With the release of his Notes from the Universe Colouring Book, Mike Dooley is inspiring us once again to make our dreams a reality
Once upon a time, Mike Dooley advised on tax for a living for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and when time came for him to spring from the corporate nest, he did the logical thing and became an entrepreneur. He launched a family-run business – Totally Unique T-shirts (TUT) – with his brother and mother, selling T-shirts bearing inspirational messages.
Yet when the decision to close TUT was made, Dooley was at a crossroads. Return to accountancy or coast awhile on the small net profit of the business. Luckily for us, he took the second path and, despite what he has described as many “sweaty, sleepless nights,” he let the universe figure out the ‘how’ of his subsequent life journey.
Dooley started sending inspirational messages, initially to the 38 email addresses he had from the company’s customer list. His ‘Monday morning motivators’ drew a positive response and quickly the mailing list grew to 300 and then 3,000 people.
“I felt a failure after we liquidated the t-shirt company,” recalls Dooley. I was surprised at how people responded more favourably than negatively to my messages, and all I was doing was teaching what I felt to me to be the best way to live.”
Dooley launched the TUT Adventurers Club and embarked upon a world tour speaking about life’s magic, the power of the universe to shape things and his fundamental belief that, ‘thoughts become things’.
With a first book, Totally Unique Thoughts in 1998, Dooley’s career went stratospheric and he has since had ten titles published, including two New York Times best-sellers. Today over a billion motivational messages have been sent to more than 700k followers in 185 countries.
Over almost 30 years, Dooley has become philosopher and guru to followers of the New Thought movement, yet he is modest and unassuming in spite of a legion of fans who fill theatres around the globe to hear him talk.
“It’s been an amazing whirlwind,” he says. “I am having the time of my life at 54, I’m married to a beautiful woman I met in Mexico seven years ago, and we are enjoying being first-time parents to our wonderful 19-month-old daughter. It’s been unexpected and unplanned but I truly believe this wondrous life comes from the universe.
“I think we should insist on big values such as happiness, but not concentrate on how to get there. I believe that there is a divine, benign intelligence in the world and we have to place our trust in it to discover who we are and why we are here.
“I was raised a Catholic but I never found answers in religion and I find it easier to be spiritual without it. The divine God that I believe in has brought people and teachings in to my world and revealed answers to me that are powerful beyond imagination, enabling me to figure out how I can be happy.”
His approach has undoubtedly helped many seeking to figure out the same life questions and challenges, and Dooley offers a curious combination of insight, pragmatism and self-empowerment, particularly in the everyday advice that he offers to his followers, many via questions submitted to his website.
“I feel I do have a very helpful grasp of reality,” says Dooley. “I don’t know how I know so much but I look for practical ways to help people live better, happier lives. I have something to share and people respond to that.”
A further extension of his insights has been his latest project, an adult colouring book which combines his insights and inspirations alongside illustrations.
“It was my wife and one of our employees who spotted the trend for adult colouring books, and when Hay House proposed creating a book that drew from Notes from the Universe, we jumped on it. The project came together relatively quickly and I’m so pleased with the finished result.”
Alongside, Dooley has been touring his 2014 book, The Top Ten Things Dead People Want To Tell You, and working on a new title, Life On Earth, which examines the mysteries of ancient civilisations, secret societies, religion and the power of the mind. “It’s a chance to talk about fun and esoteric topics that needn’t be scary or intimidating if we examine and understand them,” he says.
As his life journey has taken him in many different directions, I wonder what universal thought Dooley turns to as his constant internal barometer? “Thoughts become things,” he replies, instantly. “It sums everything up in the fewest possible words. It’s the realisation that they are not just thoughts, but the building blocks of tomorrow.
“As an exercise, each morning or night, take five minutes to create a visualisation and playfully imagine that your life’s ambition has come true. It’s the starting point to realising your dreams, and after all, that’s what we all really want from life.”
To learn more about Mike Dooley, visit tut.com