- Religion and Philosophy»
- Non-denominational Beliefs & Practices
How To Get What You Want - Converting Goals Into Reality
Aim to Win
How? Step by Step
Patience and Perserverence
Visualize that you already have it
Mentally say "thank you!" and mean it!
Bridge the Gap
It's all about the Dream
Martin Luther King Jr. started out his famous speech with the words, "I Have A Dream." The question is - what is your Dream? Wealth - Free time - Travel - Beauty - what dreams stir you?
If not a dream then how about a nightmare? Like "I don't want to be fat, old and uneducated". What is it that makes you want to do more than just get by? Only you can answer that.
The first step in making dreams come true is to identify them. For me, that means writing them down.
Can we ask for all this and still more? Of course!!!!! Imagining the waters of Niagara Falls or the white fluffy clouds in the sky. It is all available.
In recording dreams, it's important to not analyze too much about their feasibility. Many times just a small change can produce a huge difference.
Like a paradigm shift, we are just degrees away from new possibilities. Imagine how close the eyebrows are to the eyes. SO CLOSE! And yet impossible to see.
Specialize in Impossible Dreams
Who are we to say what is possible or impossible? We may be poor, short on time, perhaps, or with other great limitations. Never mind. As an exercise in faith, DON'T THINK, JUST WRITE DOWN THOSE DREAMS. Do you want to speak in front of large groups of people? Do you want to live near the sea? Learn how to scuba dive? Ride a camel or an elephant? Just follow your heart's lead - and listen respectfully.
This is the first step.
Your brain may know all the answers, but we want to be happy, right? So listen to your heart, not your head. Desires of the heart will never go unanswered!
Affirmations Do Help
"Thank You" and "I Love You" and even "I forgive you"
Whenever I feel stuck I "thank" the universe for my new apartment, job, or whatever. My receptors are on "receive" mode!
Forgiving everyone who may look like a thorn in the side - just forgive and say (at least internally) "I love you". These are lessons learnt along the way. Most of all, say I love you to yourself. And Thank you!
HOW TO WIN (as if you already have)
- Write them down on a piece of paper, going into detail. Whatever your heart dictates. Perhaps a new job? (In what city? How long will the commute be. Coworkers?) A new house? A new partner (tall? rich? well read?) Write it all down. Once they are on paper they are out of the closet. No more denial. Face the reality that this is what you want.
- Cut the paper into strips so that each "dream" is on a separate piece of paper. Put it in a separate box, whether it's a coffee tin or plastic Tupperware container. This is your Dream Box! *** Take them out from time to time, but don't obsess about them. The main thing is to get comfortable with them. I like putting dates of when these goals / dreams were actually accomplished.
Taking it a step further, use magazine photos to make a Dream Book. I used the address section in my Planner. The type of kitchen, clothing style I want to start using and other visuals were pasted in to remind me of my goal. Visualizations tend to be even more powerful!
- Start thinking of them as in past tense. They already happened! Get comfortable with reaching your goals. You did already, at least mentally. Once you accept it you can accomplish it easily. With that new job that you "got" you can have a different appearance, maybe. Fix the things that are missing (new hairstyle - polished shoes). Stand up tall and be that person that you have already morphed into being!
- Mentally or even verbally, say "Thank You". How? Thank you for the new job. Imagine it -- feel it, taste it. Prepare your closet for the wardrobe you'll be needing. Many times, things happen quickly so prepare now. What we decide will be, will be.
Translating the Seven Habits
This is what the seven habits mean to me, in layman's language:
- Take appropriate action, often and instinctively.
- Mentally prepare yourself for the change you are heading towards. For example, very obese young people who have shed 100 or more pounds are not always comfortable with their new bodies, especially with sagging skin left behind. The first step is to love oneself, before and after the transformation. Get your brain in gear. If your head isn't with you on this you will find yourself sabotaging.
- "what is the most important thing I need to do right now" is a good thought to nurture.
- Instead of give/take, win/lose think WIN-WIN. All parties move forward because everyone got what they wanted! How Great is that?
- Two ears one mouth. Enough said
- Delegate, let those who have strengths use them. What is my best role here. Teamwork.
- Stay fresh. Recharge batteries, recreate, and stay at functional to optimal levels. You know what you need to do - pray? study? read books? All of the above? Exercise? Do humanitarian work? DO IT.
Reading Inspirational Books is A Good Habit
Seven Habits of Highly Successful People
You create success two times, mentally and then in reality. Once the brain accepts the victory, the reality is not far behind.
All seven habits are as follows:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think, and Strive, for win-win situations
- First Understand Others, then seek Understanding
- Synergize through Teamwork
- Sharpen the Saw by Renewing Resources (through meditation, etc.) Humanitarianism.
Why Writing Is Important
A Harvard university study, many years ago, uncovered the fact that only 11% of its prestigious graduating class wrote down its goals and ambitions. However, this 11% was responsible for realizing nearly 90% of the entire graduating class' accomplishments!
Break it down
Whatever your goal is, it helps a lot to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. A person 50 lbs overweight can try to lose 5 lbs a month. Those who want to become vegetarians might eat vegetarian meals three or four times a week. Cold turkey, all or nothing and do or die behavior seems to be doomed. Mart Twain once said, "How do you change a habit? By coaxing it gently down the stairs". Reaching goals can be described in the same way. Step by Step.
If one of your goals is to eliminate debt, the snowball method seems to work well, both emotionally and practically. Build up, be eliminating the smallest debt, then the next largest, and so on. The larger bills can be broken into monthly bills over half a year or so. Small victories can be celebrated as well, if appropriate! Moderation is advised, however!
Ask the Sages
The Japanese say, "If you want to reach the tallest tree – shoot for the mountain. If you want to reach the tallest mountain, aim for the sky“.
Put another way by the famous historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975):
"It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it."
In other words - overshoot your goal. That is the best way to guarantee hitting the bull's eye!
New Years' Day
New Years' resolutions, in reality, are kind of a joke. Once written, they tend to be immediately forgotten. But they don't have to be.
Every day that we wake up, it's New Years' Day. I also write down lots of goals throughout the year, but tend to regroup (or take inventory) in January and in July. The first of July is the first day of the second half. Any sports fan can tell you that a whole lot can change in the second half!
Inspiration and Perspiration
What is Time?
Time is loops around the Sun. Are we the same person today as yesterday? Yes, but more highly evolved. So it's not about time, it's about movement. So keep evolving and let the scenery improve as the main character (me and you) gets more interesting.
What goes up, must come down! Gravity still works, so the efforts you are making will, too.
Great books, CDs that can be listened to in the car or with headphones at the gym, and good friends are invaluable resources to weather the hard times. Good friends are positive people. Just being around them is enough.
Just like the Four Seasons indicate, Winter inevitably turns to Spring. The hardest part of the process is just believing and continuing. This will bring internal toughness, which is not a bad thing. Eventually we find out that we are not dependent on our victories - we are victorious because we never give up!
My personal pattern...
After years of noticing a pattern emerge, here is my personal rhythm (if anyone is interested)
January - fresh start. Lots of goals.
Springtime – keep making patient efforts. Nothing seems to be happening until April or May. "Just keep going" is my motto in these months. One truth I'll never forget is that "80% of life is just showing up." University students who never do their homework can still pass with a low B, high C if they attend and pay attention during class lectures. This stage for me is about disciplined action.
By now, these efforts are becoming a good habit. In other words, keep going. Even so, there are hints of things starting to happen. Nothing substantial, but scenery seems to be changing for the better.
Autumn, Huge substantial changes, usually a shift. Out of nowhere, all those efforts are bearing fruit. It's harvest time. Results are becoming visible. Just like a swan seemingly gliding effortlessly through the water, her busy little webbed feet are pedaling like mad. In autumn, the gliding starts to kick in and the pace quickens to a real race which is very encouraging. A little bit like 9 months of pregnancy.
Winter - a few more hard struggles, last minute doubts and surprising quirks, almost by accident - VICTORY. What I aimed for and had no idea (quite frankly) how it would all come together - actually happened. And looking back, it really wasn't so bad. (But it wasn't always easy!) and So what!!!