Drawing Your Way to Your Dreams

As a lifelong insomniac, I decided to make a sketch of me sleeping peacefully in the future ūüôā

What if I told you your ideal future starts with a single drawing?

That’s exactly what Patti Dobrowolski suggests in her TED talk “Draw Your Future.” ¬†She says that if you draw the reality that you want, your brain will find a way to make it happen.

Don’t worry about whether you are good at drawing. ¬†Just make the sketch specific to exactly what you want your future to look like. ¬†Remember to draw yourself happy ūüôā ¬†And then color your drawing in with vibrant colors. ¬†Because the more vivid the picture, the better your brain will respond.

The key is to follow these three steps: see it, believe it, and then act on it.

This technique isn’t just for individuals, like artists and entrepreneurs, either. ¬†Big name companies are using this method to get their employees motivated to find solutions for team projects. ¬†It brings new meaning to the phrase “Two heads are better than one.”

What does your future look like?  Draw it and find out!

Quote for the Day: Happiness

We all want to be happy.  The pursuit of happiness is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.  Will Smith even starred in a movie about it.  But what does it really mean to be happy?

I recently watched a TED Talk that offered another model for this ideal.

“The happiness of pursuit”

Instead of always trying to accomplish something in order to find happiness, we might want to consider finding happiness as we try to accomplish something.

Shawn Achor says in his talk entitled The Happy Secret to Better Work,¬†“Every time your brain has a success,¬†you just changed the goalpost of what success looked like.¬†You got good grades, now you have to get better grades,¬†you got into a good school and after you get into a better one,¬†you got a good job, now you have to get a better job,¬†you hit your sales target, we’re going to change it.¬†And if happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there.”

So go after what you want.  But instead of viewing happiness as a destination, see if you can find happiness along the way.

 

Above Your Nerve

Emerald Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park

I recently blogged about the movie “Wild” featuring Reese Witherspoon, based on the memoir of¬†Cheryl Strayed’s journey hiking the¬†Pacific Crest Trail. ¬†There are some great quotes in there. ¬†Today I’d like to highlight one from an Emily Dickinson poem.

“If your Nerve, deny you
Go above your Nerve‚ÄĚ

Talk about nerves. ¬†My husband and I decided to hike the Rockies just after Memorial Weekend, May 31. ¬†We thought we’d see 3 or 4 pretty lakes, each about a half mile apart, and be done in about an hour or 2. ¬†Little did we know the park just opened the path after the holiday because of snowfall. ¬†Thankfully we had recently purchased our first pair of hiking boots, and they were waterproof. ¬†We must have changed our clothes every 20 minutes. ¬†From tank top to long sleeve to breathable jacket to rain jacket to light down jacket and sometimes back off again at intervals. ¬†It was actually pretty warm until the wind came. ¬†Until the rain came. ¬†Until the sleet and hailstorm that rangers never warned us about. ¬†Luckily we found shelter under a rock slab…sort of. ¬†But that was at the top. ¬†First we had to get there. ¬†And that involved climbing snow and ice-covered paths steadily inclining. ¬†We had no idea each lake required a hike in elevation. ¬†But we followed the others, hoping they knew what they were doing…where they were going–some of them slipping around in street shoes and wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and jeans. ¬†I secretly wanted to quit a few times all while having the time of my life. ¬†I love to hike, but my nerves get me every time, especially with looming heights, steep cliffs, and now icy paths. ¬†My mind is always thinking about what might go wrong. ¬†I used to hush that inner voice, try to turn it off, even curse at it. ¬†But that never worked. ¬†The best thing to do is let it talk. ¬†Acknowledge it like an old friend. ¬†Let it chatter on in the background. ¬†But meanwhile get to work. ¬†Get moving. ¬†Start climbing. ¬†And when it gets to that point where you think you want to stop and turn back, that’s when you must go above the nerve.

Good luck to you on all your journeys. ¬†Safe travels and take care. ¬†But don’t let a little thing like fear stop you. ¬†It’s only the background music for your adventure. ¬†And when you make it back, that same voice will say, “I knew you could.”

 

 

The Key to Success: A Journal of Steps

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I keep an affirmation journal. ¬†In it, I write down all the accomplishments I’ve made towards my creative goals as well as the positive feedback I’ve received. ¬†It’s useful to go back from time to time and read over the list to remind yourself how far you’ve come. ¬†It also helps combat the negative voice in your head. ¬†When you confront that negative voice with your list of accomplishments, it’s amazing how quickly the voice becomes silent.

But what I want to share with you today is how I learned about a way to take this concept one step further. ¬†Awhile back, a fellow blogger, Timothy Pike, started following my blog. ¬†One of his posts caught my attention. ¬†He titled it, “My life changed, literally overnight, when I started keeping a success journal.” ¬†You can read more about it here. ¬†I quickly learned that his success journal was far more detailed than mine. ¬†Partly because he committed to writing down at least one accomplishment for every day of the year.

While I was only writing what I considered worthy accomplishments: having a successful art show or receiving encouraging feedback from an agent or editor, this blogger suggests that you write down every action you take towards your goal. ¬†For instance, not just winning a contest, but entering one. ¬†Not just completing a novel, but coming up with an amazing new character. ¬†And certainly don’t limit your accomplishments only to moments where others have responded favorably to your work. ¬†You need to feel a sense of worth from within yourself, so you can trust yourself and continue moving forward.

The most amazing discovery, as noted by this blogger, is what happens when you start keeping this success journal.  It not only lifts you up, it also pushes you to take further action towards your goals.  You literally want to have things to write down in your success journal, so you keep taking steps.  Action is always the key to success.

So what are you waiting for? ¬†Take a step in the direction of your dreams. ¬†Then write it down! ¬†You’ll be surprised at how quickly you want to take another step.