If you expect things to fall into place in your life, to realize your dreams, you must be willing to prepare a place for the dream to become real. If you dream of great wealth and success, you owe it to yourself to put structures in place to make that happen. If you want to be a best selling author, you might want to write a book first – on paper – not just in your mind.
One might argue that it must happen in your mind before it can happen on paper. The Law of Attraction says if you have a clear thought in your mind, it will manifest itself. If I think and see myself as a success then it will happen. If I see myself as a failure, that will become true.
The trouble is, sometimes no matter how hard we try to visualize our illustrious writing career, we still fail. Here’s why. Most of us enjoy day dreaming, where anything is possible. Let’s say we dream of being a top selling author. We imagine lectures, book tours, incredible wealth and adulation. It is such a lovely dream one might understand how easy it would be to become satisfied sitting around thinking about it. After a while, we become satisfied with not realizing the dream. How does this happen? We say to ourselves, “I must accept what is real, otherwise I’ll be miserable.”
So, to stave off misery, we decide to get comfortable with not having our dream. We manage our unfullfillment by making half-hearted efforts toward our dreams. But soon this activity becomes miserable too, because the results we desire don’t seem to line up with our effort. We begin to wonder why we’re so unlucky. We seriously question that whole positive attitude thing. We actually begin to prefer the misery of being frozen in our fear of failure, which naturally creeps in when we are not in action. And, since misery loves company, we find other struggling authors with whom to console. We justify our failure by complaining about how difficult the “real” world is, which feeds right into our collective misery of inaction. So we begin to accept more the idea that we will never realize our dream, which makes us even more miserable and leads to more inaction. This circle of misery continues until we are exhausted by it. Eventually, we get bored with this dream and move on to the next one, never having really developed the first one.
Eventually, a cynicism sets in. Rather than seeking out and surrounding ourselves with those who are making a real effort at success, we begin to resent them. At the same time we laud only the “truly” successful people we see on TV, the ones who have attained celebrity status for their “talents,” all the while secretly grumbling to ourselves as we sip our beer on the couch, “Lord, that should have been me on that TV.” Meanwhile, we tear down or make fun of the ones we know, who are all around us, on Facebook, whatever, who seem to be trying so hard to make something happen for themselves and their families. We secretly hope they will fail, so they will be more like us.
Perhaps these secret thoughts are so secret, we have convinced ourselve we really aren’t having them. But we are. And we begin to doubt the Law of Attraction altogether, even though we are living proof of it.
Then, one day, hopefully sooner than later, we wake up and realize the dangerous game we’ve been playing with ourselves and those we truly care about. And we decide to break the cycle.
We do this by stopping and getting off the treadmill, honestly identifying our present heart’s desire, then sitting down and figuring out what we’d actually have to do to make it real. I’m talking about breaking the whole thing down into a series of steps in their correct order, all subject to modification as new information becomes available. At a certain point we’d have to decide whether we really were committed to doing whatever it took to make this plan work, accepting the challenge or not. Finally would come the most crucial part. We would have to choose whether we wanted to live a happy life while pursuing our dreams, or only after we acheived them. To have the former we would have to be truly willing to accept, with sincere gratfullness, whatever results came from our joyful efforts as our sole reward. That’s it; that’s the recipe for happiness and success. I didn’t make it up and I am no expert at it, believe me.
Let’s break the process down another way. Think of your life as an oil portrait. Say we dream of painting a beautiful, convincing and compelling portrait that seems to glow with life. So we start with the thing we want to express the most: that lovely twinkle in the eye. After all, that’s our dream. Let’s go right to it, right? But wait, not so fast. What good is that twinkle if we haven’t painted the pupil or the lid. Or perhaps we paint the lid and the pupil but we haven’t painted the socket, the place in which the eye lives. Or maybe we are wise enough to paint a socket first but we haven’t placed it into the correct location in the head. Or maybe we have taken the time to create a great head, but it is floating in space unconnected to the picture plane. There is no composition! The painting we longed for is a failure. So we complain we can’t draw or paint and surround ourselves with others who cannot draw and paint. Or, perhaps we just sign up for one of those wine/painting experiences down the street and pretend to be an artist as a fun night out with friends.
If we had just first created an effective, larger context, and proceeded in a logical, orderly way, the twinkle we so desired would most certainly be in the right place and our portrait would be lovely. Starting with a good composition, an accurate head shape will exponentially increase our chances of getting the twinkle we dream of having.
And so, here again, we have another example of life immitating art, as well as a standing invitation to make the most out of your life and career.
If you like/don’t like or want to add your thoughts to the conversation, I encourage you to comment. Also, you may want to get a copy of Point of Art – Second Edition, or download it today. I offer career coaching for those serious about a career in art. Don’t forget to check out The Portrait – a painting video and The Power of Positive Painting