By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA
I’ve been fascinated with movies about people who wake up, usually in the hospital and don’t know their name, and don’t remember their roles (wife, husband, employee) or their habits (happy guy, quiet person, music lover). While on the one hand, that seems like a nightmare that you’d want to wake up from, my fantasy is that it would be the most freeing day of the year. As we talk about being your own coach this month, what if you could start tomorrow on an absolutely clean slate – what would you create for your life?
An important part of Big Dreams is the ability to dream them. So often yesterday’s definitions about who you are, what you can do, and how you act keep yanking you out of your dream. If tomorrow were actually the first day of your life, and you’re starting with the advantage of you can already walk, talk your language, and you know some social mores like shaking hands, smiling when spoken to, remaining clothed in public – you can go forward into this brand new day anyway you like.
We’re suggesting this month that you exercise your inner-coach-muscle. How about beginning with as blank a slate as you can and moving forward into your day with new Big Dreams. If you catch yourself making the month’s plans by rote, just because it’s how you’ve always done it, see if that inner-coach-muscle might flex in a different way.
I’m doing a big break-out from the mold this week. I’m taking a vacation by myself to a health spa, just because. I’m sure that if I woke up some day in a hospital and couldn’t remember my name, as soon as I remembered how to travel, and discovered that I had enough money in my accounts to cover a few days at a spa – I would jump on the chance. So I’m doing it – and I even remember my name and my husband and children’s names (although maybe for just a few days out there on the ranch I won’t even care what my name is).
By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA
I ran across a quote of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week which really caught my eye –
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
This is especially appropriate as we finish this month’s focus on setting intention. So many times, our choice of a goal gets dumbed-down because we can’t figure out how it’s going to happen, or, as Dr. King said, we can’t see all the steps between here and there. Part of the art of setting intention is just setting it and having trust in your own inner courage and power to move in that direction, knowing that there is a way, and your feet will find it – maybe even in spite of your mind which is wildly trying to think up HOW.
Years ago I used to write down everything I wanted in my life as a New Year’s day activity. Since I was flying private airplanes at the time, one of those things was to have a home that backed onto a private airstrip so I could just pull my plane out of the hanger next to my house and take off. Of course I couldn’t see the end of that staircase, but it went on my list anyway. Same with the swimming pool I thought would be lovely in my backyard, and the business I wanted to start. None of those dreams came with a how, they were just MY DREAM. Truth be told, a year or two later, I wasn’t interested in the pool (too much to clean, and too risky for my children’s safety) or in the home on an airstrip (too noisy and isolated from the city) and I’ve run my business successfully now for 18 years even though I put that on my “Dream” list 30 years ago.
WHAT intentions would you set if you didn’t have to come up with the HOW first?
GETTING WHAT YOU REALLY WANT…
If you haven’t yet set your goals for this year, stop here and consider what those might be.
OK, now look over your goals, and write down what you will FEEL when those goals are accomplished. Most of us are mostly interested in that feeling and are making the assumption that whatever we set as our goals will create that feeling. Let’s check that out.
WHAT FEELINGS ARE YOU REALLY AFTER?
Find a place where you are not likely to be disturbed for about 10 minutes, and put on your daydream hat. In your mind, move forward to December 31st, 2011, when all those goals are accomplished. Walk through your day with that vacation memory, that new corner office, that new pay check, your new staff, your new expanded client base, and just check out how that feels. It might feel just wonderful. On one hand, that expanded customer base may mean more commitment to being at the office, less time at home, or it can mean more passion for your work and for the service that you bring forward with a heart full of gratitude.
CREATE YOUR VISION BOARD
This year when you create your vision board (that collection of pictures that visually include your intentions for the year) include pictures that show what feelings you want at year’s end. An easy way to create that board, is by finding pictures on the internet that you like, copy and past them into a document (I like powerpoint best because it’s easy to move and resize things). Then you can print that out. A web site, www.catalogueofdreams.com also has some helpful ways to create it.
The vision board can help you recall those feeling you’re after and can keep you on track.
To your 2011 Dreams!