In my last post, Dig Below Your Dreams to Discover Your Vision, I discussed why it is important to re-connect with your dreams. If you’re not clear about what you really want, you are likely to set goals that will not be truly satisfying once accomplished.
We need to dig below the surface because as we grow older our dreams often go underground.
These activities can help you re-resurface some nuggets to create a vision for what you truly desire.
For each of these activities, consider one of these questions, but don’t try to answer with your rational mind. Getting in touch with what’s below the surface requires relaxation of your normal thinking, judging mind. Suspend your internal critic and allow your thoughts to arise, unedited.
What do I care deeply about?
What do I deeply desire?
What do I really want?
Just hold the question lightly in your mind, unanswered.
Make a collage. Flip through several magazines, and tear out pages with pictures or words that appeal to you. Then select the ones you like best, and paste them on a poster board. Just have fun, and create something that is appealing to you. Later, after you have finished, look at it with an eye toward what it is telling you about yourself. It is a good idea to revisit it over time as new thoughts will emerge each time you contemplate it. (Time: 30-60 minutes. Materials: a stack of magazines, scissors, glue stick and poster board.)
Free-writing, This technique, which was first developed for “writer’s block,” is also quite effective in contemplating these questions. In his book Accidental Genius, Mark Levy describes how it works:
“Freewriting is deceptively simple: Start writing as fast as you can, for as long as you can, about a subject you care deeply about, while ignoring the standard rules of grammar and spelling. Your internal editor won’t be able to keep up with your output, and will be temporarily shunted into the background. You’ll now be able to think more honestly and resourcefully than before, and will generate breakthrough ideas and solutions that you couldn’t have created any other way.”
Choose one question. Set a timer for 15 minutes and start writing. Don’t stop. If you don’t know what to say, write “I don’t know what to say.” Just keep writing even if it feels silly until the timer goes off. Often, the most important nugget emerges in the last 10 seconds.
Five “Whys” You will need a partner to help with this activity.
- Your partner should ask you one of the questions listed above.
- Respond with the first thing that comes to mind.
- Your partner should then ask either, “Why do you really want that?” or “If you had that, then what would you have?”
- Again, respond with the first thing that comes to mind.
- Your partner should repeat that question 4 more times. Each time, you should answer with whatever arises.
For most of us, vision does not appear like a bolt of lightning. It’s like mining for gold. We gather nuggets, and eventually they coalesce into a cohesive picture. Keep mining those nuggets because they truly are precious.
If you know of other activities that help surface nuggets, I invite you to share them here.
My friend Whitney Johnson has a brilliant new book out titled Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream, which is available at bookstores nationwide, as well as on all major online retailers, including Amazon, B&N, Indiebound and others.
My post was inspired by her wonderful book.