I got a Facebook message today from a woman who was a close friend in my early high school years. She asked about what I have been doing in the 30 plus years since we last communicated. Once I got beyond the challenge of summing up my life in one paragraph, my mind stayed focused on the question–What am I doing with my life?
When I turned 50 a few months ago, I told myself that I would be more proactive in creating the second half of my life. So far, I’ve not done a good job with that. While I am doing pretty well with carrying out some short term business goals, I continue to let some long-held dreams go by the wayside. Are you guilty of this, too?
Make Your Dream a Priority
A couple of decades ago I made fitness a priority and began to schedule my life with workouts in mind. When a potential commitment makes itself available, the first thing I think about is how I might need to schedule my workout around it. Sick, maybe, but at least it works in enabling me to maintain my fitness goals. Why has it not occurred to me to treat my dreams in the same way? I know the necessary steps I need to take; I just haven’t forced myself to do the work because I simply don’t make the time for it.
In the scheme of life, seeing my dreams become my reality is far more important than my mission to keep away a few unwanted pounds. What’s up with my priorities? Add this one to my list of “What was I thinking??”
Last weekend I went out in search of a book that could set me into the new year with an inspired focus on the unlimited possibilities that I know are true for all of our lives. I came home with Jack Canfield‘s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. The title perfectly expressed what I was looking for.
Fifty seven pages into the read, the book has surpassed what I set out to receive. It’s not that the principles that Jack Canfield writes about are new, it’s that his ideas are a rare mix of spirituality and business. They’re grounded in practicality and yet they speak to the soul. He reminds me that it’s possible to achieve your dreams, but first you need to get in touch with those dreams, break them down into goals, and above anything else, believe in your ability to bring your dreams to life.
I sat down to do a couple of different exercises, and it blew me away to discover just how vague I am about what I really want from my life. How can I focus on building the life of my dreams if I haven’t focused on what my dreams clearly look like?
Jack Canfield has left me with a number of gems so far:
- Believing in yourself is essential to success. If you can’t believe in your ability to succeed with something, ask yourself why not? Identify what you need to do to feel confident about your ability to succeed and do it.
- Get clear on your vision and create very specific goals. The more definition you place on what you want to achieve, the better equipped your mind is to support the building.
- Make a habit of focusing on what you want to create through visualization and mental review of your goals. Keep your visions and the energy that supports them engaged and fully alive. Review your goals several times a day.
- Carry a written description of your most important goal with you. Make it a part of your life by reviewing it constantly.
If you haven’t already, take the time to create a vision of your ideal life, and break that vision into specific goals. You can never be too clear on what you want to create.
I delivered the pdf file for my upcoming book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live, to the printer this past Thursday. On Friday afternoon something incredible hit me. I am in the process of bringing life to my dream! Holy cow. Why did it take me so long to see clearly what is right in front of me? What was I thinking to expect that one single event would bring my dream to life? It really is all about baby steps.
Three years ago this month, I walked away from a successful 20-year career in the corporate world to follow a dream. It hasn’t been an easy journey, that’s for sure, and I’ve got a ways to go. But I can see now that I am on my way.
Your way to your dream can be found in these steps:
- Recognize that you have the choice to create a different life.
- Believe that it is possible to successfully build your dream.
- Define the obstacles that are holding you back.
- Replace your obstacles with ideas that support you.
- Give credibility to the desires of your heart and learn to trust it.
- Outline your training and development needs.
- Crystallize your vision.
- Identify your major goals.
- Define the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
- Stay committed to doing the necessary work.
- Support your external work with thoughts that help to build it.
- See yourself now in the beginning stages of your new life.
When you are feeling that there must be something more,
it means there is.
How do you go about finding it?
Step 1: Ask yourself if you believe you have a purposeful contribution to make to this world.
You cannot discover your purpose unless you are clear that you have one. You don’t need to know what that specific role is right now, but you do need to believe there is something you are here to do, to be, or to accomplish. Your purpose does not necessarily have to be something that will go down in the world’s history records.
No one calling is better than another. The universe needs us all.