There’s a fine line between being a dreamer and being a dictator.
Because when you are attached to a specific outcome, your single-minded drive toward your goal may make you blind to the feelings and needs of others.
Let’s say you are in a new relationship. You have peeked ahead, and see what you don’t currently have: children, a happy home and no financial worries, with that darling white picket fence. And you are deeply in love with the happy vision you’ve concocted. It’s nice that a man came along to be inserted into the picture!
When (not if) something comes up which precludes you getting what you want– it’s going to take time and energy to finalize his divorce from his wife — you become a petulant Veruca Salt, stamping her foot and saying, “Divorce her NOW!” Because you need what you want. You’ve assigned so much meaning to what you “need” that you’re blinded you to the reality of who your boyfriend is and any feelings he might have around the end of his marriage. From your perspective, his divorce is just something standing in the way of your dreams.
Wait a sec. If every good marriage is based on a deep caring and friendship with the other person, does pressing your dream outcome allow you to be the kind of friend and partner your boyfriend needs? Could you be destroying the very opportunity you desire by being so doggedly determined to get what you want?
Let’s say you want to change your life by starting your own business. You do the research, create a sound business plan, find a good opportunity, hire a lawyer and accountant, and draw up the legal papers. All good. You go so far as to envision what your first steps will be, how the place will feel, what each day will be like. OK, you’re fine. Visualization is an excellent tool to direct you toward a positive outcome. But if you’re so in love with the idea of you as the owner of a particular business in a particular location that you can’t see the shortcomings, pitfalls and weaknesses of your plan, you may end up overruling your advisers and taking a deal that’s not really in your best interest. Because you made up your mind about how it’s going to be, and that’s what it’s going to be.
Let’s say you’re running for President of the United States and you are so focused on winning that you can’t see that you’re behind in delegates, behind in the popular vote, behind in fundraising and have rising negative opinion polls. By golly, you’ve made up your mind that you are going to be President and that blind ambition propels you toward an outcome that’s growing more and more elusive. You stop listening to naysayers, surround yourself with “yes” people, and irreparably damage your public image with your frantic pursuit of your goal.
Honey, to reduce your stress and anxiety you’ve got to hold on loosely to your intended outcome. Loose enough to be able to grab on to an unexpected outcome that’s even better than what you had in mind. You can do this when you form your intention, visualize your dream and then say:
“This or something better.”
“This or something better” vs. “This is how it’s going to be” is being fluid vs. being rigid. It’s being present right here, right now, aware of the truth in this moment vs. being somewhere else, focused on what’s not yet happened — may not happen — and totally unaware of the truth.
It’s having arms wide open to serendipity vs. arms crossed against the chest with much foot stamping frustration.
Imagine lovingly whittling a hunk of wood into two parts — a square peg and a round hole. You can spend your lifetime attempting to insert the square peg you’ve created into the round hole you love, but how to get it to fit?
You really only have two options: reduce the size of the square until it fits into the hole, or craft a new, larger square hole.
When you detach from your outcome, it’s as if you’ve suddenly found a million unexpected holes in which the peg easily fits. When you have a good plan, and execute it to the best of your ability, and are then open to whatever happens, you will be amazed by the beautiful, happy, unexpected opportunities that present themselves.