I sent G an email and requested him to come and see me during office hours. As he walked into my office, I could see that something was off. He looked disheveled and unshaven, and it seemed he hadn’t slept for many days.
“G, you know why I asked you to come here, don’t you?”
He nodded his head.
“I’m sorry Prof…I didn’t mean to, I just wanted to get an A on this course so badly, are you going to report me?”
Report him? What was he talking about? Clearly, we were not on the same page. I pressed on. “Do you think I should report you G?” I heard myself say.
“I know you have to Prof., I just made a horrible decision, and I haven’t been able to sleep since I did”.
This conversation wasn’t going anywhere.
“Why do the most intelligent people in the world, so the most stupid of things?” I thought to myself as my brain worked on coming up with a solution for this boy. All sorts of thoughts of right and wrong, ethics and repercussions raced thought my head.
“G, I can’t make any promises, but I will speak to the Dept. Head and see if I can get you a retest – leave it with me and don’t talk about this to anyone.”
“Thanks Prof. I already feel so much better”.
“Before you go G, I want to give you a word of advice. One should never ever do anything that creates the feeling of guilt. Guilt is a very big burden and it is just not worth it. Put this behind you, everyone makes mistakes, and everyone deserves a second chance.”
I saw G’s face change completely as he heard my words. I guess, he needed someone else to tell him that he wasn’t a complete piece of sh**, and worthless. Someone else had to forgive him in order for him to forgive himself. How many people do you know who are like that? Or maybe you’re like that?
What would you do? Would you give G a second chance?
That story is from more than twenty years ago when I was still in Pakistan and I was teaching undergrad classes in finance and marketing at a local college. I was reminded of the incident because something similar happened to a boy my son knows at school. I was inspired to look at the incident through my Law of Attraction lens.
When G decide to cheat, was he coming from a place high on the emotional scale? No.
He had attachment to the outcome of passing with an A – this took him down the emotional scale. From there he was inspired to an action that did not sit well with his sense of right and wrong.
Momentum was high so he went along with it.
But because he believed that what he was doing was wrong, it took him further down the emotional scale and resulted in loss of concentration during the exam – most of which he could have aced without any help.
You cannot take an action that is not congruent with your beliefs and get positive results. He believed cheating was wrong, and he did it anyway.
Had he done the self-talk to shift his belief and make it right then perhaps his results would be different. Afterall, there are tons of kids who cheat and get away with it, obviously their burden of guilt must not be as large. You see the Law of Attraction does not differentiate between right and wrong. It just matches up vibrations. Fear is a negative vibration and attracts negative results. Absence of fear attracts absence of negative results.
He was in so much fear about being caught, that even though I never saw him cheat he was sure that I had.
His fear was a result of his Inner-being not seeing things the way he was seeing them. He looked at himself and saw himself as unable to ace the exam without cheating, whereas his inner-being believed in his ability to ace it. He continued to feel fear, because when he brought his note into the examination hall, he was judging himself as doing something inappropriate but his Inner-being was not judging him. His Inner-being continued to see his perfection, even though he didn’t.
G’s self-worth ended up in the gutter, because after this incident he could not love himself. Instead of soothing himself and forgiving himself by saying things like, it’s okay I made a mistake, everyone makes mistakes, and besides I will never do it again, he did the opposite. He went on never ending rants disparaging himself. He started finding fault with himself and continued feeling bad, because his Inner-being never saw him as being less than.
It wasn’t until I gave him relief, that he was able to let himself off the hook. People do this all the time. They do it over little things that are trivial in the overall scheme of things. It’s called “making a mountain out of a mole hill”.
In case you’re wondering, G’s story ended well. He graduated and found work in Dubai. Last I heard, he was climbing up the corporate ladder in leaps and bounds.
Remember, anything that takes you down the emotional scale, is just not worth it. Anything that takes you down the emotional scale, is “not” the path of least resistance, even thought it might seem easy on the surface, or make logical sense – don’t do it. Instead do the self-talk that takes you up the emotional scale.
In G’s case, instead of fretting about the exam and going down the emotional scale, he could have soothed himself and gone up the emotional scale. Remember, there is always a choice, and we have free will.