ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS — First Step First
By Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “A person is just about as happy as he/she
makes up his/her mind to be.”
Too often, people want to achieve something because they think the achievement will make them happy, or others will finally respect them, or they can finally say “I’m OK after all because I did this.” The exact opposite is true. While there are a variety of blocks that may keep people from achieving their dreams, the primary one is looking to something “out there” to validate you as a person and make you happy. Happiness comes from the inside. So the first step to achieving your dreams isn’t an action step at all — it’s a “being” step. You are a human being, and your most important task is to be happy right here, right now.
You have no doubt heard this refrain in other ways: learn to love yourself, develop high self-esteem, recognize that the grass is green right where you are, stay in the moment. And no doubt you intellectually agree whole heartedly. But the question is: do you actually live as though you believe it? When asked, most people will admit that they don’t. It’s another concept that’s easy to agree with, but not so easy to actually live. Why the discrepancy?
The discrepancy happens because the old beliefs about what you need to do or be to be OK are so deeply ingrained. In our society, the doing and achieving are highly valued. But when you truly accept yourself, you release an enormous energy that was tied up in worrying about whether you were good enough! Many people have achieved their dreams by doing something that is contrary to what society dictates. For example, a harried executive who dreams of a more peaceful life and takes a pay cut to follow that dream.
A few years ago while traveling in England, my partner Rick and I encountered the happiest bus driver in the world. (OK, there may be a happier one, but it would be hard to imagine.) Actually, he was the ticket taker. In England, they have assistants on buses that take the tickets and bring around beverages and snacks (which you pay for.) This man was so happy that some of the passengers looked at him as though he were crazy because it was so unusual to meet someone so jolly in a job most would consider lowly. However, this man really made our day, and reminded us that happiness is a state of being and mind.
Sometimes people worry that if they’re happy right where they are, there won’t be any impetus to do something else. Again, the opposite is true. The happier you are right now, the more energy and creativity you have for more.
From my perspective, achieving your dreams isn’t limited to career and success. What are your dreams for a relationship, friendships, prosperity, health, and traveling? Truly following your dreams in heart-based, not ego based.
While you’re in the process of creating and taking action steps toward your dreams, ask yourself:
How can I be of service today right where I am?
What can I do to love/respect/accept myself more today?
Am I willing to choose happiness today?
How can I make the world a kinder, gentler place today?
There are thousands of processes, techniques, and workshops available to help
you change your life. The ones you need will come into your life at the right
For this first step, learning to be happy with who you are and where you are right now, I recommend you use a technique called “mirror work”, popularized by best-selling author Louise Hay in her book, You Can Heal Your Life. Go to the mirror every day and look into your eyes, and tell yourself, “I am willing to love and accept you right now. I am willing to be happy with myself right now. I’m willing to be happy where I am right now. I am OK just the way I am right now!” Say this from your emotional level, and be willing to believe it!
Patricia Crane, Ph.D., is the author of Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations. It is available on amazon.com or at www.heartinspired.com, or through local bookstores. Patricia also trains workshop leaders. Go to www.hylteachers.com for details or call (800) 969-4584.
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