We all have big dreams–things we want more than anything. Most of us don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in a wildfire that we will ever get them. That’s definitely true if we just leave it at “having a big dream.”
Dreams only come true if you get involved in them–not by forcing them into existence but by believing in them. Achieving your Heart’s Desire is possible, but not by sitting around waiting for it. And not–like I am prone to do–by flitting from this to that, changing my mind every other week or by forcing myself to keep working on whatever it is I said I wanted when it really doesn’t fit any more.
Sonia Choquette’s book Your Heart’s Desire is a great resource for refining where you are going with this. In a way it’s a workbook, but even more, it’s a wake-up call. (It’s not a new book. It came out in 1997. But it’s every bit as relevant today as it was on it’s publication date.)
Choquette suggests there are nine principles involved in achieving your Heart’s Desire. Quibble with the number if you want (I sure did), but don’t argue with the idea that there are things you can do to help yourself have the life you want.
The nine principles:
1. Bring your dream into focus. We all think we’ve already done that, but most of us haven’t. Particularly in terms of retirement, we couch our plans in vague generalities. “Spend more time with family.” “Travel abroad.” Give back.” These are all going in the right direction–the idea that you are going to do something. But exactly what is still out there in the fog. It might take a lot of time and effort to get down to the real needs that are the basis of your Heart’s Desire. You might even be surprised to learn that what you really want isn’t the thing you’ve been talking about for years. Until you get to your real needs though, you really aren’t on target. What’s important to you? What do you want to do about it?
2. Gain the support of your subconscious mind. Very often, what our rational minds want deeply and are trying to make happen is undone by the subconscious mind working in reverse. This happens when you start to think about what you don’t want–because thinking about anything tends to draw it toward you. Once you’ve refined what you do want, make sure what you are telling yourself is consistent with that. I want to be a successful fiction writer. All too often though, I think, “I will just do this one other non-fiction writing project first.” That’s not a path; it’s a game of hopscotch. I end up wandering all over the place on a trail that loops back on itself hundreds of different ways because I’m not enlisting my subconscious in getting on with what I really want..
3. Imagine your Heart’s Desire. Often, we are so convinced that we won’t get it, don’t deserve it, etc. that we don’t even let ourselves think about it. But–as Earl Nightengale pointed out decades ago “You become what you think about.”
4. Eliminate your obstacles. They are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you should let them stop you. Notice the reality of what you are trying to do and deal with it.
5. Be open to intuitive guidance. Right now, I am trying to settle into a new home. I’ve been furniture shopping more in the last month than in the last decade. It’s great fun, but I’ve discovered it’s infinitely more productive if I am listening to my intuition–my direct line to the divine Interior Designer. Then I find what I really need.
6. Choose to support your dream with love. If you don’t nurture yourself, who will? This is not an act of greed or selfishness. Loving the real you makes it possible for you to give the world far more than what you can accomplish by pushing on as a solitary soldier, propelled by a sense of responsibility or competition.
7. Surrender control. We spend our career years thinking it’s our job to keep things under control. But when it comes to reaching your Heart’s Desire, you must have more than that in the picture. You need to be part of what you want but you also need to let the Universe decide how it’s going to come about. Really.
8. Claim your dream. Finding a few people you trust whom you can talk with about your dream makes a gigantic difference. Commit to what you want, claim it like a first-born child, and then get on with making it happen–in part by enlisting caring people with whom you can celebrate the milestones and heal from the mistakes.
9. Stay true to your dream. It’s the real you, not just something to check off your to do list. Once you get to it, you aren’t done–you’re started.