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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Monday Morning Check In: Believing the Big Dream

Today I want to talk about the big dream and how to get closer to it. First, let us discuss an interesting mental phenomenon we can all tap into.

Have you ever had one of those dreams that caused you to waken in a highly frightened state? Perhaps you were trying to scream or cry out, but your voice was paralyzed. You awoke and found your heart racing and your body tensed as if ready for a fight or flight, and yet there was nothing there. It was a dream. It was not real.

This is the beauty of it: your mind did not know the difference between reality and your dream. Let me say this again, because it is a powerful thing. Your mind did not know the difference between reality and your dream. Why is this powerful?

If your mind cannot tell the difference between reality and a dream, your mind will work to make your dream a reality. If you keep telling yourself that something is a particular way, then your mind will work to bring reality in line with what you are telling your mind.

Because of this phenomenon I am vigilant in avoiding negative statements. I do not want to create a negative state. If I find myself saying something negative, I immediately reframe what I have said into the form of a positive statement.

For example, do any of you have trouble remembering people’s names? How many of you also keep saying that you have trouble remembering names? I tested this out a while back. I have always had trouble remembering people’s names unless I see them written down or repeat them a few times.  I also went around telling everyone that I had trouble remembering names. And guess what? I had trouble remembering names. I kept saying that, so my mind kept making that my reality. Once I understood this phenomenon, I reframed what I said: “I used to have trouble remembering names, but I am remembering names really well now.” I started remembering names. "I used to have trouble doing pushups, but I'm getting stronger." I can do more pushups.

How many of you tell others that you are terrible at math or some other skill? How about trying to turn that around this week and reframing what you say into something that lines up with what you would rather be?

This brings me to my main thought today: the big dream. We have all heard the expression “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Dr. Wayne Dyer turns the words around: “You’ll see it when you believe it.” I’ve struggled with this idea for some time. When it comes to the big dream, whatever form that dream takes in terms of a particular goal of the moment, I find that I have to work to wrap my mind around the idea, and until I can successfully see my dream in my mind, then I have difficulty attaining it.

For example, I ran my first marathon (26.2 miles) several years ago, and then I started thinking about wanting to do fifty miles or maybe even a 100-mile event. I have since changed my mind about doing a 100-mile event, but I still have it in the back of my mind that I want to do 50 miles some day.  I just have a little trouble getting my mind around that distance, which is why I haven’t yet done 50 miles. I’m not mentally ready for it right now. I am going to have to work up to this in some way.

When I considered doing my first 50K (31 miles), I dallied with the idea for a few weeks, as I tried to make up my mind whether I should sign up for the event or not. I asked the advice of one of my former students, who was considering the Navy SEAL program at the time. His answer was succinct: “It’s just another five miles more than a marathon.” Of course, just five miles. I knew I could do a marathon, because I had done one several times before. Could I do another five miles on top of the marathon? Of course I could! I could walk or even crawl that distance in my sleep! That tiny comment from my student was all I needed to get my mind wrapped around the idea. I signed up and ran the event. When I ran the event the next year for the second time, I did even better than the first time, because then I had a mental picture in my head to guide me. My problem in the first place was that I was considering the total distance from the starting point. I only needed to consider the added distance I wanted to tack on, which was just five miles more than what I already knew how to do.

Do you have any dreams on hold right now that need some “believing” before you see them? Why not tackle one of those dreams now? What can you believe right now that will help you to get the results that you want?

Have a great week!

“Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take your eye off the target.”
-- Curt Carlson of Carlson Companies

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Paula - It's fascinating how the right information comes to you at the right time! Dr. Wayne - "You'll see it when you believe it!" I'm going to post that in a prominant place today!

    Smiles! Diane