5 Steps To A Better Future

Living Well

In my 20s, I took part in an exercise where I had to identify my “grandiose dream.” And four decades later, it seems to be coming true. It took belief, boldness, focus and maybe some magic!

My dream was to be “a good communicator of ancient wisdom and universal spiritual principles, making them understandable and applicable to modern-day life.”

It wasn’t going to be easy. As a child, I was quiet, not initiating conversations before age six. I wasn’t encouraged to speak or write throughout school. And now, looking back through the filter of a late-life autism diagnosis, I can see that the challenges to express myself were astronomical. So how was I going to become a good communicator?

Step 1: Forget about what other people think.

After determining what my grandiose dream would be, I never told anyone about it. I’d like to say that I didn’t want to disperse the energy. But really, I believed people would think I was an idiot, because I had no obvious skills.

Of course, those types of thoughts blocked my success, because we can’t manifest anything until we believe in its possibility and in our deservability. I had to take charge of my thoughts, which altered my perspective, which redirected my actions. And that’s how we’re able to positively influence our future.

There were lots of people along the way who wanted me to do what they wanted. But I mostly followed my intuition and did whatever made me feel good.

We can’t have two destinations, ours and someone else’s. And staying on target means remembering that our answers are inside us, while not becoming sidetracked by whatever’s happening on the outside.

Step 2: Be bold. 

One of my friends founded a company and then sold it thirteen years later for twelve million dollars. He said that the most important thing he had going for him was “boldness.”

Over the years, there were times when I let fear motivate me. I’d have an inspired thought and a clear vision, and I’d feel compelled. But right behind that would come doubts about how in the world I could do it.

Some part of us knows that we’re able to create whatever we want. Manifestation requires feelings of expectation and anticipation, which are not cancelled out by feelings of doubt or unworthiness.

Step 3. Drop resistance.

We resist life when we compare, complain, criticize or condemn. Dropping resistance includes figuring out what we can do to improve a situation without needing anyone to do anything differently.

Once, when my husband and I were on a business trip to Madrid, Ron’s back froze up. And we spent ten extra days stranded in our hotel. Initially, being stuck looked daunting, but we decided to make the best of it. A doctor visited a couple times and stocked us up on painkillers. And it didn’t take me long to realize how fabulous room service three times a day could be! Most of time, we just lay in the king-size bed together, talking and laughing. We turned a stressful situation into one of our most meaningful “vacations.”

Making the best of a situation means dropping resistance and finding ways to self-soothe, including relaxing rather than struggling, and being instead of doing.

Step 4: Stay focused. 

Grandiose dreams require grandiose focus. That meant not taking my eyes off my target, while at the same time feeling peaceful about wherever I was in the moment. And sometimes, I was involved in things that didn’t seem directly related to my goal. But they were all stepping-stones.

When we’re on a journey, it’s all right to be halfway as long as we keep looking forward and not backward. I had to keep my energy, talents and commitment pointed in the direction I wanted to go. In other words, my grandiose dream had to become my “life purpose.”

Step 5. Keep validating.

Validating means saying Yes to our self-worth and to life, and not looking back, or second-guessing, or what if-ing. Just getting out there in the mess of life and giving 100%, no matter what.

Why? Because expressing appreciation and validation is the most effective way to create positive change.

Our greatest asset is our ability to live on purpose. That means consciously deciding how we want to feel and think and act in each situation. And as we choose to feel good and to feel loved, our perspective of our lives will change, and that will change our lives. 

Forty years have passed since I naively determined my grandiose dream. Looking back, I can see that I’ve continued to “connect the dots,” as Steve Jobs said. I kept writing, always improving. And I kept studying and practicing spiritual principles, always learning. And in 2015, I posted my first article about relationships and received more than 20,000 shares in two days. For me, it meant that I had manifested what I wanted!

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Author, Blogger, Contributor to Thrive Global, The Good Men Project and HuffPost