7 Ways to Get What You Want From Life (by Steve Olson)
Call me a Pollyanna, but I believe you can create the life you want (within reason). I don’t believe in magic or pseudo-science, but I do know what has worked for me, and I’ve studied what works for others
1. Set Goals – This is fundamental. But you know what? Huge numbers of people fail to do it and they wonder why their lives have no direction. You need to give yourself direction by pointing the ship of life toward your new world. You are never going to get anywhere unless you decide where you want to go. Put your goals in writing, post them in plain view, and read them frequently.
2. Visualize – Use your creative imagination. Imagine what life would look like if you had already reached your goals. Imagine in detail. I’m not talking about living in fantasyland where your dead mother comes back to life or you have magical powers which turn lead into gold. Imagine what is possible for
you. No one can say what is possible for you, except you. Maybe you’ll own a graphic design company or build a successful relationship. Maybe you’ll build a dragster or ride a motorcycle across Russia. Maybe you’ll start a new political party or build a homeless shelter. Visualize your future as if it were happening right now. Visualize it in detail. This has worked well for me: Create the future you want in writing. Write it in a first person present tense narrative. Include every detail you can imagine. When I look back at my writings, it is uncanny how much of it has come true.
3. Act – Sitting in an armchair imagining a wonderful life isn’t going to make it happen. After setting your goals and visualizing the end result, your first action should be creating a plan. Planning is the bridge between creative imagination and implementation. You have to act on your ideas. The homeless shelter isn’t going to build itself. The girl of your dreams is not going to walk in your front door. If you want a new relationship, get out and meet some people. You might have to read Dale Carnegie or join Toastmasters International. You might have to attend conferences, join a church, or get a job. It all depends on what you want. Become a planner and a doer. Create a plan, write it down, and act on it.
4. Accept – Don’t be stubborn and rigid. Don’t try to force life down your specific path. Things will not be easy and they won’t go as planned. Be flexible and ready to change. This might sound contradictory to previous points, but it isn’t. Set your goals, visualize them, act on them, but be willing to accept that the journey will pull you in different directions. You may find, over time, that you no longer want the things you thought you wanted. Let’s say you set a goal to make millions selling software to Apple Computer, but after a few years your company is evolving into a service company which maintains cloud computing infrastructure. You and your partners find this new direction rewarding both financially and personally, so you chop the software piece of the business and alter your plan. Also, if you have big goals in life, you need to delegate portions of your current responsibilities and that takes trust and acceptance. Other people will take you in directions you hadn’t imagined before. Accept others and their plans and it will help you reach your goals.
5. Learn From Others – I hate to tell you this, but you don’t know squat. None of us do. We all lie to ourselves, telling ourselves we really know what is going on here, but we don’t. Maybe the lie keeps us sane.