April 14, 2012

So, I Hear You Have a Dream…

(Screenshot via Tumblr)

Just about anything created—great works of art, buildings, businesses— they all begin as an idea or dream. The first step in the creation process is to get the vision out of your head and into some concrete form. The plan, sketch or notes on the back of a beer mat, is where a dream begins its journey to becoming a reality.

As Enlightened Entreprenurial Leaders (EELs), ideas probably come thick and fast, so here is a process that will help you get clarity on your vision. It exposes any unconscious limitations, ensures your idea is ecological and finishes with an action plan. It takes you from the big picture and chunks it down into actionable steps.

P.O.W.E.R – Five doors to entering your dream.

P – Purpose. So you have a dream, what’s its purpose?

All great people, organizations and businesses are purpose-focused as opposed to being activity driven. It’s the great big Why you’re on this planet and it makes you spring out of bed in the morning. People relate to a purpose more than they relate to how good you are at ‘doing’ what you do.

Purpose is about  leadership, about service to others and contributing to the whole. It helps develop the story which inspires people to follow, support and embrace your ideas.

O – Observations: What will you see, feel and hear when you are living on purpose and achieving results?

It is important to know when to celebrate success, adjust when you are off course and know where you are on the Universal Product Cycle. Gaining clarity activates your RAS (Reticular Activation System).

If I took you on a journey and asked you to count all the red cars you had seen along the way, at the end of the journey you would be able to tell me. If I then asked you to tell me how many white cars we had passed, you wouldn’t have a clue. Yet the answers were right in front of you.

This is the beauty of this tool, it programs your unconscious mind to notice what and who you need. It is the Law of Attraction at work. Nothing mystical here, but only a mental process. You’ll notice the right stuff.

A great way to do this is by creating a vision or mood board, or, if you like writing, create a journal of the future, in which you describe what your life will be like, or even use a voice recorder.

It doesn’t really matter how often you look at the board, it is the process of making it that’s important. Taking time out to think about your ideas and make something, starts the creation process.

Come back to it after a few weeks to check how  you’re doing. You may find that you’ve achieved a lot more than you thought possible and will have to update it.

W – Who’s got the Power?  Is your vision within your power to achieve?

We often have resistance which stops us in our tracks. Hesitation and procrastination rule OK.

By the time we reach adulthood we’ve become conditioned to obeying limitations and we stick to comfort zones because we don’t really believe we can make a difference.

We have all the tools and resources we need to solve all the challenges that humanity faces; but we don’t. Why? Because the majority have been conditioned to believe that they are powerless to transform anything. Moreover, they’re right! And that’s exactly why it is imperative to get out there and kick those limitations in the ass.

At this point you must turn your unconscious fears into conscious challenges that can be dealt with. By this I mean, stop, think and write down where the power to achieve your goals is when not in you. Then, bring it back to you. It means getting creative.

Reframe challenges to get to the root causes of them. All these forms of resistance need to be looked at and resolved or at least accepted.

EELs are problem solvers and masters of divergent thinking. That means that if you give them a paper clip, they will design a spaceship out of it. They just will not accept conventional limitations that are presented to them. Do whatever it takes to bring the power back to you.

E – Ecology Check. So you have created a worthy vision; now ask, ‘Is it ecological?’

This means checking that what you’re doing will add to the ecology, health and wellbeing of all concerned.

Is it aligned with your values?

How will it affect your family, friends, dog, cat or the chinchillas in the Andes Mountains?

Is the effort to achieve your vision going to upset the dynamic of the system you are in now?

Is your plan following the 3C thinking and behavior (Collaborative, Connected and Contributing)?

It may mean having some heart to heart discussions with your nearest and dearest. By bringing everything out in the open, people can air their views.

Don’t  assume people will understand your sudden urge to save the chinchillas by selling jewelry recycled from rubbish collected at the base camp of Mt. Everest.

Or that they will automatically agree with your way of thinking. However, you shouldn’t step back from a few raised eyebrows. If you don’t meet some resistance, you’re not doing anything new!

R – Route to success. Ask a friend or get a coach to help you with this, because a different perspective is essential. 

Take six deliberate steps forward along the floor as if you were walking into the future on your own life’s timeline. Visualize that where you are standing now is you living your dream. Imagine you are actually there, doing what you would expect to be doing. Now look at the spot just behind you. Ask yourself the question:

What needed to happen for me to get here?

Make a note of all the action steps needed to get to this point, then step back in time and repeat the process until you are back to today. This visualising exercise will help you gain some new perspectives. It’ll help you see what other steps you need to take whilst also making the journey feel real and possible. This exercise gives you a chance to rethink your strategy.

You don’t have control over success, all you can do is focus on the high leverage actions which make success and dreams a greater possibility.

Living a life on purpose is so far the best way to live it, while helping the planet. After all, what else are you going to do?


Editor: Andrea B.

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