Create Your Dream In 2017!
Years ago, a good friend of mine was writing a book called “Creating Your Dream….Confidently Stepping Into Your Own Brilliance.” He asked if I would help him test the effectiveness of one of the exercises he had planned to include in the book. The exercise called the “Genie List” was a tool he learned from studying the great motivator Tony Robbins. Designed to create inspired, authentic and purposeful action, the list is meant to serve as an ignition point for personal fulfillment and achievement.
I was given a few sheets of paper and directed to create titles for three separate categories: personal goals, professional goals and family goals. I was told to list everything you hope to accomplish in your lifetime with the mindset that you possess your own personal genie holding infinite levels of possibility and an unlimited number of wishes.
As I sat down to write, I was reminded of the power of my genie and that the exercise was a no-holds barred test in pure imagination without limitations.
For two hours I scribbled, filling the pages front and back from top to bottom. My thoughts were free and adolescent as I threw each request at my genie. Upon completing the list, I was asked to rate each item in terms of coolness or what I thought would constitute an absolute game-changer for my life. In just a couple hours I was amazed to see what was on my list. Many of the items I hadn’t thought of since being a teenager, while others I was expressing for the first time. I handed back the paper and assumed the exercise was over.
Your only challenge is to stretch your imagination and strip the limiting attitudes and beliefs associated with what you deem to be possible.
“Not so fast,” said my buddy “we’re not done yet!” He pulled me back to the list and asked to go through my top-rated items. Under the category of “personal goals” he pointed out that I had written “fly airplanes.” I explained how when I was 14 I got to fly in a small twin-engine plane and loved the experience. In writing my list I recalled a moment during the flight when I said out loud how awesome it would be to become a pilot. As I finished the story, my friend handed me the phone. “What’s this for?” I asked. He said, “It’s clear that you want to fly airplanes, so go fly some airplanes!” I immediately resisted, rattling off a litany of reasons why I couldn’t do it. No time, no money, fear of just about everything. He told me the key to this entire exercise was demonstrating the “courage” to take action. If I could move without hesitation in the direction of my desires, the world around me would begin to conspire in my favor in ways I could never predict or plan on a piece of paper.
Seeing he wasn’t going to be deterred, I dialed the local flight center and scheduled an appointment for the next morning. He quickly moved to the next item on my list. Playing guitar. Within minutes, I had a guitar lesson scheduled right after my meeting at the airport. We were just getting started and already my head was spinning.
We shifted to “professional goals.” I had listed that I wanted to write a book. My friend turned on my computer and opened a fresh document. “Type the first sentence of your book” He said. I didn’t even know what kind of book I wanted to write, but at his urging I typed a line of jibberish to appease him. The next item from my genie session was to one day be featured on the cover of a national golf publication. Without hesitation, I shot off an email to a magazine I had worked with and asked to learn more about their criteria for putting a coach on the cover. Other things on my list included visiting the home of golf in St. Andrews as well as making an effort to more openly share my appreciation for my parents.
We continued to move down the list making phone calls, taking action, throwing out into the world my “authentic” desires. I felt embarrassed by the brashness of my actions. Sensing my reluctance, my friend replied, “What could ever be wrong with your truth?” I agreed and made the conscious decision to continue unapologetically pursuing the items on my list.
As my new adventure began, just as predicted, the world began to conspire in my favor. The owner of the flight center had an interest in learning golf so we worked out a plan to help each other with our goals. I quickly struck up a friendship with my guitar instructor, who took me under his wing dragging me to clubs to assist his band and accelerate my learning process. I met a client who was in publishing and shared my ideas on what I thought would be a fun book project. I also became more engaged with magazine writing, strengthening my relationship with the editor. The more I declared my goals and intentions, the more people were reaching out to help.
No longer than a year after writing and acting on my list I was a licensed airplane pilot. I had fallen so in love with music that I assembled my own band, actually getting paid to play shows around town. I broke through and made the cover of a national golf magazine. I was more loving with my parents and I had published a book endorsed by Golf Digest, Ben Crenshaw and Mark Victor Hanson of “Chicken Soup For The Soul.” Remember that trip to St. Andrews? A group from the UK bought 1,000 copies of my book which I distributed in person to the fans on the 18th hole at St. Andrews during the 2010 British Open Championship.
It was the greatest year of my life all made possible by a friend who challenged me to think big and act without hesitation. I don’t share this story to say that “I’m special” for having these experiences.” I’m not, and therein lies the secret. The secret, is that amazing experiences are available to everyone.
Only from within can each person determine the “what” that gets them excited. Remember, I didn’t even know my heart was attached to these things until I was challenged to dream a little. The gift the genie exercise gave me is the understanding of the way things work. It was evidence that anything in life is accessible to anyone. If you believe in the formula, the only challenge is to stretch your imagination and strip the limiting attitudes and beliefs associated with what you deem to be possible.
My life was changed because a friend gave me a push. Now it’s my turn to push you. Start the New Year by creating your own personal genie list and upgrade that resolution to a powerful, inspired and authentic action. If you demonstrate a little courage, I guarantee your next amazing adventure will begin to unfold!
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