“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind” ~Seneca
When you sit down to eat at a restaurant, how do you place your order? Certainly you don’t tell the waitress what you don’t want. “I don’t want tea,” or “I don’t want my steak prepared well done,” or I don’t want to start with tomato bisque.” At least I hope you are not such a frustrating customer. Most normal people state what they do want from the menu and even the specifics of how they want it. “I’ll have the strip steak medium rare,” or “I’d like my salad with the dressing on the side.”
Unfortunately most people aren’t quite so specific in defining their goals and dreams. People tend to wander around with some vague idea of what they don’twant in life. “I don’t want to be stuck in an unhappy marriage like my sister,” or “I don’t want to always be overweight,” or “I don’t like it when I yell at the kids.”
But simply knowing what you don’t want isn’t enough. There are far too many possibilities wafting around out there in the ether of the universe to not be more specific. We have to be more specific or there’s no telling what we’ll get.
The first step is when you find yourself complaining about the way things are going in an area of your life is to ask yourself what you do want. It turns your mental focus onto something more positive. If your waitress at a restaurant brought you tea, and you really don’t like tea, you wouldn’t just turn to her and fuss about the fact that you don’t like tea. She would certainly be confused as to how she can make the situation better. Hopefully, you would hand her the glass and ask for what you do want. “Could you please bring me a glass of ice water with lemon.” Now the waitress knows exactly what you want and can do everything within her power to get it for you.
Do the same thing in other areas of your life. Instead of fussing about how much you hate not being able to pay your bills, clearly state what it is you do want. “I want to have enough money to pay all of my bills and have enough left over to have some fun.” Better yet, be even more specific. “I want to have enough money to pay all of my bills and enough left over to put away $100 every month to save for a family vacation to Disney World.” Now your brain knows exactly what you want and can begin to do everything within it’s power to get it for you.
Now write it down. Writing down your specific goals and dreams will help you paint an even clearer picture of what you want. By using pencil and paper to record the things you do want, those dreams and desires become a little more concrete. Now you can hear yourself say them AND you can read what your own hand has written. Remember that a written contract is far more binding than a spoken one. In the same way, a written goal is far more real and powerful than one that is only spoken.
Don’t limit yourself. If there’s something you want, don’t listen to that awful little voice inside that lists for you all the reasons you’ll never have it. Instead find the voice that tells you all the logic behind why you should have it. Open yourself up to infinite possibilities.
“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them” ~Walt Disney