“Ah . . . my dream . . . where did it go? I guess I lost it somewhere along the way.”
OK – no problem. It’s time for a “do-over.”
Check out these five secrets to clarifying and actually expressing that deep heartfelt desire that lives within you and wants to see the light of day!
1. Zero in on your personal mission in life in order to gain clarity of direction.
I have also described your mission as your soul purpose. In business it is often referred to as your niche or your brand. In career exploration your mission may include a combination of your strengths (skills plus interests) that defines and support your job objective. In life you often hear that your passion that leads you to your dreams. Some others will say this is what you are “cut out to do.” No matter the phrase or how it is described, it is something deeply unique within you, that when verbalized expresses your authentic self in such a way as to “light your torch” and inspire others to describe you as the “go-to person” in that arena.
You have probably thought of this one thing many times. You have probably been wanting to, or in part doing this in one thing in some fashion most of your life, yet you may still feel “off center” or not truly aligned with your purpose. If defining your mission or life purpose eludes you, think back. You might have been inspired by a book, a movie, a teacher, or a course in school, and said to yourself, “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” (Unless it was Superman, who I wanted to be; but he was the only one I am aware of who had that special cape and came from another planet.) And yet, that unique aspect of you may be more visible to others than it is to you.
Secret number one is identifying, then putting on paper exactly what your special brand is, which leads to a clarity of direction. Then as you truly own it and speak your inner truth to others, you gain tremendous power and influence.
Here is the thing about your personal mission: you are unique and have a special role to play in the game of life. When you accept that role, you are engaged in the game and offering your special attributes to others. And whatever it is you are here to give, to contribute, to offer to others, it’s what they need to thrive in the world. So please, don’t hold back. You will also notice that when you are engaged in the flow of giving away your strengths, you don’t lose power. Your strengths actually grow stronger. And very likely, when you are aligned with and “doing your purpose” you will lose track of time. You will be fully in the moment, and feel a strong force supporting you.
For many, the process of coming to know your unique purpose is a struggle. It took me about 15 years to fully get to where I need to be. I kept getting closer, but was not really there until about five years ago. And as life is in constant flow and change, I deepen, evolve, and manifest my purpose to a greater degree all the time. So don’t fret. Just go where your inner voice of wisdom directs. Take action, however small, on the one step just in front of you. Clarity will come; and as you pay attention and gain awareness, the direction in which you need to go will unfold.
By the way, if you haven’t heard that little voice of wisdom (I-VOW) lately, here’s what to do. Grab a pen and paper, get quiet, and ask a question. The write down whatever comes to mind. More than likely, it’s your I-VOW. Ask this source of wisdom whatever you want. Answers will come. The trick is to pay attention, not discount the answer, and take action rather than come up with an excuse, (often fear talking), unless it would harm anyone else or yourself.
Go after your dream by first delving into the inner game of self discovery as it relates to your unique power, your purpose, your unique mission, and clarify the direction you are being called to take.
2. Learn from the past and develop the skills regarding what it takes to succeed.
Much of what we need to know going forward is what we can gather from our own past experience. A good exercise to do, occasionally, is to first write down all you accomplishments, and then your disappointments for the past year or six months. Take a good hard look at both lists, and after patting yourself on the back for the achievements ask yourself what you can learn as “takeaways.” What are the important lessons that will be helpful to remember going forward? And then turn these lessons into three short, positive guidelines to post on your computer. Something like: “Stay true to myself” or “Move forward through resistance” (two of my guidelines for this annual plan year).
But lessons and guidelines alone are often not enough to get you to the desired destination.
I used to think my talents and abilities could pretty much take me where I wanted to go, and that I did not need to further develop my skills. I thought I had all the skills necessary to succeed. But then I came upon some obstacles, some challenges that were new to me as I undertook a new venture along my pathway that is ever changing, growing, expanding. All of a sudden there were lots of things I did not know, and needed to know, in order to “land the life of my dreams.” So I went forward, almost as if I was being led by my inner voice, and started enrolling in those courses that would help me learn the skills and actions I needed to overcome my challenges.
Magic doesn’t always show up on your doorstep. We all need to learn the “tricks of the trade” in order to turn what seems impossible into reality. Just like magicians, we need to learn, practice, and develop skills in order to pull our own rabbit out of the hat!
Going back to school for a course that will lead you to the destination of your dreams is a good thing. And with online courses it is much easier to fit them into your schedule. Just make sure you know exactly the purpose of the course is and what you need to get out of it before signing up. Then again, if you feel called to head in that direction, check it out.
3. Refine your Vision, formulate Intentions, develop your Strategy, and make your Plan. Seems complicated, all these steps, but it isn’t really. There is a flow to it. Visualize a cone. Into the top goes your vision, or what you chose (chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry for instance) based on your desire. Intentions are next: they are your broad desires refined into personal commitments that you want and believe you can achieve. (Critical point here: if you set up intentions without the belief you can succeed in achieving the, guess what.) Because inner creates the outer, start within. You may not know how you can achieve your intentions, and that’s perfectly OK. The how will unfold as you go forward.
A good strategy is also an imperative. You want to organize all the possibilities into a pattern and create a “structured approach.” For example, if you decide to clean house and empty out of your life the stuff that you aren’t using and which is taking up space, your intention is to collect it and sell it or donate those things to some organization or people who can re-use them. But before you start, you need what I often call a “structure for fulfillment.” You need the boxes, the bags, the containers into which you can put all those things that you are letting go. When you finish collecting your boxes or getting the bags ready, you have a strategy, and an organized structure for success.
Next comes the plan: when, where, who, how the emptying out process actually moves forward. For complex intentions, or a vision that can’t be handled in one afternoon and maybe take a year to achieve, an initial plan to get started is what you need. Writing it down is a great way to keep it handy, refer it from time to time, score yourself on how well you accomplished the initial steps, then see what needs to be next (what new ideas come to mind to help you reach the target). And then make another plan! Each year I have an annual plan, and develop monthly goals, which I score and update with my coach who assists me in staying accountable to myself (because it is my plan).
4. Take action on inspired ideas, and stay engaged.
Having a plan, a set of ideas that will lead to your desired outcome, is critical. And sticking to you plan is also of tremendous value, because constantly changing directions will just have you spinning in circles rather than manifesting your dream. So, the plan is a great support system to guide you to the outcome you want. But here’s the rub: your plan is probably a left brain, logical approach to getting you to where you want to go. But life does not always follow the logical path. At times, unexpected events occur, and creativity or spontaneity is called for. So step “lightly” – head down the road but be willing to check out new possibilities that come from inspired ideas in the moment, (probably from your I-VOW). Maybe they will really help; and maybe not. If not, go back to the plan and keep heading down the road you are on.
Achieving what you want is great. Missing the mark is far better than sitting on the couch wondering what would have happened. Life lessons are gifts; learning is one thing we’re here to do. So take action, stay engaged, and carve out your statue from the huge block of marble you were given at birth. If you intended to carve out a beautiful goddess and came up with a bull frog, great! You have an outcome and contributed to the world around you! And who knows, maybe the next guy will find a way to kiss your bull frog and turn it into the Princess of your dreams!
5. Work with a coach to become a master of managing your thoughts, creating results, and celebrating victories.
In my thinking, the biggest challenge we have in life is dealing with our thoughts, conditioned responses, and made up rules we learned as we went through life. The misinterpretations were and are not the problem, however. It is the repetition of them that gets us in the rut we may be in. How to get out of the rut? A coach, or someone to talk to for the purpose of sharing your limiting beliefs, is a great way to uncover the falsity of your thinking and replace it with new empowered paradigms that helps you better see and take action on what you need to do to achieve the results you want.
There’s really big value in having a coach. Here’s why: a coach can support you in not only gaining awareness of your making false evidence appear real (FEAR), but in your practicing and implementing new thinking and behaviors, over time, that get you out of the rut. New momentum is what is required ─ just like a car stuck in snow needs to rock back and forth to build momentum to escape the rut.
Here’s an example of how a coach recently made a huge difference in my life. On a call, he pointed out and reminded me about the use of “Gold Time Management” (a technique we teach at Best Year Yet®). A light bulb went off when it occurred to me I had given my power over to and become a sort of slave to emails, phone calls, and dealing with the seemingly urgent stuff that was really not my priority goals. With that awareness I was able to get back in the driver’s seat, take charge, and turn my focus on what was really important.
In addition to helping us manage our thoughts and demons and invalid assumptions we have made to seem real, a good coach is someone who can guide us in better understanding the “secrets of landing the life of your dreams.” Find someone who can ask good questions, acknowledge your greatness, (big value here because it helps you acknowledge your wins and successes before reviewing your disappointments!), guide you in appropriate action taking, and partner with you in achieving the success you want.
Having engaged my own personal coach is the biggest gift I have ever given myself. And It may be the best present you could give to yourself─ because it’s the gift that never stops giving! Find a coach you can trust, and who will give you a no risk, money back, happiness guarantee. And you will be on your way to making the best commitment you can make to yourself: playing life “full out.”
Finally, please take special note: you very much can have the life of your dreams. Here’s why: not only does your coach support you, but so does the Universe! Where do you think your desires came from in the first place? The Source of Life is really the Big Creator in all of this. You can’t do it by yourself, and you don’t have to. As Mike Dooley, one of my mentors says, “Delegate the hard stuff to the Universe!” See yourself as the pilot of a huge 747 airliner. You didn’t have to figure out the aerodynamics, design the plan, acquire the parts, build it, set up the business; all you have to do is point the nose down the runway and give it gas! (Learning the skills necessary to land is also is a good idea.) You create the vision, align your beliefs, take inspired action in the direction of your dreams, and the magic begins to happen. Believe in the magic, trust yourself, and find a coach here in physical reality that can assist you in winning at the game you are playing.
So to review and summarize, listed below are the five secrets to getting what you want most in life. While at first glance they may look easy, you and I both know it’s a process that occurs over time given strong desire, clear commitment, and diligent effort. And here’s one of the biggest strategies to use along the way: celebrate little wins often, with gusto, and give lots of high fives to yourself! Stand up tall and brag to the world (in the comfort of your home or office). What you are doing, engaging in life and creating newness, is a big deal─ for yourself, and as a contribution to others. Where you are today is mostly due to the result of momentum. To build momentum and achieve outcomes of a new and different nature, we all need lots of self-encouragement and pats on the back.
The Big Five:
- Clarify your direction
- Upgrade you skills
- Organize and strategize actions
- Act and stay engaged
- Discover and overcome whatever is holding you back
Think of this process as engaging both your inner world and the outer world. It’s a dance between the two, and having a partner in the process is the fertilizer that helps your plan come to fruition. By first discovering your purpose, your calling, and putting it into action, you are making a huge contribution to the world. Living your purpose, your authenticity, is a gift to not only yourself, but to the entire world. It does make a difference. And the clues that will help you manifest your unique calling are your desires. Listen to your inner voice of wisdom (I-VOW) ─ not the gibberish, and hold to your vision. Don’t give up on it. See it as complete, here and now. And feel the feelings of success, as if your vision were achieved this moment, in the NOW. The secret of attracting what you most want begins here, in your inner world.
But having a structure to make that happen, and learning the skills necessary to pull it off are all part of the game of life. So find a coach, someone you trust, who can partner with you, inspire you, hold your feet to the fire, encourage you in the face of fear, and walk with you down the path of your commitments in the process of reaching and living your dreams!