Occassionally though there's a whisper through the noise that catches my attention or makes me pause for just a minute. I started noticing this happening more and more in the past year.
It seems folks really are getting back to basics - remembering the good things in life aren't actually things at all. There's positive messages being tossed around now about Service to others; finding Joy; and slowing down long enough to just breathe. And that's all GREAT.........
...but what's beyond that?
We hear words or phrases like "Just Do It" or "Visualize what you want." I think that's sound advice but I get tripped up in the details - "Just Do what exactly?" or "what am I supposed to visualize?" While I think all those basics are fine and useful, that's never been enough for me and it's never really helped me get from point A to point B in and of itself. So then I started thinking about what actually DOES help me (when I do it) and I remembered where I learned that just 'speaking the positive' wasn't enough...
When I was in college my Junior year, I was obsessed with living in this one house on campus. All I kept repeating to myself and God and whoever would listen over and over again was that I just wanted to be in Rose Terrace. I didn't care about any other detail except that one. It was my hope and my goal. I thought about it, visualized it, hoped for it, prayed for it, spoke about it. I felt I did my part and now it was up to God and the universe to act.
Well - I did get into Rose Terrace. I got my wish!
The room I was assigned was a converted closet. It was too small for even a twin sized bed, I instead had a glorified shelf with a mattress on it that I had to use a ladder to reach. No closet for my clothes because the ROOM WAS a closet. The fit was so tight I could just fit a desk but had to sit upright in my chair, no leaning back or slouching... and yes, over the course of the year, my posture did improve.
Could I have gotten mad? Should I? Did I? Nope. Because I got EXACTLY what I asked for - who would I have gotten mad at? That would have been pointless anyway, right? All I could do was laugh and vow to never make the same mistake again...
The moral of the story? my lesson learned?? BE SPECIFIC.
Time and again throughout my life, I've seen this principle in action. It's not enough to be positive. It's not enough to dream. Sometimes, it's not even enough to act. You have to KNOW what you want and do your best to be as specific as possible about it.
And that, my friends, requires us all to THINK about what we want.
In effect, that's one of the reasons why I'm writing this - to put the word out there and then to challenge everyone to take it for a test drive and see if it works for you?
So, where do we start?
I hear so many friends, family, and colleagues either speaking in generalities or saying what they "don't" want. How many times have you or someone you know said something like this:
- "I just want to meet someone who'll treat me really well."
- "I want to lose weight."
- "I want to be a millionaire."
- "I don't want to work so hard or so much."
- You ask, "what do you want to eat?" The reply, "I don't want sushi."
Now, for some mundane tasks that might be fine; but for the things that matter, how do you speak about them? What words do you use? Are those words positive and affirming? Are you specific?
Think about it. Allow yourself a few moments to reflect...
If you're thinking negatively, you're probably speaking negatively. So turn it around. Rather than saying "No Fear," try saying "I want to live courageously."
If you're speaking in generalities, challenge yourself to be more specific AND to be positive: "I will lose 15 lbs by my birthday" for example.
Now write down that one specific, positive thought; and once you do, say it out loud and see how it makes you feel.
Dare to imagine the possibilities.
As for me, my goal here is to take my own advice. Each day, I'm going to:
- Think about one thing I want for my life - SPECIFICALLY.
- Write it down and speak it.
- Believe it so I can act on it.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 refers to this truth in writing down for appointed time and goals come to pass. I used to write out my goals for a year, put them on card stock and frame them. It was a visual reminder of my hopes for the year. I've not done that for sometime. This article was a reminder and I should begin the process once more. Plus, writing articles such as this releases the negative toxins in our mind that we don't need anyway. Good food for thought. Cheers Sister.. :-)
This reminds me of the power of personal narratives. So much of "what you get" in life or what your experience is depends upon the story you tell yourself each day.
I have always been pretty darn scared to fly in airplanes... to the point that I have even cancelled a few flights and cried on a few! However, recently, I learned that my great-grandfather was a WW1 aviator who happened to be awarded a purple heart. My grandfather was in WW2 and also worked on a plane. Once I incorporated those two narratives into my own, I felt like a stronger person in general, and am now much less afraid of flying. The story I tell myself now (when I need to fly) is that I come from a long line of BRAVE aviators! This makes me feel better, which in turn affects my actual experience of flying. Thanks for the blog!
Getting specific is the most difficult part of setting goals. It is natural for us to generalize because it is the easy way out and avoids a commitment. It is also difficult to truly determine your goals and what specifically you want to do with your life. If I really knew I could be specific but sometimes I feel like a teenager still trying to determine what I want to do for the rest of my life. Sometimes I feel as if I just let it occur and I was just along for the ride. It could be fear too. I just try to keep a positive attitude, take one day at a time and enjoy this short life we know.
GREAT post, Angela! You've certainly gotten me thinking! I definitely need to do a better job at being specific for what I want in my life. I've always been told that we when we pray to the Lord, we should be specific. Thanks for reminding me of what I've been told and known since childhood! Keep up the GREAT work on the Blog! Please keep encouraging me, others and yourself! Blessings! Mary...
As you have said many people don't know what they exactly they want or they don't have proper plan and goal setting to achieve what they want to achieve. In most cases they have the desire, like the desire to become a millionaire, and not the urge to achieve it.
We can't plan our travel unless we fix our destination. Likewise efforts without a goal won't take you anywhere. If you want to be a millionaire, plan how you are going to achieve it.
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