The Danger of Wishful Thinking: Nothing Changes If We Don’t Take Action

0 October 18, 2018 By Dang

Our heart’s desires can bring us into right relationship with the world, to the livingness in and around us. In fact, I believe a true heart’s desire is meant to do just that. Because it summons us to our greatness, to our fullest, most alive being, to our full participation here.

In the past I approached manifestation and the Law of Attraction in a dis-empowered way. I wrote affirmations and did visualisations, hoping for a miracle, for it to be done for me. Affirmations and visualisation can help us bring clarity and joy to our desires. That is tremendous and very powerful. I still use them, sometimes with startlingly positive results.

But there is more required of us. I was forgetting my part in the equation—that I too am part of bringing my dreams to fruition, a big part.

So here are the basic steps I have discovered to co-create with life:

1. Define.

First, you get very clear about what it is that you desire to create in your life. You name it. You visualise it with all of your senses. You feel it in your being. In feeling it, you make sure you really want it, and it isn’t just something you think you should want.

You get clear and real about the details. You define. If I want to publish my writing in literary magazines, I need to have a clear idea what that means: I’d like to publish in five magazines by the end of this year, for example.

2. Commit.

I wasn’t really doing this step before. You change the wishing and wanting to a commitment. “I commit to publishing my writing in five magazines this year.”

I find in changing my desire to a commitment, feelings and resistance may arise. There may be fear or doubt in my ability. There may be a belief that nothing good ever happens for me, or that magazines are not publishing good work anymore.

These doubts, fears and beliefs point to work I need to do in myself, to clear out what is in the way inside of me that keeps my desire away from me. This is my job, to feel the feelings and beliefs that hold me back, and work on them, remove the obstacles.

3. Declare.

You state your commitment to friends. You make it known. You seek accountability and support. This is another step we love to avoid, because declaring our commitment puts us in the hot seat.

And you ask for help where you will need it to make this dream a reality. There might be others that can help you with the steps. Don’t try to do it alone. That’s another mistake I often make.

4. Visit with your dreams daily.

You re-affirm your dream and your commitment to it daily. Keep it in your consciousness. As you do, create space for silence, so you can hear where you are being led, what steps you need to take.

As you go about your day, stay open to guidance and opportunities to help you realise your dreams. If you aren’t paying attention to the opportunities, you are going to make it a whole lot more difficult to reach your desire.

The road to get there may go through some unusual routes that you had not planned or never conceived of. The road may take you to a completely different outcome, like: It turns out I’m not meant to be a writer, I’m meant to be a singer! How wonderful!  

If you are too fixated on how you think you should get there or even where you should arrive, you may be missing the beautiful openings that Life is granting you.

5. Act.

As you visit with your dreams, remember it is up to you to take steps, to act. Miracles and synchronicities often appear on the path of dreams, but first we have to show up by taking action in a repeated, committed way.

You take actions congruent with your desire. You make your life congruent with what you wish to create.

If I want to publish in five magazines, I need to write and I need to submit work on a regular basis. I need to make a schedule and have commitments to make this happen, not just vaguely decide I’ll do it “sometime.”

Otherwise, all the dreaming and wishing and hoping, all the affirmations in the world aren’t going to make this happen for me.

And I need to take the unexpected openings that arise, as long as they feel right to me, as long as I feel that “yes” inside. So when someone suddenly says to me, “I’m starting a new magazine, and I need material to publish,” I give them something I have written, because I recognise the opportunity Life is handing me.

6. Surrender.

This is a very important step many people miss. You hand it over to the flow of Life, trusting that the highest and best for you will be done in this situation, even if it looks nothing like what you asked for. You let it go.

Even though you continue to conduct your life congruent with your desire—until you receive information/feeling/sensing that it is no longer right for you—and even though you keep your dream alive in your awareness, you still release the results.

ALSO READ: Learning To Forgive When Someone Deeply Hurts You

If I keep writing and sending out my work, and it does not get published anywhere this year, I trust in the process, and most of all, I remember to enjoy the process. The process is everything, or nearly everything, because the process is my life happening now.

So it’s not enough to engage in wishful thinking and magical practices. You have to go out and change your life, take action. Be the creative force in your life. Make your behaviour congruent with your desire. Be accountable, be empowered, ask for help, and then release the results.

No one is going to do it for you if you don’t care enough to make it happen in your life. That was the big surprise I didn’t want to realise. But it has made a world of difference.



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