There is an additional thought to put with that quote. "If you think things will be a certain way, you shift the outcome by those thoughts."
I went to the Oak Bluffs fireworks this weekend on Martha's Vineyard. They are held in Ocean Park, by the band stand overlooking Nantucket sound. It's one of the things that involves large crowds that I enjoy. Thousands of people come with their chairs, and blankets, picnic baskets, and glow sticks... settling in for a fun and festive later summer evening.
This year with the arrival of President Obama and the first family for their vacation this weekend, there were also a handful of reporters and news media.The news media were there looking for snippets of local color to file in their daily reports leading up to the President's arrival. Their press area and briefing rooms are located at the Oak Bluffs Elementary school, just a few block away.
All along the wide stretch of grass people were enjoying the band concert and the breeze that was giving some relief from the 100% humidity that was blowing in from Hurricane Bill as he was moving closer to the South Coast of Massachusetts. The firemen who organize and set off the fireworks each August were hoping the winds would be blowing off shore from the park away from all the gingerbread houses that are set side by side on the edge of the park so they wouldn't have to cancel the fireworks.
There was a blank of low clouds forming from all of the turbulence in the clash of air masses just off the coast. Some people were talking about how bad the fireworks would be because of the cloud bank, some talked about how the wind would keep the sky clear, some people including myself and my friend Robin were enjoying the moment and looking forward to how the cloud bank might shift the colors of the fireworks display.
It was a wonderful example of Henry Ford's quote and my addendum to it in action. Fascinating how people would pick up on the positive expectation or the negative expectation and their conversation would mirror their expectations. It was easy to feel whether they had picked up on the positive or negative. I knew it would color their experience of the fireworks, and for those already anticipating a bad outcome that would be their experience.
My friend asked me what I thought. I told her that I thought it was a wonderful festive evening and that the low cloud cover might add a touch of magic to the color of the fireworks giving them an ethereal feel. That I was here to enjoy the experience just the way it would turn out. Robin liked the sound of that as did the large group of people to our right and in front of us. And the conversations mirrored variations of those feelings as the show began.
The fireworks were terrific, the colors sparkling and shimmering as they passed through some of the low clouds. The contrast between the colors in the cloudless sky and the clouds gave a "Mists of Avalon" feeling. As the display progressed to the grand finale the cloud cover over head dispersed and the sky was alight with sound and color and cheers from the thousands enjoying the show.
As we walked home we could hear the different conversations of what people thought of the fireworks. People's enjoyment or lack there of had been determined by their thoughts about how the weather would affect the evening. Unfortunately there were a lot of people who had expected the clouds to spoil their evening and for them that is exactly what occurred. For the others they had enjoyed themselves immensely and remarked about the unusual colors created by the fireworks showering down through clear and cloudy areas of the night sky.
How can you take the quote I began this post with to heart? How can you shift your perspective and your thoughts?
I made a short video for you of the fireworks display, enjoy it and start shifting how you look at things.