Faith is the belief in something bigger than yourself. Not like a polar bear, although yes, that is bigger than you are. Faith is the belief in a higher order, a higher power, and most importantly, that we can interact with that power in a positive way.

So why is faith so important for business? Well, firstly, as anyone who’s tried to start their own business knows, there are a myriad of factors that have to come together to create a successful enterprise. Many of them we can control, and just as many are circumstantial. Faith is the connection between the two. Secondly, while we may not have direct control, we can have influence. Even science acknowledges the mysterious power of prayer. And while scientists may not understand why, they still acknowledge that it’s there. And thirdly, faith can keep you positive, make you more resilient in the face of adversity, and keep you moving forward toward achieving your goals.

Auto-suggestion is a prime example of how this can work. If any of you have read or seen The Secret, you already know what this is. Auto-suggestion is a technique of actualizing yet unrealized events. This could be a promotion, a big paycheck you’ve been hoping for, or a big turn-out at an event. Auto-suggestion aligns with several basic understood concepts of the universe, but it all comes back to one single ingredient: belief. And honestly, this is the hard part. Auto-suggestion is achieved by making a positive statement about a specific goal, and focusing wholly on this idea. The key is treating it like it is already going to happen, and maintain a state of gratitude for it. The goal should be within the realm of possibility, but there’s no reason that it shouldn’t be optimistic. After all, isn’t that the point? By reevaluating your goals as each comes to pass, reaffirming, and constantly moving forward, this technique of auto-suggestion can be a great boon to your business and attainment of wealth.

You may be thinking that that’s nice, but you don’t know how to do that. Remember that the key to auto-suggestion is faith. You have to believe that God, or the Universe, or the Supreme Mystery of the Cosmos—whatever you choose to call it—will respond to you. The following are suggestions for building your faith and auto-suggesting successfully.

  1. Write Down Your Goals – This is one of those simple secrets of CEOs. Write down three or four things you hope to achieve in the coming year. Be specific, but not so specific as to limit your ability to achieve them. For instance, do not write that you want Mr. Bob to write a good review of your restaurant. Rather, write that you want to establish a good reputation for your restaurant. There are innumerable ways to achieve this, and your approach has the ability to be much more integrative. Try to get at what you are really aiming for. Then, keep your list in an accessible place and review it every few days. Even when you know what’s on it, seeing it written down will help you stay focused.
  2. Pray, or Meditate – These two are not the same thing, but they are related because both draw your mind outside of itself, and involve communing with a higher power. Prayer here refers talking with a higher power, and meditation refers to focusing on something in regards to that higher power, (i.e. compassion, forgiveness, love). Whichever format you find easier—and I would suggest doing both—the object of this exercise is the same. Try to establish an attitude of gratitude (and please, pardon the rhyme). If praying, you may speak of your goals, but be sure to express your gratitude for having been heard. While meditating, do the same thing. Focus on your gratitude for what you know you will achieve.
  3. Re-affirm, and Visualize – Remember, the key to auto-suggestion is faith. The Universe will provide, but you need to believe. That means focusing on your goals like you know they will become reality. One way to facilitate this is to visualize. What will your goals look like? How will they feel? Make it as matter as fact and tangible as possible. Having an image will give you something to easily plan for and think back on. And re-affirm these goals often. State them. “I am going to have a great quarter.” Pump yourself up! You can do it!
  4. Be Grateful Everywhere – Here we return to the horrible rhyme: attitude of gratitude. If you want to have faith in something bigger than yourself, you have to establish this as a basic mindset. One simple way to do this is count your blessings. At the end of every day, list three things for which you are grateful. And don’t put conditions on them. Say, “I am grateful I got to work on time,” not, “I am grateful I got to work on time, though it would have been nice to have been there earlier.” That isn’t being grateful; that’s being snarky. Get in the habit of thinking gratefully. It will make you a more positive person, help alleviate stress, and make believing in your goals that much easier. Want an even easier thing to do? Thank people for the things they do. It doesn’t have to be excessive. It’s the thought that counts.
  5. Be Social – Putting yourself in situations with other people. It gives you an opportunity to practice your gratitude, and expands the ways the Universe can respond to you to help you reach your goals. You never know where your next break will come from. Keep an open mind, care about people, and watch as people come to care for you too. Like attracts like; it’s as simple as that.