You create nearly all of your life experiences—although you may be unaware of the role you play in their creation. There are three ways we generate our experiences: creating, promoting, and allowing. I first heard this concept at an Insight workshop in 1982, and it’s a valuable tool for recognizing the role you play in creating your life. By looking at events through this lens, you can see how your actions influence them.
Here’s an example. You’re going to a ball game with a friend, and you’re both standing in line to get your tickets. A teenager cuts in front of you and it turns into a confrontation. Below are behaviors that depict the three types of creation.
Creating. You say something hostile to the teenager. “Hey, kid, this is a line. Step to the back.” And his father, who was holding his place, screams at you: “Hey, shut up!” It escalates into a fight and you get hurt. You initiated that situation through your words—you created the situation.
Promoting. Your friend, who’s in line with you, is the one who says, “Hey, kid, get in back.” The boy’s father screams at your friend: “Shut up, you idiot!” Your friend threatens to punch him and you say to your friend, “Yeah, smack him!” It turns into a fight and your friend gets hurt. You promoted that situation by encouraging your friend to attack the other person, thereby helping to create it.
Allowing. Another bystander steps up to the teenager, pushes him out of line and says, “Hey, kid, you broke into this line.” A scuffle ensues and the teenager gets hurt. You stand by and take no action to stop it. By doing nothing, you’re allowing that situation to unfold.
Take any situation in which you felt victimized. If you look carefully at the situation, most of the time you’ll find it relates to something you did or said—or failed to say or do. Your actions created the situation, promoted it, or allowed it. These three levels of creation are effective tools for understanding your past, and recognizing how the law of cause and effect plays a major role in your life.
To see the role you played in a situation, ask yourself: What did I do to create the situation, to promote it, or to allow it? Once you start looking at the world this way, you’ll get a clearer picture of the role you play in every situation of your life. As events unfold, be aware of your actions. With everything you do, ask yourself: What is this the result I want to achieve? One note: As you go through this self-evaluation process, don’t beat yourself up for situations you’ve created, promoted, or allowed. Remember, we’re all doing the best we can at any given moment. By understanding your actions and taking greater responsibility for your behavior, you’ll begin to see that you are, indeed, the creator of your own life.