The Principle of Cosmogenic Benevolence
The Principle of Cosmogenic Benevolence, hypothesized by Charles Thomas Jr., theorizes how the Universe conspires to help individuals in their quests for success – however they define it. The Principle of Cosmogenic Benevolence posits that when an individual begins his journey to goal achievement, there are certain signs, or reassurances, that he will experience and an assortment of meta-messages to which he must listen and adhere.
We are all, contrary to the beliefs of many cynics, predestined for success. Thriving, not merely surviving, is our baseline, whether we like to believe it or not. Mental determination, focus, persistence, and resilience differentiate those who experience sustained success in their chosen endeavors and those who do not.
Have you ever started something new and excelled rather quickly? Sure, you have. The Principle of Cosmogenic Benevolence is at work. There are five steps associated with this principle – Beginner’s luck, self-efficacy, multiplier effect, tests, and sustained high performance. Instead of me boring you with mere prose, allow me to indulge you in a story.
Step 1: Beginner’s Luck
All of Max’s friends constantly encourage him to participate in an oratorical competition because of his love of language and uncanny ability to speak poetically. For some, prose is the norm. For Max, poetry is all he knows. Max has a rare ability to paint a picture with words, but he doesn’t believe in his talents. He doesn’t believe people believe in him the way that they say they do and feels like they are setting him up for failure…until one day he decides to try. What does he have to lose he thought? Nothing. He did not, however, want to walk through life not knowing and constantly thinking “what if.”
Max walked into the theatre, signed his name on a piece of paper, and waited for someone to call his name. 45 minutes later, Max was on stage and loving every minute of it. His cadence, vocal variety, and linguistic strategy were phenomenal. The judges’ body language indicated that they were most interested in everything Max was saying. He had style and substance. He had painted a masterpiece with words and everyone within earshot of his voice knew it. Categorically, unequivocally, without a doubt, he was the unanimous winner of his first oratorical competition.
The Universe was reassuring Max that he did, in fact, have oratorical abilities and should confidently continue his journey. As SQuire Rushnell (2001) so eloquently stated, God winked at Max to further validate that he was on the right path.
Step 2: Self-Efficacy
After a few more competitions and a few more awe-inspiring performances, Max began to think that he was actually a pretty good public speaker. Self-efficacy has been variably defined as a measure of an individual’s competence to complete a task and/or reach a goal. It influences every human endeavor. Max began to feel that he had much more control over his abilities than he originally thought and also began to realize that he had the power to affect situations. Max’s confidence increased as a result of him internalizing his powerful speaking performances and victories at oratorical competitions. Resultantly, Max began to proactively seek more speaking competitions and public speaking engagements.
Step 3: Multiplier Effect
As Max began to involve himself in more speaking events, he began to get more recognition, more encouragement, more love, and more confidence. The sequence of events that lead to an individual gaining more self-efficacy is what Malcolm Gladwell (2000) called the multiplier effect. Max kept winning competitions, started to achieve prominence as public speaker, and positive feedback from the masses became the standard. The more he won, the more he wanted to win. Max practiced and practiced and continued to win. He became a more effective speaker and his distinction as a powerful speaker increased. The multiplier effect kicked in and Max’s rise in the speaking circuit was meteoric.
Step 4: The Tests
The brightest diamonds go through the hottest fires. The toughest warriors get the toughest tests. Just as Max thought that he could do no wrong as an orator, he lost a few competitions, some casual observers began to mock his style and swag, and the substance of some of his arguments were called into question. In addition, Max was advised by his employer that some of his discussions and interviews were becoming too radical in nature and he was going to have to choose his words more carefully. Max was devastated and furious. He couldn’t understand how and why the storm had come into his life. One minute he is floating on cloud nine, the next minute people are trying to destroy his confidence and stop him from doing the one thing he actually loves and has some skill.
The tests were the Universe’s way of testing Max’s character, resolve, and resiliency. Beginner’s luck ended and the Universe desired to know if he was ready and willing to deal with difficult times and difficult people to achieve his goals. Tests forced Max to think about his successes and failures and engage in a level of self-reflection that allowed him to come to a sense of inner peace that couldn’t be broken despite the odds against him.
When an individual passes the series of tests, they are able to walk proudly, proclaim that they have weathered the storms, and say with an absolute spirit of truth and sincerity that they are willing to deal with those tests so that they have a testimony. The Universe will smile. God will wink (Rushnell, 2001).
Step 5: Sustained High Performance
Max regained his balance and became the poster child of achievement. He moved from not having the confidence to even believe in himself to America’s favorite child. Max, through hard work and dedication, knew that he had the skill and because of his ability to endure, he now knew that he had the will to withstand the pressures associated with goal attainment and wish fulfillment. Through continued dedication to his craft and encouragement from loved ones, Max was able to sustain high levels of performance.
The Principle of Cosmogenic Benevolence, akin to the Laws of Attraction, is as irrefutable as the Laws of Gravity. The Universe conspires to help, but you have to be mindful of the signs, miracles, wonders, and acts of love and kindness that are easily missed if you don’t pay attention to the unexpected pleasures on your journey. Believe that you believe and allow yourself to imagine the possibilities. The Principle of Cosmogenic Benevolence gave Max the confidence to jump and learn how to fly on his way down. No one ever said the journey to success would be easy, but I can promise you that it will be worth it. You just have to try.
Charles Thomas Jr.