Have you ever dreamed of writing a book? Or starting your own business? Or enrolling in an Art course? Or whatever?.....
If the answer is yes, then why haven't you?
Recently, I finished and launched my first major book, entitled "The 7 Golden Secrets To Knowing Your Higher Self". It was a proud moment when the whole thing was finished and available. It was an even happier moment when the very first person bought a copy!
I learned many lessons from the whole process of writing and planning a book, and carrying the process to execution. Hopefully, these lessons will inspire you to commence your own dream project today.
The biggest lesson of all is: Just DO it! Cut through the excuses and get started today. Half of finishing a project is just starting it in the first place. One of the main reasons people do not break out of their comfort zone, and commence making their dream come true, is lack of self-confidence. Too often, we are waiting for someone to descend from the sky and confer "expert" status upon us. We play down our strengths, compare ourselves to the elite in the field we wish to enter, judge ourselves unworthy, and decide that it is not even worth starting. It is better to do nothing.
The truth is that you ARE an expert in something; probably quite a lot of things. Being an expert simply means that you know more about a subject than MOST people do. It does NOT mean that you have to be the last definitive word on the matter. For example, if the qualification for writing a book about Buddhism is that you have to be an enlightened Buddha, then there would have very few writings on the subject!
Likewise, you do not have to wait until you have it all perfectly figured out to begin your dream project. You can start where you are. If you lack confidence, then give yourself some boosters by creating little successes along the way to your big goal. My book did not just jump out of me fully grown one day. Before it, there was an established ezine. Before the ezine, there was a single article that I wrote and showed to only one person. When she said it was good, I tried publishing it in some other ezines and was encouraged with the resulting acceptance. It is the same with you. Start small and give yourself little stops along the way for encouraging water to drink. But above all else, start! Once you begin your project with definiteness of purpose, it gathers its own momentum and many unseen forces come to your aid.
Making a dream project come true takes work. Do not believe otherwise. Writing a book is a grinding activity that requires time (lots of it), thought, research and sheer persistence. The discipline is all you have left at times. For instance, I set myself the goal of writing two pages every day, seven days a week. Sometimes, those two pages came fairly easily. Sometimes, they were torture. However, by first setting the goal of your dream project, and then setting mini-goals towards its achievement (e.g. two pages per day in my case), you gradually make it come true, bit by bit. Persistence with a routine also creates a momentum behind your routine.
Here is a plan I heard about recently for writing a book in 90 days. I wish I had known about it when I was starting my own. It goes like this:
First, decide what your book is going to be about. Second, write down 25 chapter headings. Third, for each chapter heading, write down titles for 4 sub-headings. For each sub-heading, write down titles for two further sub-sections. Then.....
Having created the structure of your book before you even begin, you make it far easier to stimulate your brain into creative action. The human brain hates incompletions. Thus, by creating a structure and getting to work to fill it, you are challenging your brain to complete all the sections and sub-sections. It will definitely do so, provided you get started in the first place.
With this structure in place, it should be fairly easy to write a couple of pages a day every day, provided you make the time for it. Certainly, it is far easier to do it this way than to try and write a book with no plan at all.
An important point is that this same process can be carried out with dream projects other than books. After all, what you are really doing with this scheme is setting a goal and then creating all the mini-goals towards its completion. Then you are setting aside time every day to spend upon that goal. Hence, you can adapt the above plan to suit your own project.
What really holds you back from even beginning your project? Are you afraid of what people might say if you fall flat on your face. Might it be that you fear that nobody will want what you have to offer? Are you "too busy" with running the house, or bringing in the money? What excuse are you using to hold you back from what you would really love to do?
Imagine a different scenario for a moment. Pretend that your book (or your Art, or your interior design business, or whatever) was a stunning success. Imagine for a moment that people flocked to you, wanting to know more about what you have to offer. See the press clamoring to interview you on radio and TV. For just a moment, imagine that what you have always dreamed of doing COULD NOT FAIL. If you like, there is a genie standing in front of you, about to grant you this one wish and make it all come true. Close your eyes and imagine this for a second.
NOW.... Say to yourself:
1) "I'll get around to it once the kids have grown up" OR
2) "Well, when the mortgage is paid off, we'll see..." OR
3) "Once I'm retired....." OR
4) "Yes, but I'm too young/old/black/white/uneducated....." OR
5) "I need to do a bit more study on the subject first..." OR
6) Whatever YOUR private excuse are!
and then walk away from it!....
Are you serious? Why would you exchange that bright future for doing the dishes, or turning up at that job you hate with absolutely no plans for a change? So, what is holding you back from starting? The answer is: your own fears and self-doubt.
If you knew in advance that you could not fail, then NOTHING would hold you back from commencing RIGHT NOW. All of the above numbered points are just excuses designed to protect you from ever taking any real risks in life. Yet, without risk, there is little or no chance of gain.
It may be less a matter of "what if I fail?" than a fear of "what if I succeed?" Some people are afraid of failure and what others might think. However, others are secretly afraid of the consequences of their own success. Either way, you are the only person creating the ceiling on how far you can go in your life.
If you have a bit of self-doubt in you, then welcome to the human race. EVERYONE who has ever achieved anything worthwhile has felt the exact same way. Yet, the key is to overcome this and begin to work on your dream now.
You just have to START, and be willing to fail a few times. The greatest successes in life have also failed more times than anyone else. Many multimillionaires have actually gone bankrupt several times prior to making their big money. Edison made several thousand failed attempts before finally inventing the electric lightbulb.
If you wish to succeed fast, then double your rate of failure. Set your goals ahead of you and go for them undaunted. If you act as if you could not fail, then you will not. In fact, do not even use the word "failure", but instead call it "feedback" towards your goal.
Give some thought to these matters. If you have not taken any serious steps towards your dream, ask yourself why not. Do you REALLY want your dream, or are you content for it to remain a fantasy? If the answer is no, then try going to work on it today. Have faith and have persistence. Be brave and be willing to fail as many times as it takes to succeed. Do all of this and the universe will do the rest to bring your dream to you faster than you can imagine.
Copyright 2002, Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.