I believe imagination and manifesting your destiny is more complex than the principles The Secret outlines. We all have some rotten days, and pretending they don’t exist doesn’t make them go away.
Fantasies and daydreaming leave us calm and relaxed so we can see abundance knocking at the door. Daydreams also enrich our lives and help us conceptualize what our “dream life” would look like.
The truth is, daydreaming about what you want in your “dream life,” as long as it’s followed by a structured plan of action and scheduled timeline, is the best way to achieve a life fulfilled.
Most of our lives run on a rear-of-mind program we don’t even realize is there. We’re like old computers. We need to remove our ancient, corrupted mind software and install new software to get rid of our mind loops that keep us stuck and overwhelmed. That’s what I help my clients do through the InVision® process and my own Step Into Your Story© process, which I designed especially for sensitive, creative people.
I tell my clients that while it’s fine to daydream, daydreams alone won’t get you to peak performance or to high achievement. Neither will positive affirmations. Fantasies aren’t as productive as envisioning your future “dream life.” Mantras and affirmations are all great first steps, but they don’t produce consistent results alone.
Both Invision and Step Into Your Story use the power of visualization to get past these subconscious, unproductive programs we have running our thoughts and lives, programs that create blocks.
Step Into Your Story takes InVision one step further by creating the next “page” in your story, and the next, and the next, first by visualization, then through steps in an action plan.
I use both modalities in my practice give you a toolbox you can use by yourself. Creating this “vision” is more successful than a fantasy, which is more like a wish, or a daydream, which is more like meditation with no end result in mind.
“Creating a vision is more specific,” says Douglas LaBier, PhD. “You experience it as a process, steps along the way….” Without these action steps, you can’t turn your dreams into reality. Without following the action steps you formulate in real-time, you’re much less likely to bring your dreams to fruition.
Dream. Process. Plan. Act.
I take my clients on a 6-8 week journey to balance their visions for the future with what’s happening at this moment in their lives. Yet, if you want to DIY it or want to get a head start, here’s how.
Take these 8 steps to stop simply daydreaming about your dream life and to start achieving it today:
First, visualize your story. Figure out where you are right now and how you feel about it. Play it in your mind like a good book or movie. Focus on either what’s troubling you, or what is happening right now—without judgment. Then visualize how you’d like the story to play out, like if Stephen Spielberg asked you to make a movie of your life. What happens, scene by scene? How would it end? Is the ending to your liking, or would you like to change it?
2. Use Your Tools.
You can get these tools from me or any other intuitive coach. InVision is full of techniques to get yourself out of yourself and into your life. You can InVision anything, any time in your life, change it in your imagination, and watch it play out in your life IF you don’t a) block it or b) step away from creating it action by real action step. It needs to be grounded in real-time, in the real world.
3. Take Specific, Real Action Steps.
“Don’t just daydream about what would be nice to have, daydream about how you would achieve it,” explains Dr. Ethel S. Person. Details are important. Details we notice are both symbols and signs that lead us to the right fit for us, the best life for us. They create your ideal world. It’s my belief that we have to create an ideal world in our minds to be inspired enough to create it in our real daily lives.
4. Energize It!
Put energy into your plans. We can’t just daydream about them all the time. If something isn’t working, change it up. “Nothing happens until something moves,” according to Albert Einstein. Let that something — that someone — be you. We’re the ones that make our dreams move forward.
5. Focus and Balance.
I’m completely overwhelmed and stuck, you shout. How can I achieve any kind of balance? The key to getting you out of overwhelm and mind chatter is to use tools consistently so you can move forward consistently.
Having a not-so-ideal day? That’s the perfect time to use a walking meditation or active meditative practice like tai chi. Use meditative music as you work; you’ll find loads of free music on YouTube or on Podcasts. Journal your worries within a specific time period, and don’t allow your worries in at other points in the day. Come back regularly to notice patterns and anything you’d like change or act on.
Practice gratitude instead of martyrdom; replace skepticism and sarcasm with strategy and faith. Keep a calendar and change your to-do list every morning and check and make other changes every evening.
6. Dissolve Blocks.
Without creating clarity in our vision, we tend to feel stuck or overwhelmed. Humans can talk themselves out of almost anything.
We think 40,000 negative thoughts a day, most of them repetitive. Think what we could do if we changed even 1 percent of them?
We also can have mind loops that echo our parents, friends or colleagues vision for our future. Fantasy or mindful vision can help us change those negative thoughts into positive.
When we daydream, we can silence those voices and thoughts, much like in meditation. You can get past what others might want us to do, what society thinks, or the shame and vulnerability you carry around like a backpack full of rocks, to arrive at an action plan of what you want, not what someone else wants for you.
7. Keep Your Perspective.
My programs develop your observation and perspective. You’ll learn to interpret what’s happening around you to allow it to work with you instead of against you.
“A long-lasting fantasy indicates something important to us, a goal to achieve or a symbol of one’s personality, ” says Dr. Person. “You would have to examine the details of a persistent fantasy and compare them to the details in your life to reasonably determine what message is attempting to be communicated.” She goes on to say that this often opens a door for people and motivates them.
8. Let Go.
The most important step you can have in building your future story and walking away from your past, unproductive one is to let it be for a while.
Create the intention. Make an actionable list and follow it without too much attachment to outcome. “This or something better,” I end most of my meditations with. We never know that what we want for ourselves will materialize in exactly the way we want it, or when we want it, or how we want it.
I like to go back to my list of intentions once a month to evaluate progress. However, if I sit looking at my dream list once every hour, I’m obsessing about it and not creating it.
The Bottom Line: Whether you’re working with a coach, a therapist, or planning your future on your own, know the difference between fantasies that help you escape and a vision that motivates and activates your life.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Why Daydreaming About Your ‘Dream Life’ Will Actually Help You Achieve It (Plus, 8 Steps To Make It Happen Now).