Griffin and NadineI just got back from my epic European Adventure with Griffin! Of all the wonderful photos I have from the trip, I’m particularly delighted to share this one of Griffin and my former client and current cher amie, Nadine.

When I found out that we were going to have a 9-hour layover in Paris before we flew to Greece, I asked Nadine what she would suggest – stay in the airport or try to make a foray into Paris?

I was surprised and delighted when she offered to spend the day with us. We spent a lovely day walking the streets of Montmartre (where we were struck by the beauty of Sacré Coeur and fascinated by the cemetery filled with feral cats!), and began our campaign to eat our weight in croissants and pan au chocolat.

If she hadn’t been so supportive and encouraging, I’m certain we would have spent the day in the airport. I wouldn’t have trusted myself to navigate the foreign streets and get back to the airport in time, especially when I was operating with very little sleep and even less facility with the language.

Our time in Europe was special for so many reasons, but most of all because it reaffirmed the beauty and magic that’s possible in life when you get out of your comfort zone and put your trust in others.

This trip was also born out of an exercise I did 3 years ago – I still can’t get over the fact that it really happened. And I know for sure that it never would have happened if I hadn’t set this goal 3 years ago and then worked steadily to manifest it.

What exercise am I talking about? Read on!

Here’s the thing: I haven’t read every personal development or self-realization book out there, but I suspect that every one of them has at least a chapter that’s all about defining your dreams, goals and aspirations.

As Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” In other words, without a goal, it really doesn’t matter what you do, or how hard you work at it.

It’s funny, but in the past, I’ve only asked my clients to imagine their “ideal” lives one year out. But recently I’ve come to suspect that – as one of my clients so eloquently put it – you “need to think really big to get unstuck and expand into possibilities.”

Personal Development AdviceIf you’re ready to get moving, you need a goal. And if you want to move far and fast, it would help to have a really big goal. With that in mind, I’d like to offer some concrete steps you can take to put yourself firmly on the path to your dreams.

As it happens, I recently found five – and not in a personal development book either! It’s a book on business: Double Double by Cameron Herold. Here are the steps:

1) Create your “Painted Picture”: Describe in vivid detail your life three years from now. What are you doing? Who are you doing it with? What does it look like? What do you do every day?”

Cameron described how a three-year vision challenges you to think “bigger.” It makes sense that clearly imagining goals, down to the finest details, are essential to the process of achieving success for big brands, like Apple, but can you see how it would also benefit you?

The thing is, people rarely take this step. Again, as one of the retreat participants realized, she’s so focused on getting through her day-to-day life that she has absolutely nothing to pull her into her best self and her best life. The Painted Picture creates the pulling power. And by giving you the space to dream really big, the pulling power is that much greater.

2) Share your big vision with anyone and everyone.

In the past I have written my Painted Picture (what I called Vision Statements) and shared them with my coach. I have encouraged my clients to write them and share them with me.

And, of course, I have broadcasted them to a wide audience by sharing them with you in this article.

Getting clear on your goals and dreams means the Universe can conspire on your behalf.

Sharing them means you go directly to the people who, given a chance, are in the position to help.

Now that I’ve asked my clients to do this, I’ve seen amazing things happen. Ideas and support almost immediately manifest.

Very often on the private forum for my group coaching program, a member will post a question and there will be many immediate helpful responses. The person who originally posted always expresses that they wished they had posted sooner so they could have accessed the solutions sooner.

I think we hold our dreams “close to our chest” because we feel self-conscious about sharing them. The “Who am I to want so much?” will surely come up. Only to be followed soon after by the thought, “What if I fail? I’ll look like a loser.” But I hope the above example will convince you that you have SO much more to gain by sharing your vision.

3) Focus on taking daily actions.

No way around it: You have to do something. I’ve written a lot about this topic before. Cameron also recommended as a fun and free way to keep track of your daily tasks related to your dreams.

4) Believe you can do it.

I’ve written a lot about this too. Thousands of words can be summed up by these 4: You. Can. Do. It. Repeat them to yourself often.

5) Celebrate your successes!

Yup. I’ve written about this step before too: Read it here.

What do you think of the list? Are you willing to do the steps? I know #2 on the list – broadcasting my dreams – gives me a great deal of anxiety. I’m sure it does for you too. When I shared this process with one of my clients, she audibly gasped.

But Cameron provided compelling evidence for the fact that it works. My life (especially my recent European Adventure) is also proof.

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judge your neighborYes, life would be so much easier and SO much better if everyone would simply conform to my perfect way of doing things.

Fortunately, I’ve learned to care more about my happiness than being right, and that’s where Byron Katie’s The Work has been SO helpful.

By doing The Work, I stopped being frustrated with my husband and son and their inability or unwillingness to do things exactly the way I like them to be done.

But you know what? A really big light bulb went off when I realized that they were not creating disorder in order to show a lack of respect or love for me, which is how I often received it.

Yes, of course, it’s frustrating to look for your keys for 10 minutes because your spouse has misplaced them again (insert any other frustrating behavior here) but when you think about it, is that what’s really bothering you?

I can almost guarantee you that it’s not. (If it absolutely is, you should simply go make yourself an extra set of keys and keep them in a spot where you will always be able to find them – and don’t tell your spouse where it is.)

But, again, I can almost guarantee that the bad feelings about the misplaced keys mean something else to you. So consider what that is. I’ve written an article about this before, but it bears repeating:

Your current reality is not really what’s upsetting you. In fact, the state of your emotions isn’t caused by the present situation, though the reverse is often true.

In Eckhart Tolle’s (for me life-changing) book, A New Earth, he writes, “External reality always reflects back to you your inner state.”

In the words of A Course in Miracles, “An idea doesn’t leave its source.”

I take that to mean that everything occurring in our lives is a result or reflection of our thoughts and feelings.

Every time I see anyone, depending on how I choose to think about them, I am deciding how I will see myself.

In the previous article I gave one suggestion for seeing “the gift” in the undesirable, but in this article I’ll give you another:

The questions that follow are from Byron Katie’s “Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet” (which you can download using this link:

  1. Who angers, confuses, saddens, or disappoints you, and why? What is it about them that you don’t like?
  2. How do you want them to change? What do you want them to do?
  3. What is it that they should or shouldn’t do, be, think, or feel? What advice could you offer?
  4. What do they need to do in order for you to be happy?
  5. What do you think of them? Make a list.
  6. What is it that you don’t want to experience with that person again?

So in the example of the lost keys (and this did just happen with my husband, too) The Work would look like this:

I am annoyed at Doug because he misplaced the keys and I wasted a lot of time and energy looking for them. I want Doug to remember to put the keys in the key drawer as soon as he gets home. I want him to apologize for inconveniencing me. Doug should follow my system for putting things in their proper place. I need Doug to put the keys where they belong. Doug is absent-minded, careless, unappreciative and messy. I don’t ever want to feel annoyed by his behavior again.

I’ve written before about Byron Katie’s “Four Questions” (here’s one) – and it’s important to note here that you should plan to do that exercise immediately after you do the Judge Your Neighbor exercise.

Katie’s four questions really help me delve into the stress I’m creating for myself by believing the thoughts that the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet has helped me make explicit.

At the same time, though, drawing on Katie’s work, I have also become adept at doing what I call the “quick turnaround.”

For example, when I have a negative judgment (that, again, is causing me stress), I have learned to easily come up with at least three genuine and specific examples of how I have also transgressed – how I have been absent-minded, careless, unappreciative and messy – maybe not with the keys, but in other ways, like the maintenance of my car or, here’s the kicker – in my relationships with others.

Once I admit that, it’s much easier to have compassion or patience with my husband. But more importantly, it’s easier to see that my bad feelings are not about my husband, or the keys, at all.

They’re about me. Usually the real cause of the bad feelings is that I’m not feeling valued or appreciated – or, even more to the point, I’m not valuing or appreciating myself enough.

And when I can do that, I don’t mind so much about the keys, or that I haven’t been appointed Queen of the Universe (yet).

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Does slow and steady REALLY win the race?

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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson” As you may know, I completed my 5th marathon in March. But what you may not know is what got me into running marathons in the first place. When I was in my early 30′s I […]

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If you’re aware of the Law of Attraction this concept is familiar: Your thoughts become your reality. No matter what is happening in your life, you can deliberately choose the way you think about what’s happening, down to the individual thoughts that cross your brain. Yes, many of your thoughts will “think” themselves – and […]

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I’ve heard from so many of you that you love the story of Doug getting his book deal, and I’ve loved pulling back the curtain so that you can see the mechanics of creating a miracle manifestation and do it too. If you’re familiar with the expression, “If you want to make God laugh, tell […]

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Last week I left off the BEST MANIFESTATION STORY YOU EVER HEARD at the point where I started working on “turning around” my negative thoughts about Doug and success. I got some relief from this process, but not enough to feel as good as I wanted, so I turned to one of my other favorite processes, […]

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