Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams – Day 331 of 365 Days to a Better You

Have you ever been on an absolute mission to get something done? You’re on a deadline at work or you’ve got errands that need to be done before you can play? It’s amazing how much faster you move, how much more focused you are when you’re on a mission, isn’t it?

Obstacles don’t seem like obstacles because you’re determined to push through to the end. Distractions fade into the background because all you see is the goal.

The great Henry David Thoreau wrote the following in his seminal work, Walden.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

He was describing this state, this zone you get into when you go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Joseph Campbell summarized this idea, “Follow your bliss and doors will open where before there were only walls and where there would not be a door for anyone else.”

Thoreau promises, when you get into this zone, that you will meet with success “unexpected in common hours.”

To me, his reference to common hours here is a reference to ordinary consciousness or our ordinary thinking. He’s describing a state where you’re transcendent, on fire for your purpose.

When you’re in your normal thinking, all you can often see is the reasons WHY NOT about your goals in dreams. When you move into this uncommon state, your dreams appear right there for you. You experience that Saturday morning push to get the chores done, but sustained and in steroids. You’re on a mission and it shows.

One last word about this altered state for success. It’s not a stress-filled Type-A mindset. It’s the opposite. Thoreau discovered this state while living in solitude and simplicity. Stress is the ego talking. “Move out of the way,” it proclaims, “I’ll do it.”

You give up that need for control. You become a vessel for the process. This is the Tao that does nothing g, but leaves nothing undone. This is the message in the Bhagavad Gita to detach yourself from outcomes and just purely and simply act.

You’re not writing a book. There’s a book that wants to be written and it’s using your mind and your time to achieve its end. It’s a subtle but powerful shift in consciousness.

When you let the universe unfold in you in this way, you will go confidently in the direction of your dreams and achieve what you could never have imagined.

Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you’re awesome!

Ray

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Getting Past Fear to Action – Day 285 of 365 Days to a Better You

There’s an old German proverb that says, “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”

You want to build your side business, change jobs, or go back and get that degree, but something is stopping you. Sure, time, money, the ease of staying put are often the easy culprits. Are they really the reasons you haven’t taken action or is there a conscious or unconscious fear anchoring you in place?

Change is a wolf and our fears about it do make it look bigger than it is. Are you feeling a little fear about the change? It doesn’t mean you’re coward or weak, it just means your human and you’ve allowed the wolf of fear to swallow your dream.

Want to know a secret? Most of the time, that wolf is a shadow puppet on the walls of your mind. It’s only as big as you make it.

Powerhack: Here are some things you can do turn stagnant fear into action when you’re stuck.

  1. Just jump – do you remember, as a kid, the first time you jumped off a diving board? You had that same lump in your throat you have about this. You stared at the water, you counted, and you heard your self-talk talking you out of it. Finally, one of your friends yelled, “Just jump!” That was the solution. You shut down your mind and just acted. Before you knew it, you were hitting the refreshing water and rising back to the surface in joy. That worked out and so will this.
  2. Dream bigger – yeah, this one gets a bad rap because everyone says it, but it’s applicable here. Maybe you don’t have a dream big enough to overcome your fear of acting. Have you ever REALLY wanted something? I mean REALLY? You let nothing stand in your way. If this dream doesn’t have you that passionate, dream a bigger dream.
  3. Find examples – maybe you’re thinking, “Someone my age can’t do that” or “Someone in my situation can’t do that.” Wrong! I simply guarantee you’re wrong. There is someone out there who overcame none than you to get what you want. Find them and let their story inspire you.
  4. Past is prologue– you’ve done this before. At some point in your life, you faced a challenge, thought you couldn’t, but did anyway. Remember those examples and be inspired that you’ve done it before and you can do it again.

See, that wolf isn’t as big as he seems. In the face of your determination, he turns into a lovable pup.

Just in case no one else had reminded you today, you’re AWESOME!

Ray

Selfish You – Day 269 of 365 Days to a Better You

It’s not always selfish to put yourself first, nor selfless to put others first. Wisdom is knowing when to do which.

From selfless in the last post to selfish today. Not to worry. It’s the good kind of selfish. Here’s my question for you. Are you selfish enough with your time to pursue your goals and dreams?

This is a hard one for many people. Life is demanding. Most of us have to work. We have to sleep, eat, commute, and run errands. We have family, friend, and community commitments. We’re programmed to say yes to things and there’s noting wrong with that except…except when a big dream you have is constantly the 10th down in your to-do list. That’s a deal-breaker.

When you find this happening consistently, you have to get selfish or say goodbye to your dreams. You have to say a word many of us have been conditioned not to say. That word is no. You have to do it even when people you care about don’t understand.

Here’s the thing. Having dreams doesn’t make you unique. Almost everyone has dreams. What makes you rare is that you have a determination to see yours to fruition. Most people sideline their dreams, allowing life to swallow them whole.

It takes strength to stay on course against that tide constantly trying to pull you away from your shore. It takes determination to keep going when everyone around you oozes, “What’s the point?”

I’m not telling you to ice out your friends and family or shirk life’s responsibilities. I am telling you that you that, if you allow it, your dreams will never naturally rise to the top. There’s no perfect moment when this and this and that is done. There’s no time when you’re obligations are going to green light the time you need to pursue your dreams.

You have to take the time, take the heat, and miss some things everyone else is doing. If your dream matters enough, though, it’s the price to be paid for them.

If that price seems too high, you’re not pursuing the right dream. Find your balance and you’ll find your mountaintop.

I wish you nothing but the best until we meet again!

Ray

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If You Keep On Doing What You’re Doing – Day 265 of 365 Days to a Better You

Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
~Robert H. Schuller

You know the rest of the aphorism, “You’ll keep on getting what you’re getting.” I’m here to tell you today that’s not always true. This quote is often used to inspire people who are not acting on their dreams to make a change and take some action.

You, though? You’ve been working your plan, doing all the right things, and you just haven’t caught your lightening in a bottle yet. You stopped doing what you were doing a long time ago and you’re wondering, “When will I see my results?”

Good for you! Good for you that you had the courage to try something different and keep at it! If you’re doing all the right things, then keep on doing what you’re doing!

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
~Walt Disney

Here are a few quick ways to make sure that doing what you’re doing, will eventually get you what you want.

  1. Test your results – you had a plan at the beginning. Is it working? Do you need to tweak it? If so, what do you need to stop doing, do more of, or do less of?
  2. Time – you may be doing all the right things, but you’re not investing the needed time to get the results as quickly as you’d like. Re-evaluate your time commitment.
  3. Learning – to be really good at anything, you have to keep learning. Are you continuing to build your knowledge in your area of focus? When you “burst onto the scene” in your business or niche or reach your personal objective, all the knowledge you’ve accumulated will be worth and useful.
  4. Investment – are you trying to do the whole thing yourself? With a small investment, could you automate or get some expert advice that will speed up the process and allow you to focus on the most important things.
  5. Distractions – we all have distractions in life. What can you do to minimize yours so that they’re not holding you back.
  6. Mindset – maybe the most important thing you can do is master your mindset. The only person committed to making your dream a reality is you. You may be the only person who really believes in this dream until it makes a splash in the world. You’re the only fan and the only detractor at this point. Which one you choose to be will decide how fast your reach your goals.

Yes! I see you. I see striving. I see you working late into the night or early in the morning around your day job. I see you wanting this SO bad. You just keep on doing what you’re doing and just wait and see what you get!

Love you all. Stay true to your vision of you!

Ray

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Tug of War for Your Dreams – Day 257 of 365 Days to a Better You

Do you remember when you were a kid picking teams for a game in gym class? Imagine the game is tug of war. You’ve been selected as one of the captains. It’s 10 kids to a team, but you have 30 kids in your class. The other captain and you each pick your team of 10 and 10 kids are left out.

You line, grab the rope, and begin pulling. After a few seconds, the gym teacher tells two of the kids sitting out to join the other team. With the added help, they begin to pull your team toward defeat, but your team is tough and you manage to regain your footing and hold your ground.

The gym teacher tells two more kids to join the other team. Now, the other team is pulling you more rapidly toward defeat. Finally, the gym teacher has the rest of the kids join the other team. Your team collapses immediately and is dragged helplessly to defeat.

You jump up and scream, “That wasn’t fair!” You would, right? I mean 20 versus 10 is going to end only one way. If you’re the 10, it’s not good for you.

Now I want you to think about your life and your dreams. You are the captain of two tug of war teams – Team Dream and Team Doubt. These teams aren’t made of people. They’re comprised of your thoughts and feelings. They’re locked in an eternal struggle for the outcome of your dreams.

You begin the match with belief, confidence, action, determination, and vision on Team Dream. You start pulling and you’re starting to win, but it’s not happening as fast as you imagined. You start to feel the doubt creeping in and add a couple of new members to Team Doubt – “What if I’m not good enough?” “This is how things always go for me.”

You start to lose ground and you add a couple more members to Team Doubt. “Why can’t I win just this once?” “This isn’t fair.”

This process continues until your doubts drag your dream mercilessly through the mud. You’d like to jump up and scream, “That wasn’t fair,” but you did it to yourself.

This metaphor is a process the teacher Abraham Hicks calls Contrast. You have your thoughts, feelings, and actions aligned for success, but they’re met by an equal or superior force of countering thoughts, feelings, and actions pulling the other way. You wind up failing or at best in a stalemate.

Powerhack: Logic tells you there’s two ways to change the situation. You either have to provide more force behind your positive thoughts and feelings…which is not very efficient considering you probably were already pushing as much as you could. It’s more effective to clear the doubts and negative thoughts and feelings.

Some of the biggest doubts are what I’d term the journalist questions – who, what, where, when, and why, and how. It’s normal to wonder these things, but because you don’t have ready answers they all produce doubt.

You know you want to be a rock star, but you don’t have an answer to all the journalist questions. How do you proceed? STAY GENERAL and AVOID SPECIFICS. I know this sounds counterintuitive to your western-trained mind. Specifics become blockers and doubts. You get caught up in who, what, where, when, why, and how and you lose sight of and energy toward the goal.

Instead, simply hold the vision of the goal, line up the empowering thoughts, feelings, and actions and let God or the Universe handle the details. As you move along with this positive force toward your goal, the people, places, and situations you need will appear. Trust and allow. You don’t have to release every last bit of doubt. That wouldn’t be human. You simply need to give your positive energy the advantage in the tug of war.

As you release the energy of doubt and resistance, it’s like dropping weights from a hot air balloon, you’ll begin to rise. The more resistance you drop, the faster you’ll ascend.

When it comes to the tug of war for your dreams, simply stop putting members on Team Doubt.

Thank you all for reading and for the amazing support you’ve shown this blog this year. I’m grateful that you spend valuable time from your day here.

Ray

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