Sometimes that is the hardest question to answer. We have dreams of a better life, or the life we want to be living, but often those are thoughts we let drift around loosely, like fluffy clouds on a breezy day. We admire them. We desire them. But we simply shrug off that we can't have them - because they are unreachable.
Make a list
With lots of coaching, advice and practice I have learned that this is simply not the case. For years now I have been making lists of what I want in my life, what I need to change, what I need to do, and when. If big money was involved, I would scribble the amount (no matter how outlandish) in next to the goal, with the date by which I was targeting to achieve it. This was a regular exercise for me and used to make my husband very nervous.
Here's how it worked for me
I remember concluding that a pool was in order to give my daughters memorable summers while both their workaholic parents did their thing. I estimated that we would need 20K for the pool and landscaping. (I also penciled in another 13K to put 10% down on our mortgage). My husband went on record that he wasn't going into debt for a pool ... and where were we going to get the money for all of that?? I had no reason to think that we would have the cash ... but as my mom had taught me, I didn't limit myself in the dream. Instead - I wrote it down and internalized it. I could feel the desire churning in that special part of my being where my optimism resides.
Within months of making my list, our sales manager left my company unexpectedly and I was offered the position even though I had no sales or marketing experience. I was told that I wouldn't get a raise in my base salary as I was so inexperienced, but that there would be opportunity for bonuses if I achieved/exceeded my goals. That's all I needed to hear.
I worked out exactly what sales results would reap the financial rewards I needed to get the pool. The very first commission cheque I received was for $33,000 - exactly the amount I had earmarked for the pool AND the mortgage payment. Funny enough, even though I was absolutely over the moon to get such a lump sum of money - a part of me wasn't surprised. It reinforced what I had always been taught, and what I knew to be true.
Keep in mind
Over my lifetime I have created numerous lists. Once most of the goals became realized, I would retire the list and create a new one, carrying over any other unattained (but desired) goals. I think some of the most important things to keep in minds are:
- don't get hung up on the dates - if you need more time, so be it. Don't use it as an excuse to abandon the goal.
- don't be afraid to write down exactly what you want - or that it will be proof of failure. The failure is in not setting your sights for what you want, and trying.
- don't limit yourself when you are setting your goals. Get to the core of what you want. For example, sometimes we may say we want a cottage, but what we really want is a peaceful place to recharge. The universe may have something bigger in store for you so just identify what you want - and not the form that would take (if you are not sure).
- nothing is too trivial for the list ... I had getting my molars crowned on my list for years -- and it is still there.
- sometimes we can't see how we could possibly achieve the dream -- but don't let that stop you from dreaming. Decide you want; write it down; internalize it; release it to the universe; and be mindful of ways to work towards it. Set a course and navigate in the general direction. Trust. You may just experience an intervention to get you the rest of the way.
No lecture intended
Sorry if this sounds like a lecture. The post ended up being so much longer that I intended. It's just that I have had such success with this and I wanted to share it with you. The first time it works, it will feel like luck - and maybe the second time too. By the third time, you will know that you are making it happen for yourself.
Honestly, the biggest challenge I have is dreaming up new dreams to add to the list. All of my dreams have come true. Really. And they can for you too.