Week 1: Take a Step
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
-- Lao-tzu, Chinese proverb
1. What did I wish for when I was young?
2. As a child, did my wishes and dreams ever come true?
3. Am I willing to wish, dream, and do, even though I'm not always sure what I'm wishing for?
4. Today, right now, am I paying attention to the parts of my life that matter the most?
5. What's the first thing I need to do before I embark upon this year-long journey?
6. Am I prepared for the hard work ahead?
7. What will my life look like in a year?
Like you, Wish It, Dream It, Do It is comprised of many interrelated pieces. What brings about movement in one part of your life is likely to promote activity in other areas as well. On the flip side, if you're stuck in one situation, another aspect of your life may come to a standstill, too. Applying the holistic principles set forth in Wish It, Dream It, Do It will enhance your ability to become whole and centered.
The material will help you uncover and reexamine old beliefs that have curtailed your efforts to wish, dream, and do. Some strategies will test your commitment and resolve to create the kind of life you've always wanted. Each week you'll learn how to master a new strategy, but more important, you'll learn something new about yourself. Throughout the book you'll find the support and encouragement you need to propel and maintain your progress.
As you immerse yourself in the strategies presented here, you will discover what you're meant to do, your purpose. But don't expect your heart's desire to remain constant as you work your way through the book. At one moment your dream will be in picture-perfect focus. Perhaps your dream to pursue a master's in social work is beginning to fit in nicely with your schedule and you're prepared to register for your first class. At the next moment, however, your dream might resemble a swirling blur preparing to become another image, different from the one that came before it but more defined, maybe even a little sharper -- you still want the degree, but you're thinking that maybe you'd first like to get some experience in the field.
Throughout the process you will occasionally come face-to-face with certain fears. Many of us worry that others will find out that we're frauds. This is especially true when we begin to inch ever so slowly toward our dreams. Remember this: Pursuing your dreams is never a fraudulent act. Still, like little hooded goblins, these fears may linger longer than you'd like. You can try to shake free of their power, but they're stubborn and they'll hang on. If you want to capture your dreams, you must learn to coexist with these fears. Certainly, some of your fears will surrender. Others, though, will want to stick around. You can either allow those hangers-on to hold you back or face them head-on and say, "Fine! You're not going to let go? Well, hold on, because it's going to be quite a ride."
Suspend your disbelief. Okay, so you've never found a four-leaf clover or thrown a penny into a wishing well. Perhaps you don't even think about the stars or notice when one shoots across the horizon in a blaze of glory. Well, before you even turn the page, relinquish your doubts -- for at least a week -- so that you will be more receptive to the possibilities and opportunities that life has in store.
Set your own pace. Ideally, you'll want to work your way through this book chapter by chapter. If you rush ahead you may neglect important questions and exercises intended to help you create the life you want. On the other hand, you know yourself best and should therefore be the judge of how quickly or slowly to take this journey. If you prefer to skip around and find what applies to where you are in life, by all means do what works for you.
Find a wish it partner or form a group. You may want to enhance your efforts by finding a partner who shares your desire to wish, dream, and do. A partner can be a good sounding board and share experiences as the two of you move along your journeys. A group effort can be effective as well, although you might want to consider a few ground rules before you begin. If you do join up with like-minded individuals, make sure everyone is in it for the right reason -- mutual support. (Please see One More Thought, p. 267, for details on how to form a Wish It Group.)
Celebrate every achievement -- small and large. Don't let your achievements slip by unnoticed. Celebrate whenever you can. Pick up your favorite carry-out and eat by candlelight one night. Send yourself a congratulations card. Use a certificate template on your computer and print out your personal award. Recognizing and honoring each success -- major and minor -- is the best affirmation you can give yourself.
How would I like my life to look in a year?
The first steps I can take to wish, dream, and do include:
What are the initial challenges I'm likely to encounter?
As I take a step to wish, dream, and do, I imagine an entire galaxy of infinite hope.
As I take a step, I
Copyright © 2004 by Leslie Levine