When I get excited about an outcome, I imagine what that outcome can do for my life.
And then I remove the actions and attitudes that are required to make that outcome real
Wait, what’s going on there – isn’t Martin the productive, the sensible, the Good Decision Maker?
I suppose I am, but I’m not immune to the human condition.
And that’s why I fall prey to a simple yet destructive mistake that’s part of all of our lives:
We dream too much. Or rather, we dream too much of the wrong things.
See, your brain can’t tell the difference between the experience of an actual reward or outcome, or – hang on to your brain, it might be blown right now: imagining the reward or outcome.
To your brain, an imagined outcome is exactly the same as a real outcome.
This by itself is why things like the law of attraction don’t work: the moment you colourfully imagine and visualise an outcome (be it money, clients, lifestyle or relationships or whatever), you subconscious thinks it’s already there, and goes:
“Nice. Someone bring me some laurels to rest on” and takes off its working clothes.
I never saw this as clearly as in the last few weeks, building up to releasing the CRD webinar.
Months ago, I had a huge plan for launching: personal outreach, ad campaigns, videos before and after the webiner, all designed to create some ruckus and get bums in seats.
But as I got closer to launching, and getting more excited about the outcome (lots of viewers, a new community, buyers etc etc), I gradually started removing elements from my masterplan, reducing it to a minimum viable launch. (it’s kinda the way I do things, it seems)
Which resulted in a good outcome, in terms of viewer number and level of interaction, but it didn’t impact hundreds of viewers, the way I had hoped for. Which is why I built the CRD webinar for in the first place.
No problem, but: I could have avoided that very easily, if only I had remembered:
Don’t dream of the outcome…
See, this is the dirty little secret of all personal change:
You only get to change on a personal level, if you (second mind-bomb coming up) instead of dreaming and visualising the outcome, you *visualise you being the person who does the things that will get you the outcome*.
In other words: don’t visualise what you will have – visualise who you will be.
Whether or not you eat the icecream matters far less than whether or not you’re the kind of person who doesn’t buy icecream.
Whether you struggle with procrastination daily matters less than seeing yourself as a person who relentlessly resumes that battle everyday.
Trying to will yourself into not going on social media is far less effective than choosing to be the kind of person whose habit is to put down the phone each time you think ‘Oh, I’m doing it again’.
Dream yourself up an attitude, and a set of habits and behaviours, instead of the enjoyable set of outcomes you can only get if you actually adopt those attitude, habits, and behaviours.
That way, your subconscious will actually fuel the fire you need for taking action, instead of quenching it.
When you find yourself dreaming of a cruise/girlfriend/bank balance/dream job/etc, know that you’re on thing ice.
Shift your inner image to the you that you need to be, quick as can. Otherwise, you’re likely to take your foot off the pedal, and that’s not what you want.
Also published on Medium.