Human beings are amazing creatures. We are born with the ability to stare truth square in the face and not see a dang thing. Our presence has graced the earth for at least one million years, yet only five hundred years ago we still thought it was flat. A hundred years ago, people could still be heard saying, “If God had wanted us to fly, He’d have given us wings!”

All of which begs the question, what are we still missing? What timeless truths and principles that have been around a lot longer than us might we still be blind to?

I know at least one of them—and you know it too.

Ever heard the expression, “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it”? You probably believe it contains some element of truth, right? But have you ever tried to figure out just how or why it could be true?

Having a mother who always inspired me to dream, I have thought about it a good deal, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there is indeed a principle at play in the universe that turns wishes into reality. In fact, it’s the exact same principle that powers positive thinking and explains why creative visualization is an exercise practiced around the world, extolled by sports heroes and politicians alike. In three simple words, that principle is this:

Thoughts become things.

Not figuratively, literally. Not sometimes, all the time. And not just our positive thoughts, but also the other ones, because this principle is rooted in an immutable law as rigid, predictable and dependable as gravity.

I have had quite a few experiences of this principle working wonders in my life; perhaps my favorite one began just two years after college. I was working for Price Waterhouse and had finally reached a place where I could think thoughts about “thriving” in the world instead of just surviving. One of the things I did to help me with this was create a little scrapbook. I took plain sheets of paper and onto them I pasted pictures from magazines of “things” I wanted in my life—a nice watch, a fancy car, a condo, a custom home—as well as photos of destinations that I’d one day visit—London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Seeing myself in those pictures, I used my scrapbook to visualize the life of my dreams.

I did this simple visualization exercise faithfully every day and two weeks later…nothing happened. Two months later, still nothing. In fact, it was about ten months later, while attending a conference in Washington D.C., when I learned for the first time that every single year Price Waterhouse sends a few select people overseas on foreign assignments.

You guessed it. Just six weeks later, I was living in the sunny capital…of Saudi Arabia!

Now to some, Saudi Arabia might not sound like a dream come true, and I have to admit, I hadn’t spent one moment of my time seeing myself living in the Middle East. But I had been visualizing the life of my dreams, and I don’t think anything could have taken me there quicker at that time in my life than that eighteen-month tour of duty to Riyadh. While I was there, not only did I receive some serious “hardship” pay, I also accrued three months of paid time off, along with a hefty airfare allowance I could use to go home every six months or fly anywhere else my heart desired.

During those three months, I visited every place on the planet that I had dreamed of visiting—Africa, Greece, Australia and the Himalayas. I’ll never forget the morning in the Regent Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong, when I looked up from my breakfast through the two-story glass windows in front of me and saw the exact same view of Hong Kong Island that I had cut and pasted into my scrapbook just two years earlier.

I could share a lot of other stories like this—as well as a few sad ones—all illustrating how my thoughts have unfailingly become the things and events of my life. And you could do the same thing! Because it is an immutable law that governs all of our lives, whether we know about it or not.

What happens when someone throws a ball into the air? It comes back down. Why? It has to; it’s the law of gravity.

In order for that ball to come back down to earth, does it matter who threw it? How old or young the person was? Where or whether the person went to college? How popular or good-looking? No. Nothing matters once that ball is thrown in the air, because as it leaves the person’s finger tips, universal law takes over.

That’s exactly what happensonce you choose your thoughts—so choose them wisely!

Thoughts become things—whether you’re visualizing or just day-dreaming, thinking the good thoughts or worrying on your way to work. Recognize this principle and understand its function in your life. Begin using it deliberately, turning your wishes into reality and living the life of your dreams. Whatever it is you most want lies only a thought away.

MIKE DOOLEY is the author of six books and the
audio programs
Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living
Your Dreams and Leveraging the Universe & Engaging the Magic.
Mike Dooley is a featured teacher in
The Secret. This article is from
Mike’s award-winning Toastmasters competition speech, a video
of which can be viewed at