"Everything...is made by mind. If one speaks or acts with with a pure mind, happiness will follow..."
Buddha, The Dhammapada
In the course of our time here as our path takes us towards what some call "self-realization," there is a leveling of the landscape of our life, so to speak, as we get more and more accustomed to simply being alive. That which didn't kill us, didn't kill us. When we look back at the past, the rough features of that daily existence—which at the time seemed so difficult to maneuver—the power of all those dramas we took part in unconsciously diminish and the landscape over which our road has taken us seems to smooth out into a calm, even plain of being. Of what was, then. Just as the future arises unpredictably out of nothingness, the past simply returns to the uncreated, only popping up occasionally like a whack-a-mole when we need to re-learn the same lessons we've forgotten.
The landmarks left standing behind us are just the ruins of those "great dramas" that shaped us, that changed us. Their matter and mass blow away like sand castles in time-lapse photography. We intuitively understand our quantum reality, the way it builds and deconstructs—packets of energy and information that become real when they react with our consciousness, and one another. Nothing is actually solid.
Ahead, the landscape likewise appears even and smooth—except for potential obstacles arising that will only manifest themselves as difficult life-events if we invest them with too much of the wrong kind of energy, and turn them into monuments to future drama, future suffering. This includes the inevitable sorrows and losses of life. The death of a pet; the loss of a romance; a career disappointment; the passing of a parent. But as we go on, we learn that we can avoid a lot of the difficulty in those obstacles by approaching them a different way, maybe with love this time. We can climb to the top of those monuments to past or potential dramas and put them into perspective. We can energize their quanta with positivity.
Look out over the views behind and ahead of you, and notice that the landmarks left on the geography of your past are the same shape and made of the same stuff as those potential obstacles ahead. Become a geographical detective. What do those patterns mean, and where do they come from? Why are they always so familiar? You know you have built those forms out of potential energies, and going forward you know that you can bring anything into being by focusing your energies on it. That's "The Secret."
Once you determine your patterns, you can build your life landscape based on the three great life factors: Karma, Intention, and Ego:
Karma is practically self-explanatory at this point, the average person's consciousness now being evolved enough to almost automatically understand that each soul labors towards it's inherent completion, and the cause and effect generated by one's life or lives determines what's needed to complete the lessons. Life is the result of cause and effect. You have to do something because you have to learn that. Your life sets itself up with certain conditions, the luck of the draw and the seeds that you plant, so to speak. Life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you. It's evidence of the spiritual evolution of our species that this formerly esoteric Eastern concept is now pretty well part of the global mainstream of thought. What goes around gets around.
Intention refers to the fact that we live in that thoroughly plastic, quantum world, where whatever you set the focus of your intention on, and follow the event stream of your life diligently and with passion, you can manifest out of the potentially material field of being. The trick is that you have to show up, keep trying, and believe. There are greater powers at work than meet the eye, and they are quite capable of producing your wildest dream, just as you are quite capable of preventing it by your own resistance and negativity. Which leads to the last of the three, Ego.
Ego is simply the mechanism by which one remains fictitiously attached to the visible, superficial, material aspects of the world. It fears the underlying change, which is life. It's the false self that keeps you out of alignment with The Divine by convincing you that you're separate from it, often because you "don't deserve it," when you naturally deserve to manifest your dreams as much as anyone. If you can put this Ego (judgment and comparison) aside, you'll immediately develop insight to being. Using this insight, life will show you your karma; and then when you focus your intention on following your life, you can take short-cuts along your karma path simply because your soul is learning the lessons it requires for completion. Jung called it Individuation. Some of us tree-huggers call it finding yourself.
"Samsara, the transmigration of life, takes place in one's mind. Let one therefore keep the mind pure, for what a man thinks that he becomes."
Maitri Upanishad 6. 24