I hope I’ve convinced you that you have immense power, far more power than you are probably using, to create a life that up until now you’ve only dreamt of. I also hope that you are starting to give yourself permission to dream; that’s right, dream! Don’t just think about what’s possible and confine your future to a little box of ‘what’s possible’.
Just as limiting and even tragic, is if you are limiting yourself to what other people or society has told you is ‘proper’ or ‘right’. So many people buy into rigid rules and guideliens about what is appropriate that they actually lose their own ‘knowing’ of what is right for them.
I remember when I started high school, it was impossible for a girl to get into anything other than academic or secretarial programs. I chose the secretarial because I had also been told that in my ‘lower class’ social group, I wouldn’t be able to go to university and that I would be trying to get above myself if I considered it. And it was true that I didn’t know a single person in the families that my family socialized with that had a university degree or did anything other than work in a factory, office or retail store.
It didn’t really matter what my dreams were, I was plugged into a certain picture of what my future should be, and, for the most part I accepted it. Of course, that was a long time ago and things have loosened up a bit. Young people have many more options available to them and I certainly hope that counsellors in schools are not still trying to mold them into what they think they should be. Unfortunately, I still see parents doing exactly that.
As a career coach, I’ve had many parents call me over the years and set up appointments to meet with their adolescent or young adult children. Almost invariable, they want me to encourage them to move into a profession or a field that they want, not what the young person wants. I always make it perfectly clear to the parent that my role and my mission is to help the individual, the young person, to identify what they are called to do and then guide them in that direction. Most parents come to accept that.
It happens in more subtle ways too. We watch television and see people living in homes that are huge. They all have to have granite counters and stainless steel appliances! And oh my god if there isn’t a bathroom for each person! People start to forget what they, deep down inside, want.
So I truly hope that you start to just let yourself dream about the life that you would like to live. Do you want to live in the country or the city? What is it about the country that you want to experience? Or what is it about the city that you love? Think about the details and try to decipher what you want your life to look like? What do you want to spend your day doing? Do you like helping people? Or do your prefer to work alone, perhaps organizing things and doing detail work? What kinds of things do you want to do in your leisure time? Do you want to be active? Or do you like to be artistic? Or both? Why not have it all?
Just make sure that the life you are envisioning is truly your own and that you aren’t setting limits based on what you think you will be able to actually bring into reality. You are far more powerful than you realize and the you and the Universe in tandem are unstoppable. So let yourself go!
Now here’s what I want you to do:
Visualize your Ideal Day as clearly as possible and then write it out in detail, in the present tense and in the first person. Start your Ideal Day from the minute you open your eyes and track it through until you close your eyes at night. You can start with a typical day, perhaps a Tuesday. There’s nothing wrong with making many Ideal Days. I used to have weekend days, weedday days, vacation days, winter days, summer days, and rainy days. But for now, start with an ordinary day, just like today.
Now read through it and make sure you have made it as fulsome as you can. Have you detailed what you are doing? Who you are with? Where you are? The space you are in? How you are feeling? What you are seeing, smelling, hearing?
After you’ve created your Ideal Day, take three different colored pens, perhaps pink, blue and yellow. Use one color to highlight each of the following categories. You might, for example, choose pink for Essential, blue for Optional but Important, and yellow for Nice to Have or Icing on the Cake, as I like to call it.
So in my Ideal Day, I might use pink to highlight my description of a spacious, uncluttered home with big windows, because I know I must have that for it to be Ideal – no doubt about it. I might use blue to highlight the part where I describe my computer as being a big Mac with all the bells and whistles. It’s important but it isn’t essential because right now I’m quite happy with my all-in-one PC. I might use yellow to highlight my beautiful off-white Escalade. It’s not essential or even important, mainly because every time I see a newer model, that becomes my favorite. Last year it was a Toyota Avalon. If, on the other hand, I described my car as a really reliable, comfortable car, then I would have to make it pink because that’s absolutely essential.
Get the picture? So go ahead, dream! And then decide what, in your Ideal Day is essential, important, and just plain nice to have.
Tomorrow, using this, you might be happily surprised to see just how close you are to your Ideal Life.