Earlier this week, I had to go get a new ID.
Yikes! I thought. I’m going to have to go to the… DMV!!!
Bright and early MondayuOff I went. It was a typical office, fesaturing bland, non committal walls, and wan, horrible lighting. While the ID was making, my rep (let’s call her Karen) and I started talking about the schizophrenic Virginia weather, her job and such. I learned Karen sits at her desk all day, goes home exhausted only to wake up and do it all again.
Jobs like hers, sitting at a desk all day, doing customer service, can lead to the big rut. You know the one which makes you say things like, well at least I don’t work at the DMV? Looking around, thinking about her spending 14 hours at that desk, I could almost see Karen’s stifled soul jumping from atop those rocks in the picture above.
I told her I was a depression coach, and asked what she did other than work, sleep and work. What was her big dream? She didn’t know, so in two minutes I walked her through the discovery technique below.
Try it out and let me know what you discover.
1. Get a sheet of paper. And a pen.
2. Now sit quiet for a minute, and imagine yourself five years in the future.
What are you wearing? Shoes? Main colors and style? Imagine you are an actor be super specific. Remember what you had for breakfast? Make it real. Ok. Next..
3. Without judging, critiquing or rationalizing, write down the 6-10 life fulfilling pursuits at which you’d like to be successful five years from now. The sky’s the limit, so don’t hold back. Photographer in Borneo? Relax and write it down.
4. Now, look at the list, and rank them top to bottom according to how much fear you have around accomplishing each.
5. Congratulations! The two highest ranked are your big dreams.
6. All it takes to make this dream a reality, is to take ten minutes more and imagine what logical steps came before. So say if you want to be a photographer in Borneo, the prior step might be getting off a plane in Borneo or walking out of your house in Borneo. Now what was the step before that? Just walk it back in steps. Cool, huh?
It’s either a fun game, or a life changing, soul affirming process. The dream made more or less real, depending on how hard you are willing to work for it.
Now I know you hear the naysayer voice. It says, this is silly! You can’t be a photog in Borneo! You’ve got responsibilities! Obligations! Life! Besides, what would happen if everyone did that? I mean, yeah, fame and money would be great, but, that’ll never happen to you!
Sadly, this is what many people (like my friend Karen), accept as cold hard fact. Heck, if I had a dollar for all the blank stares I’ve seen after asking someone to list their, “no limit” big dreams, I could buy a ticket to the moon twice. Most people are so constrained they can’t do it! This is what happens when 1/3 of our waking life is defined by self denial and constraint. We go to a job we hate, work with people who feel the same, doing God knows what wearing uncomfortable shoes, etc, etc. Considering this, “reality” driven climate, it’s not surprising we have ceased allowing ourselves to dream big unreasonable things for ourselves, much less find the time to fulfill even the smallest one.
However, taking 30 minutes to work at your big dream, your why, is not about gaining immediate or relative success. No, it’s about acknowledging the drowning, stifled dreamer child in you, and spending 30 minutes a day refuting the naysayer voice mercilessly tearing you down. You know the one which, forget your big dream, is there at every step to tear apart ALL your accomplishments, and successes. The one ever ready to say you are a horrible this or that, destined always to be. The one which even now robs you of the simple luxury of dreaming great big “impossible” dreams.
Letting the naysayer voice run free in your life, is letting it ruin your life.
I do not want this 24 hour stifled reality for you.
You deserve better, and I want you to have it. Ok?
Commit today. Make it important to feed your soul. Set aside just 30 minutes for yourself, and no matter what, jealously guard your time.
Right when you get home, do the daily “3” to ensure your inner world is strong with self acceptance, and high personal acknowledgement.
This is the Daily “3”.
1.Celebrate every success. Early to work? Celebrate!Didn’t fall down the stairs? Celebrate! Boss tells you good job on the coffee? Celebrate! Woke up? Celebrate like mad!
2. Sit down every day, right when you can, and list three things for which you are grateful. Spend some time on each one.
3. Thank someone every day. Taxi driver, bar keep, janitor, whatever.
I want to help 1000 people this year.
Please drop me a note, and tell me how I can.
If this has helped you please share it.
I wish you all the best.