We all have so many plans and aspirations. So much to do, so little time, we sigh. But what if I told you, you could take the first step to achieve your dreams with 3, simple, actionable steps? Read on to know more!
Do not fantasize too much
Don’t go wild with your fantasies. Being optimistic and being realistic at the same time, is a fine balance you must maintain. While being negative is likely to make you not try at all, constantly visualizing your dreams come true sends the wrong signal to the emotional side of your brain. The emotional side of your brain cannot distinguish between the high of actually achieving something and the high you get by simply visualizing all your dreams come true; so if you keep imagining that all your dreams have come true, your brain tends to think that all your desires have already been achieved and this makes you less motivated.
As author Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation Gabrielle Oettingin says in her book, says, “Dreaming about a positive future seemed to protect against sadness in the short term but promote it over the long term. It coincided with a short-term hit of pleasure that ultimately wore off and predicted increased depression.”
Preempt your obstacles
Author Gabrielle Oetting in calls this ‘mental contrasting’. Mental contrasting is actually sitting down and thinking about every single thing that can go wrong and having a plan of action for each contingency. Think through how to overcome these obstacles, and don’t concentrate on just the negatives. Have a plan in action for all the obstacles you may face.
There could be 2 outcomes out of mental contrasting, you could feel prepared and motivated or you could feel utterly disheartened. But if you feel disheartened, it probably means your goal was not realistic in the first place, so mental contrasting helps you decide which of your goals are actually do-able.
As author Ryan Holiday explain, “…we look to envision what could go wrong, what will go wrong, in advance, before we start. Far too many ambitious undertakings fail for preventable reasons. Far too many people don’t have a backup plan because they refuse to consider something might not go exactly as they wish.”
Don’t tell yourself, instead, ask yourself a question
Do not declare to yourself that you can do something. Instead, frame it as a question. So, instead of thinking, “I will be great”, your thought should be, “Can I be great?” Remember Bob the builder? The cartoon? Before a project he used to ask the children, ‘Can we build this?’ Well, author Dan Pink in his book says we should approach our dreams with the Bob-the-builder style questioning. But our tip is to not stop there, go a step further and ask yourself, ‘How?’ And then plan it out.
In his book To Sell is Human, author Dan Pink says,“Those who approached a task with Bob-the-Builder style questioning self-talk outperformed those who employed the more conventional juice-myself-up declarative self-talk.”
This is a 3 step process to get you started! Do try it out and let us know if it works.