Painful, isn't it? Being stuck in a job that's sucking the life and soul out of you and not knowing how to go about creating the sort of life you actually want.
Occasionally, whilst sitting hunched over your desk, a wild and crazy idea comes to you about what your life might be like.
Maybe you picture yourself waking up happy in the morning.
Maybe you picture yourself writing in a café somewhere, working on your first book.
Maybe you picture yourself travelling the world.
Maybe you picture yourself opening up a little shop somewhere.
Or maybe you picture yourself out in the world, saving the Rhinos.
But whatever it is, it's too far fetched and you're just dreaming. "How could I ever make that happen?" you ask yourself.
So you sigh a deep sigh and shut down the dream. Better get back to the real world, right? The most you can really dream about is leaving the office on time on Friday evening.
This is the cycle I was in for years. Flashes of a fantasy life that I'd immediately bat away.
But it was possible. It is possible.
And today I'm going to share with you the simple 3-step process I've followed again and again to create everything that exists in my life today.
There's no magic bullet to create what you want overnight, but if you just allow yourself to follow these 3-steps, I guarantee they'll take you some place exciting.
STEP ONE: DREAM
Let's get back to the office. There you are, sitting at your desk, your mind wandering to a fantasy life.
And then SLAM.
You shut it down.
Back in its box.
Stupid, you say.
Not possible, you think.
This is the first mistake: Not allowing yourself to dream.
If I want to live a dream life it makes sense that I have to start by dreaming: something that feels out of the ordinary and a little bit out of reach.
Dream lives aren't created from what you already know and think is possible. Doing only the things you think are possible is what got you here in the first place.
Instead of picking from the limited menu of what you know, it's essential to start allowing your fantasies and dreams to come into existence. Instead of shutting them down, give them space to grow.
STEP TWO: IMAGINE
Every second of every day, your mind is creating scenarios and images in your head. You see them in such detail that you feel the emotion of those scenarios as if they were actually happening in your life.
Dr. Robert Anthony writes in Beyond Positive Thinking:
"...our subconscious mind cannot distinguish the difference between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined. If we imagine something with vivid intensity through the direction of imagery, our subconscious accepts it as though it was actually happening."
Unfortunately, most of the time, we're imagining scenarios that make us feel stressed out, anxious or depressed.
You imagine something going wrong at work.
You imagine running out of money.
You imagine trying out your new idea and it all going wrong.
And as you create clear mental pictures of these scenarios in your head, you live through the experience over and over again without it every actually having happened. Madness!
So it's important to take control of your imagination and put it to better use. Imagine the things you want in vivid detail. Turn them into crystal clear pictures. Imagine what it really feels like to be, do, or have the thing(s) you have dreamed about.
When you use your imagination to emotionally experience the things you really want in your life, your subconscious then gets to work to make it a reality.
Dr. Robert Anthony writes:
"Once the subconscious has accepted an idea, you can absolutely depend on it to take you to that goal. If we will supply the end result, our subconscious will supply the 'how to.'"
STEP THREE: ACT
Dream + imagination + no action = dead dream.
Dream + imagination + action = a world of possibilities.
The final part in the creative process is to take action on what you've dreamt and imagined.
Without action, nothing real is created in the world and your dreams remain locked in your imagination.
As an example of what's possible if you allow yourself to follow this 3-step process, here are some of the things I have dreamed, imagined and acted on in the past couple of years:
- I dreamed of being a digital nomad and spending time travelling whilst writing my blog. I pictured myself in beautiful places, with nothing but my backpack to carry with me. I imagined it so vividly that the steps I needed to take unfolded quite naturally. In June 2013 I sold most of what I own, rented out my flat and set out on an adventure.
* Note: I didn't really like being a digital nomad much. But that's not the point :-)
- I dreamed of spending more time playing and bringing play into my work. I imagined what it would look and feel like. Then I put a page up on my website, booked a room and started promoting it. A couple of months later I ran my first play workshop and these have become one of my favourite parts of what I do.
- I dreamed of a group of lovely people congregating at my house for a morning of meditation, gratitude sharing, singing and yummy food. I opened a meet up group, posted the information on Facebook and ran what I named a Stillness and Gratitude workshop.
- I dreamed of taking a client hiking to see what it would be like to hike and coach at the same time. I imagined being up in the hills with a brilliant client, going deep into his or her life. So I wrote a sales page and sent it to my email list. A couple of months later I took a client for two nights in the Lake District.
- I dreamed of taking a client on a retreat where there'd be time to both relax and go deeper into our work together. I imagined how nice it would be to spend a week somewhere beautiful, getting to know each other better and being detached from the distractions of our everyday lives. So I proposed it to one of my existing clients. She said yes. A few months later, she flew over from America and we spent a week together in Southern Spain.
- I dreamed of running my first Group Coaching experience. I imagined a group of fun, interesting people, all motivated to create their dream lives. I wrote a sales page, published it and shared it wherever I could. My first Group Coaching experience (The Conscious Creator Club) started last week with four brilliant entrepreneurs - all creating their unique magic in the world.
- Recently I started dreaming about creating my first online course and I've already started taking action to bring it into reality (more on that very soon.)
And by the way, whilst getting every single one of these off the ground I felt all of the following: resistance, self-doubt, this will never work, it's a stupid idea, who am I kidding, it's already been done, I'm not good enough.
We all feel those things. The trick is just to not let them stop you.
And that's the reason why so many people never create the lives they really want. They shut themselves down at one of these three stages.
You don't allow yourself to dream.
You don't allow yourself to imagine in vivid detail what that would look and feel like.
And if by some miracle you get that far, you never follow through with the action necessary to take it to the next step.
The thing is, no one knows how they're going to achieve something when they first imagine it. Your job in the beginning isn't to know how, it's simply to dream and imagine.
And when you have imagined something that you want to happen with enough detail, you simply need to take one tiny little step in its direction and trust that the next steps will become clear as you go.
They always do.
Your dream life starts with a dream.
And dreaming is available to you right now, in this very moment.
Love and courage,