I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and lately I have witnessed so many messages that remind me that what we choose to focus our attention on actually manifests in real life. A few days ago I read an article entitled "How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked up my life" . It struck a chord with me because while I am a healthcare professional, I am also an entrepreneur and this article came at the perfect time as I just launched my business last week.
"If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs."
So what does it take to build your dream? Where do you start? This is where the power of intention plays a profound role. It's not something you do, but rather it is a force in the universe that allows the act of creation to take place, as Dr. Wayne Dyer explains. One of my favourite books, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, takes us on the journey of a young shepherd boy, Santiago, who pursues his dream of travelling the world to uncover his Personal Legend, or his calling in the world. Along the way Santiago becomes unsure of himself, until he meets an alchemist who teaches him that "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." And according to Deepak Chopra, "an intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create." But like any seed, an intention can't grow and manifest without being nurtured. Without actions, intentions are really just wishes. You will never win the lottery by simply wishing it - you need to buy a lottery ticket after all.
How then do we begin to harness the power of intention? How do we nurture our dreams and create the reality we desire? Here are my top 5 tips:
- Release the intention - having a clear idea in your mind is one thing, but writing it down can have profound impact on it actually materializing. Research by Dr. Gail Matthews, psychology professor at Dominican University in California, showed that participants were 42% more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down. And from my own experience, I have seen over the years when reviewing my personal journals that nearly every goal I have very written down has come to fruition. That's powerful stuff!
- Take action - writing down your goals and thinking about your desires and intentions without taking actions towards them is like holding a seed in your hand and hoping a tree will grow - it's simply not going to happen. And while it is great to be organized and have a plan, sometimes not having everything figured out can paralyze us from taking a step forward. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step - so put one foot in front of the other and get going already!
- Cultivate courage & perseverance- courage is the willingness and ability to confront fear, difficulty, or uncertainty. It is taking a leap of faith and trusting the process. It is falling 7 times, and getting up 8 times. There will be "failures" along the way but in the words of Thomas Edison: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." The most amazing things happen when we push the limits of our comfort zones - this is where the magic really happens.
- Detach from the outcome - attaching yourself to a specific outcome is usually based in fear and uncertainty, and can often lead to frustration and disappointment if things don't end up exactly as you envisioned. This is obviously not an easy thing to do - but accepting uncertainty while focusing your intentions and actions allows you to see opportunities coming your way.
- Let the universe figure out the details - if you have set your intentions and taken actions to help you achieve them, there is an element of letting go and trusting in the process. You can't control everything. Even when you plant a seed, water it, and give it sunlight, you can't force the seed to sprout. It will come out in its own time, in its own rhythm.
I see these truths manifesting around me all the time. The author mentioned in the above article, Ali, has been successful since those initial days of his business starting up. And with his latest article going viral - almost half a million hits - the universe has obviously conspired in his favour. And while The Alchemist was not popular or sold-out when it was first released 25 years ago, today it is the most translated book by a living author (80 languages!).
As for me, I know I have a long journey ahead of me with my business and career, but knowing that the universe is on my side makes the road ahead seem less scary, and more filled with possibilities and opportunities.
Let me leave you with one final question: What seed will you plant today?
If you liked this article or have some thoughts or tips of your own, please leave a comment below and/or share with others. Thanks!