, even the seemingly small, inconsequential things, create ripples in the world. Throw a pebble into a pond and see it create ripples. Throw other pebbles right after the first one, and you create ripples too many to count; you cannot know with certainty how all these ripples will interact and affect each other. Our small acts, whether good or bad, are these pebbles, and their consequences are the ripples. Every little thing we do creates effects and has consequences.
For me, writing every night for 40 days and nights was a pebble that created ripples; every item on my list that I said I was thankful for was another ripple-creating pebble. I had been writing so many things that I was thankful or grateful for that it became impossible to trace exactly which of them created the ripples that would eventually bring about my miracle. Looking back now at that time, I can’t tell you which ripples caused by other people’s acts eventually came back to me, delivering the miracle I had asked for.
I can’t remember how things developed; events took place so naturally and effortlessly that I didn’t even notice that things were indeed happening for my good. Whatever I needed was provided; all that I required was given.
Existing contacts introduced me to other people, who, in turn, opened doors for me, giving me the opportunities I needed. In many instances, I was urged, led, even inspired by what I am absolutely certain was an external guiding influence, to do a specific act, or call a specific person. In many cases, I was prompted to call someone I had not spoken to in years or even a complete stranger. Doing so led to even further good opportunities and opened other doors for me.
Unaided, I wouldn’t have been able to remember every single good thing as it came to me; luckily, I had my writing, my lists on paper to remind me, indelible records that the miracle I had asked for started coming to me from day one.
By the 40th day, several significant things had already happened: I had found three teaching jobs, one of them at one of the most prestigious universities in Sydney; I was getting paid double, even triple what I used to earn at my former job, I had saved a 5-figure amount; and I had plenty of time to plan my next steps since all my jobs were part-time. But above all, the miracle that I had originally desired — to know my true life purpose — had now happened.
When I first started this process, I was scared that I wouldn’t survive, that I would sink. But now 40 days after, not only was I surviving, I was thriving, succeeding, and moving forward with my life!
In the early days of practicing the technique, I found myself faking gratitude often. But now my gratitude had become real. I had learned a truly priceless lesson: that I could create miracles from what I had, starting from where I was. I had witnessed first-hand the truth of a promise that my mother had taught her children to memorize from when we were very young: “that all things work for the good of those who believe”. Indeed, for me, they had.
Try it yourself: 40-day miracle technique
I give credit to Melody Beattie’s 40 day miracle creation method for its tremendous impact on my life. I have modified and tested it to fit my own needs and found it amazingly effective and powerful. Test it yourself and adopt it to your own situation and circumstances. I promise you won’t be disappointed. There are seven steps:
Step 1: Commit to the process for at least 40 days.
Step 2: Answer this question, “what do you want?”. Write down the answers as they come to you.
Step 3: Determine if you’ll go through this process by yourself or with a partner.
Step 4: Decide on a method of recording and communication.
- Are you going to write it by hand in your notebook or journal? Or will you record what you write digitally?
- If possible, write your list within 15 to 30 minutes after you wake up in the morning or the same period before you sleep at night.
- If you’re going through this process by yourself, you must ensure that no one else will see, even accidentally, what you write.
Step 5: Each morning or night, list what you are grateful for.
Step 6: For each item on your list, briefly state why you are grateful for it.
Step 7: List down the people you resent, who have wronged or offended you and who you can’t forgive or haven’t forgiven.
Key points to remember
Throughout the 40 days, do not overthink, or intellectualize this process. For step 5 in particular, don’t over-analyze, judge, censor or edit what you write in your list. Let everything out.
Allow time for things to develop. There will be days when you feel super-charged as you write your list and you truly feel excited, appreciative and grateful for every item on that list; on these days, write more! And squeeze out every ounce of gratitude you can for the good things happening to you. I guarantee, though, that there will be days when it feels like there is absolutely nothing to be grateful for; it is especially on these days that you must write. Make a commitment to complete the 40 days and follow through.
Allow time for things to develop. There will be days when you feel super-charged as you write your list and you truly feel excited, appreciative and grateful for every item on that list; on these days, write more!
With regard to step 7 in particular, give yourself time. Some things, like releasing pent up or deep-seated negative emotions, will take time. Many of us have been burdened by the debilitating effects of these negative emotions for as long as we can recall. Unfortunately, there is no way to rush this: it may take months, even years for resentment, anger, or bitterness to become unblocked; and years for hurt and betrayal to be finally released. And if you succeed in doing this, and the way is now clear for your good to come to you, it still might take time for it to actually appear in your world.
So, take all the time that you need. If you persist, fortunately, the rewards — freedom to finally let all your good in or the appearance of the miracle you’ve asked for — is well worth the effort and wait.
Adapt the 40-day miracle technique to fit your own needs, situation and circumstances.
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