Another Brick in the Wall & other reasons you should stop thinking small

There’s a really fascinating optical illusion of a brick wall buzzing around the internets. I won’t tell you what you’re missing in the image because I refuse to spoil the fun of figuring it out for yourself.

I stared at this for a solid 90 seconds hoping to see what I was missing. My mind kept jumping to false conclusions, “what about this? …might it be that?”

I clicked away to a new tab (I have a terrible attention span for things that are difficult for me, but that’s another whole essay), then clicked back to the Huffington Post article, which I knew contained a spoiler at the end. After at least another minute (maybe I should have given it longer) I quit and scrolled down to the “reveal.”

Scrolled back up, and now that I knew what I was looking for…


There it was. Clear as day.

Click away. Click back. I can’t NOT see it.

Isn’t it interesting that when I was looking at the brick wall, all I could see was a brick wall? Not really. It makes sense.

Coincidentally (or not, because coincidences are just the universe confirming we’re on the right path), I had a particularly challenging (read: shitty) afternoon of metaphorically staring at a wall.

I freelance, and while I am grateful to have regular clients that cover my baseline, any extra income is dependent on finding additional work. I recently had a small handful of projects fall through or get canceled leaving me unpaid and slightly more stressed about money than I normally sit.

My work is highly seasonal, and thinking about the next few months was like staring at a massive brick wall… not a lot of options.

And then I noticed the illusion.

Because when you’re looking for something, you find it.

Just over two weeks ago I had felt a surge in ideas of ways to improve my business, start new ones, and propel me forward on my pursuit of an empire. Over the course of a few hours, I wrote down dozens of options, wishing I only had time to do them all.

A few mornings later, while getting coffee with a new friend, I excitedly shared with her how pumped I was feeling about constructing said empire aka. making money & getting paid.

In the literal exact moment these words came out of my mouth I spotted a bill on the ground about 6 feet away. I got up to pick it up — sweet! $5. With no obvious owner, we decided I should keep it, since I’m on a quest to build wealth.

As I continue to talk about how I have this feeling big things are coming my way I glance over and $5 turns into $50. There are three more bills, and my friend and I gape in disbelief at the serendipity. We split it (it was 2-$20s and 2-$5s… you can’t tell me that wasn’t meant to be) because it was clearly a literal gift from the universe. I mean, it basically fell from the sky.

To be completely honest, we probably could have looked a little harder for the owner, but we were outside an empty coffee shop first thing in the morning. Plus, there is something undeniably curious about the fact that as I vocally said, “I’m looking for more money” that is EXACTLY what I found. Funny how that works.

So my point is, you see what you’re looking for. You find what you seek. You get what you ask for.

Our minds so easily focus on the obstacles that we perceive are in our way. We are so quick to place walls around our possibilities and hone in on things that could go wrong or why something might not work. But these obstacles quite literally only exist in our minds. The are real inasmuch as the are thoughts; but they do not exist in an external reality.

The thing is, once we see the ‘other object’ in the picture (so hard for me not to tell you what it is right now) or the money lying in front of us, we can’t not see it. It’s all we see. And I think the same is true in our lives. The second we can look past the wall and fully imagine our greatest potential that is what we see and it creates a tunnel-vision-focus affecting how we spend our time, whom with, and what we do.

As our entire behavior changes, we gain immense confidence and can take more risks because we’re not looking for failure. And the more we look for that positive future, the right people, or the best opportunities, the more we continue to find them.

Like the frequency with which we hear or see a new word right after learning it.

Look around the room & mentally note all of the red things you see.

Now close your eyes and tell me all of the yellow items in the room.

Right? You probably don’t remember very many of them because that wasn’t what you were looking for.

Everything in life functions the same. When you stop staring at the metaphorical ‘brick walls’ and ‘red things’ in your life and open your eyes to what else exists, these are the things that come to you.

So stop seeing red and start seeing success.