James Burke, author of Connections, insists that unexpected experiences often lead to remarkable destinations that surpass the ones we plan for ourselves. “When the telephone was invented, people thought it would only be used for broadcasting,” Burke explains. “Radio was intended for use exclusively on board ships. A few decades ago, the head of IBM said America would never need more than four or five computers.”
Fortunately, you can change your mind and start over again. Ask questions. And be ready to explore the possibilities.
To Change Your Life, Change Your Thoughts
Gandhi said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” Change your thoughts and you change your destiny.
“All things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation and a physical or second creation of all things,” added Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. “You have to make sure the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you’ve thought everything through.” He maintained that the “blueprint” – or your thoughts – provide the creative framework that allow you to “begin with the end in mind” when you chart your course.
Put It in Writing
When you consider solutions to questions, especially difficult or complex questions, you typically access your logical left brain. The process of exploring solutions in writing channels the creative energy of your right brain. Imagination and creativity give you access to solutions that were not previously available to you and give your left brain an opportunity to be receptive to new ideas.
I recently conducted a goal-setting workshop and used tools from my book, Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide. I encouraged participants to put the power of the pen to paper. Brian Tracy once said, “Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.”
“Why do I have to write anything?” asked a participant. He flipped through the pages of the workbook. “This looks like a lot of work. I just want to do what I want to do.”
“What do you want to do?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “it’s complicated.”
Lee Iacocca, former Chrysler CEO and author of Iacocca: An Autobiography, explained, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” When you commit to your dream and make a decision to pursue your passion, you must use both parts of your brain to reach your goals.
Affirm What You Want
Be specific. Use strong describing words to answer the following questions:
* What would I like to BE?
* What would I like to DO?
* What would I like to EXPERIENCE?
* Why is what I want to BE, DO, and EXPERIENCE important to me?
To create a plan that leads to what you want to be, do, or experience, you must acknowledge your current location so you can chart a course of action.
Your responses to the following questions will help you find simple answers to more complex questions:
* What did I love to do as a child?
* What most excites me?
* What makes me feel the most angry or upset?
Our emotions, like our words, contain power.
* How can I use what most excites, angers, or upsets me to achieve what I want to be, do, or experience?
Give Yourself Permission to Dream
In Put Your Dream to the Test, John C. Maxwell states that a dream is “an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” As you consider all of the exciting possibilities connected to your dream, consider:
* What is my dream?
* Why is my dream important to me?
* How does my dream bring good into the lives of other people?
When you dream, you explore new solutions you would not ordinarily consider and think about new possibilities. Do not worry about how you must orchestrate events to ensure your success. Focus instead on why your dream is important to you. When you define your dream and articulate why you want to pursue it, answers about how to do it will begin to become clear.
“In some way or another, each one of us affects the course of history,” added James Burke. “Because of the extraordinarily serendipitous way change happens, something you do during the course of today may eventually change the world.”
If you’re going to change the world, why not start now?
How are changes in your life calling you to do something different?
Rekindle the fire within you with suggestions from How to Find Your Passion.
Discover how to approach change with courage with tips from 7 Ways to Recognize Your Calling.
Napoleon Hill explains Why You Need a Definite Chief Aim. Compose your statement of purpose with these suggestions.