Wishing on a star, wishing in a tunnel, wishing on the candles on our birthday cake…we’ve done them all.
But when the wishing is over, do you tell, or do you keep it secret?
Most people keep their wishes a secret, but in doing so, they lose out on two valuable methods for making their wishes come true: the help of our friends and family, and our own hard work.
As I mentioned yesterday (and as has been said by many others besides me), goals are simply wishes with a timeline. When you express a wish, you launch that thought out into the Universe. After that you have two choices. Follow up, or let it go.
If you follow up, you have a better chance of actually making your wish come true. After all, almost everyone has wished at some point or another to win the Powerball…but how many of us actually play the game every week?
Sure, the odds are astronomical. In fact, on the last big lottery jackpot, you were more likely to be hit by lighting twice than to win the MegaMillions big prize. However, several someones won that jackpot–and you know how they won?
They played the game.
There are even cases when people have won more than once–and one woman, through a stroke of what seemed like misfortune, actually won a million dollars twice in the same day.
If you don’t take steps to make your wishes and dreams come true, they will always stay just that–wishes and dreams.
So what should you do when you’ve stated your wish?
The first thing you should do when you make a wish is to tell people. Telling people makes the wish more concrete. It means that not only is it something you want, or that you want to do, but that you’re not afraid to tell others about it. Sure, someone might laugh, but your friends won’t…and anyone who would laugh needs a dressing-down and a lesson in how to be a supportive friend!
Real friends build you up–they don’t tear you down.
Your real friends will remember, and if something comes up that can further your goal, they can help you by telling you about it, or get you going in the right direction.
The concept of “Six degrees of separation” states that any person on Earth is only six steps away from any other person. That means that it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. In this networked age, that’s even more true than ever. Even if your friends (or even their friends) can’t help you out, then there are probably dozens of websites and support pages and group sites that can.
Do you wish you were a ballerina? Google it. Do you wish you knew how to knit? Go online to find a knitting group near you. Or watch a YouTube video. There’s always someone, somewhere who knows what you need to know. Finding that intermediary who can help you achieve your dreams might be as easy as searching online, or telling your friends to ask their friends.
The second thing you should do when you make a wish is to start taking steps toward making it come true. Sure, you want to win the Powerball…but if you don’t play, you can’t win. Maybe you want to take a trip to Hawaii, like me–putting $20 aside a week will net you a thousand dollars at the end of the year. That’s enough for the airfare and then some. Double that, and put away $40 a week, and you now have $2,000. That’s definitely enough to plan with!
If $20 sounds like a lot, remember that a standard Starbucks coffee costs about $4, so if you gave up one per day, that’s your $20 in just five days. Instead of going out for dinner three nights per week, go out twice, and put that money saved aside toward your trip. Or, if you have an online bank account, set up a Christmas Club account, and now and again take all your balances to round numbers ($543.27 becomes $500) and put the excess in the Christmas Club account.
It just takes a little discipline. It can be done–I’ve done it repeatedly, but not for Hawaii. I do it to be able to afford the property taxes in Maine and California, which works out to about $6,000 per year–and I do it on one teacher’s salary. Imagine how easy it is if you have two salaries!
Taking steps toward your wishes is as easy as looking at where you want to go, then trying to reverse-engineer the process. You want to be a ballerina? Well, if you are already in your mid-40s like me, a Prima Ballerina spot is probably out of the question. There are some things that all the wishing and work in the world can’t accomplish. But that’s not to say you can’t take ballet classes and dance in a recital.
One of my most consistent wishes, which I didn’t list yesterday, is that I wish I were running again. Rather, I wish I were running as easily as I did a couple of years ago, before illness and injury sidelined me.
I love to run. I know that, for some people, running is about as much fun as getting a root canal. In fact, I was one of those people for most of my life. Until walking every other day turned into little jogging dashes, which got longer and longer until I ran my first mile since high school. From there I progressed through 5K races up to half marathons, and at that point, I was well and truly hooked. It’s too hard to explain, if you’ve never experienced it, but “runner’s high” is the closest I can get to it. The best runs are when they feel effortless, as though you could fly, as though you could run forever.
Sure, I remember the hard runs. I remember the interval training and the hill repeats and the days I felt like I was trudging through mud. But I still loved it.
One year ago, I was over the plantar fasciitis. Had I started training then, I would be running effortlessly now. But I didn’t. I let a lot of stress, anxiety, and grief sideline me. Rather than remembering that exercise always helped me, and fighting through the tiredness and depression, I did nothing…until January, when I started to mentally fight back with this blog.
Last week I took my first real step toward becoming a runner again by signing up for our local Planet Fitness health club. Because I was thinking about it, I paid attention when, late last week, I heard a Planet Fitness ad on the radio that offered black card membership for $20 a month with no sign-up fees.
Today I put that card to use, working on my cardiovascular fitness with their elliptical machines. Those things are magic–between the walking and the elliptical, I became a runner the first time.
I know what I need to do. However, if I hadn’t told my family and friends, I would have never taken the step of signing up again at Planet Fitness. My husband even went in with me as moral support so I wouldn’t back down. And today my best friend, Pam, cheered me on via text when I told her I was going in.
Having the support of friends and family, figuring out what steps to take, and then working on them is the best way to make your wishes come true. Nobody’s going to hand you a lottery check or a half marathon finisher’s medal if you don’t put in at least some effort.
What steps can you take toward making your wishes and dreams come true? Think about what you wish for, and then reverse engineer it. Look at where you want to be, and then work backwards to figure out what steps you need to take. Be patient with yourself, and don’t beat yourself up if you falter. Every success requires work, and sometimes we fail. Not giving up is the key.
You can do it.