Friday, May 7, 2010

My New Reality...

It is no secret that I’ve read my fair share of self-help books. OK, it’s not a secret any more! My favorites have been those books that talk about making magic, changing your life to one you desire, creating a new reality. And all the advice, suggestions, and anecdotes reminds me of a self-fulfilling prophecy or the Pygmalion Effect.

As a teacher, I firmly believed in self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believed those students would excel, treated them with the respect and understanding needed to influence learning, and created an environment where success was a given, 99% of the time they did. I still taught the subject and material in the same way, but my belief in those students changed the way they thought of themselves. They felt powerful, in charge. With each baby step of achievement, their belief in themselves grew. Their confidence built layer upon layer until there was nothing they wouldn’t try (even if they knew there might be a risk of failure – I believe failure is a part of success, a spiral effect in constant motion).

I’ve played around with this idea of creating a new reality at other times in my life. One summer, I sat down and wrote out a two-page scribble of a perfect day – my days were anything but perfect at that time. I wasn’t writing at the time, so for me to put pen to paper was a big deal. The activity was an effort to see where I needed to change my life, but I read it over, shrugged my shoulders and stuck it in the back of a journal I had close at hand. A few years later – when I was getting ready to move and packing stuff in boxes either to go with me or to go to the landfill – I came across the paper. I was surprised at how much of my life had changed toward fulfilling my vision of a perfect day.

Yet, as a writer, I forget to apply those lessons learned in the classroom – yes, even teachers are learning in school. Or remember the power the Universe has if only we share with it our dreams and desires. So, as I set up my office in my new house and revisit my goals for my writing career, I’m going to create a new reality.

Write down a new story of how you want to be, review it once a day, and tell it to other people when you have the chance. That story will become your reality. ~ Jim Loehr

Now, I’m not going to leave it just to the Universe. Fulfilling a desire and accomplishing goals takes hard work and determination (on some subconscious level, I believe I was working toward altering my reality for that perfect day desire). I need to start acting like the published author I am (see, already using positive phasing and affirmative beliefs). A published author has a schedule, she ‘goes to work’ every day. She treats her home writing area (even if it’s under the eaves of his attic bedroom – Steven King) as her office. She doesn’t blow off writing time because a spouse or a friend wants her to ‘hang-out’. She makes writing a priority, finding time to check off daily goals even if it’s after midnight. She believes, she acts, she becomes.

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. ~Anatole France

I truly believe that if I treat this desire as a hobby, it will remain a hobby. If I work at it only part time, it will become a part time job (now, some of us have other commitments and writing has to be relegated to part time hours – but if you treat your allotted hours as ‘full time’ writing, you’ll be a fulltime writer). If I constantly fear failure or rejection, then my chance at success will be diminished. BUT, if I get up every morning as a published writer, I will eventually be living that reality.

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true. ~Buddha

But because a big part of me believes in putting things out there, into the Universe (like the Perfect Day essay), there’s more I can do. Over on Janet’s Journal, I use Wednesdays as Inspiration Day. Just like here, I find suitable quotes depending on the theme for the day and share them with my readers. I don’t usually write much more than a brief introduction. A couple of Wednesdays ago, I quoted Anonymous (who is brilliant, I must admit):

An Unfailing Success Plan: At each day’s end write down the six most important things to do tomorrow; number them in order of importance, and then do them. ~ Anonymous

I pledge to add this to my nightly routine – along with flossing and brushing my teeth. These ‘important things’ will be writing related (work has to get done, but it doesn’t hold the same importance). SIX items that will get crossed off the list by the end of the next day.
With that, I will also take a few moments in meditation picturing my life as a published writer. I’ll leave you with this quote about creative visualization:

Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor,play no jokes and cannot tell the difference betweenreality and an imagined thought or image. What we continuallythink about eventually will manifest in our lives. ~Robert Collier

So, People of Blogland? Do you believe? Are you living the life of your dreams or still only dreaming it? Are you willing to write down your new reality? What about Creative Visualization – something you’ve tried in the past or pure hocus pocus?



Lu said...

Yes, yes, YES! Absolutely right. I particularly like the idea of writing down a list of "to dos" for the next day. A list of writing things that must be done before reading the paper, before watching "Dancing with the Stars" (*sigh* Maks), before sitting on the deck and gazing at the stars.

And I had been doing something similar, after taking a fabulous online class by the amazing Margie Lawson. But I neglected my lists for a couple days, failed to complete a few tasks in a timely manner, and "poof", the lists moved to bottom of the pile. So self-discipline is a huge piece of the puzzle. The list has to be written before I rest my wee head on my wee pillow, hehe.

Thanks for the kick in the whatsit, and the reminder to believe!

Molli said...

An excellent reminder of something I do believe in, Janet. The power of the human mind is incredible.

Here's another quote to add to the wonderful ones you've given us today. It's from Oliver Wendell Holmes:

The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.

When that doubt creeps in, or I realize that I've drifted from my goal, I think about the meaning in his words and remind myself that I can correct my direction at any time. I've found that visualization does make a difference, giving our subconscious a defined target that can lead to very real and significant results.

Janet said...

Hey, Lu! I thought about you a lot while writing this post. I know you've spoken often about Margie Lawson and her awesome workshops - I was positive you had mentioned something about making lists and treating writing as a priority in your day!

...self-discipline is a huge piece of the puzzle. An excellent reminder that we are in charge of our own destiny - and hard work and persistance does pay off!!

And you're welcome for the kick in the whatsit :)

Janet said...

Love that quote, Molli! And such a great reminder to NOT stand still. What's the adage - a rolling stone gathers no moss - must keep moving forward toward those goals. Believe it, act it, live it!!

Like you, I love visualization and meditation. I just forget to do it!

Thanks for stopping in today - I hope the writing is going well :)

Jana Richards said...

Hi Janet,
Thanks for the very thoughtful blog. I know I don't always treat my writing as a priority (especially the marketing part) and it suffers for it at times.

I really like the idea of writing down six writing things that have to be done by end of day tomorrow. As you know, I respond well to deadlines so I'm hoping writing down these tasks with a "deadline" attached to them keeps me on track a little better.

Writing things down is very important; somehow it takes a nebulous idea and makes it real. That's why yearly goals should be written down and reviewed throughout the year.

I'm off to write down six writing things I need to do tomorrow. Bye!


Karyn Good said...

I'm living my dream. Just not this week :D

I'm a firm believer in God and the universe providing! And I definitely don't feel like my writing is in the hobby stage, more like the I'm gonna do it if it kills me passion stage.

I love the quotes! I'm comtemplating the six things list idea...

Janet said...

I really need to get better at writing down long term goals - I love that you do them in stages and then go back and revisit them during the year (instead of just writing them down and then checking back at the end of the year).

Glad to hear you're implementing the six must do list, Jana. Good luck with it. And you are a fabulous deadline girl :)

Janet said...

I believe, Karyn, that you are very much like Lu - you set writing up as a priority and you make sure you sit down every day to get it done. You're tackling the passion as a career - well done - you'll go far (because you're a great writer, too).

I hope the six things that must get done list works for you. I'll do a follow up post and then we can all check in and report on our progress.

BTW - LOL to your response over on Joanne's blog. And thank you for your compliments on my critiquing. As far as being right - I only say what I think as a reader, never want you to change just because I have an opinion. Still the 'damn her' was very funny ;)

Hayley E. Lavik said...

Janet, I absolutely agree with this. While I've never been much for writing down goals, making lists, and such, I believe the mindset is key. It's like the old saying about dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. I've always kept my writing in mind as a full-time investment that just hasn't paid off quite yet (although I'm seeing the first trickles now!, but that doesn't mean it's less of a career.

So many writers sell themselves short without even realizing it. Sitting down to write every day and viewing it as significant work is crucial, but then if everywhere a person goes she undercuts herself and her accomplishments, it just reinforces the mindset we're trying to rid ourselves of in the first place. Ducking one's head and saying, "Oh, I write, but it needs a lot of work," keeps reaffirming a writer's lack of worth, even if it's being built up elsewhere. I don't know if I just come across as arrogant and cocky for having rather little humility about my work, but I know it's publication worthy, I have proof of that, and the rest is just a matter of time, so I see no problem in walking around as though it's already happened :p Hell, at least it means I won't suddenly get a swelled ego once I wind up on a book shelf! Everyone will be long used to it ;)

Janet said...

Hell, at least it means I won't suddenly get a swelled ego once I wind up on a book shelf! Everyone will be long used to it ;)

LOL, Hayley!!

Yes, mindset has to be constant and consistant. Sending mixed messages into the Universe will only cloud the end result. Or delay it, not something I want to do.

Jennie Marsland said...

Hi Janet, you're soright - if writing isn't priority it just doesn't get done. Whenever it gets me down, I remind myself how much worse I'd feel if I tried to give it up. Though I'm not a listmaker by nature, I like the 'six things' idea. I just might try it.

Janet said...

I'm not sure what would happen if I gave up writing, Jennie - my head might explode ;)

Let me know how the 'six item' list making goes. I'm starting mine tonight!