The Hamburger Principle*
Updated: Feb 19
Have you ever really wanted a hamburger?
Or maybe you have a sweet tooth and can’t wait for your next donut. Or maybe you really really can’t wait for your next stalk of celery. (Well, no one has that problem, but sure. Why not. For the sake of argument. That way we include the 4 people in the world who get cravings for crazy-healthy food and probably aren’t reading this…Not that I’m jealous or anything…)
So here you are, hankerin’ for a burger or a donut (or celery — sure) and yet you aren’t thinking that there’s something wrong with what you have now. You’re just calm. And loving the idea of having your hamburger at some time in the future. You’re focused solely on the enjoyment you will have, the beautiful feelings you will experience, when you do finally sit down for your treat. In doing this, you have tripped into the process that brings you your heart’s desire in life.
Often, when we think about something we want but don’t yet have, we tend to run through some version of this: “I need it and it’s not here! I better panic! Because I need it and it’s not here! How can I get it?! Think. Think. Think.” And the more you think, the more you notice how much you don’t have it. And the more you notice you don’t have it, the farther away it gets. It’s as if you’re chasing it away by telling it how much it’s not there. But what you focus on multiplies. What you think about, you create. So, focusing on lack - even saying to yourself, “I don’t have a burger right now” — multiplies the state of non-burger-having-ness.
Now, somehow, with a hamburger, there’s usually no panic. There’s no fear that there may not be enough hamburgers in the world (or donuts or celery — you see where I’m going). And you have every confidence that this burger-donut-celery will be coming one day. You trust the universe will be able to get its act together enough to deliver your treat to you in due time.
With this calm certainty, you relax. You’re free to imagine all the beautiful details of eating this item with full pleasure and gentle patience. You know it’s coming. You can feel it. And you savor it as if it’s there. In fact, science tells us that your brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and a well-imagined thought. So, to your brain, this is actually happening now. (Super-neat-o trick.)
This process you’ve stumbled upon is how it works. This is how you draw to yourself what you truly want: Start by creating a beautiful image of the thing you truly want. Allow this beautiful image to generate good feelings. As you deepen and expand those good feelings, as if this beautiful image was yours right now (which it is), you radiate the energy that can usher more of this good feeling into your life – whether it be through more hamburgers or more friends or a turn of fortune.
Using this practice, you can guide yourself in a direction you want to go while at the same time NOT focusing on the fact that you’re not there yet. With not a hint of worry. Not a thought of lack. Just a clear focus on how good it would feel to be there now. That is enough to create the energy in you that starts the ball rolling and ends with you receiving a delightful energetic match.
In other words, it’s just like dreaming of a hamburger.
*Originally printed in the Redding Sentinel, Redding, CT, on September, 2022.