Sunday, February 24, 2008

Five Wishes and Achieving My Dreams

Written Monday, January 14, 2008

Five Wishes

Instead of making New Year's Resolutions this year ( "Don't hate in '08" -Rubix), I decided to make life goals. I was inspired. The book Five Wishes focuses on a certain question: If you were in your deathbed right now, at this very moment, and someone asked, "Was your life a complete success?," would you say yes or no?

I had to stop and think about that for a minute or two. Is my life a complete success right now? Could I answer that right now? I would have to say no. It's not a complete success....YET! On the surface, as I flipped through the chapters, I thought the book was a bit cheesy. I couldn't put it down, though, and before I knew it, I was finished with it.

The book asked very practical and profound questions and has a "worksheet" to help someone realize their dreams. My answers are in that "worksheet" below. I invite you, my dear readers, to copy paste the template into your own blog and share your wishes with me. It's a great self-improvement exercise!

This is mine -hard work in progress...

The Questions
I ask you, Was your life a complete success? If you answer no ask yourself the main reason your life was not a total success and write it down.

The main reason my life was not a total success is because.....
I didn't teach my children to passionately pursue their own hopes and dreams the way my mother did for me.

And I didn't.......
finish writing my own Language Arts (reading/writing) curriculum to implement a successful writing workshop program for children and young adults.
.
And I didn't.....
accomplish my goal in becoming a published author who has sold at least a total of 100 copies of my published book (self-published, independently published or published by a distributor).

And I didn't....
take my children and husband to see the world through extensive traveling.

And I didn't......
expand my talents and abilities in and beyond the education field.

And Your Five Wishes
Now turn those reasons into wishes. For my life to have been a total success,
I wish I'd....
taught my children to passionately pursue their own hopes and dreams the way my mother did for me.

And I wish I'd....
finish writing my own Language Arts (reading/writing) curriculum to implement a successful writing workshop program for children and young adults.

I also wish I'd....
become a published author who has sold at least a total of 100 copies of a published book (either self-published, independently published, or by a distributor)

And I wish I'd....
taken my children and husband to see the world through extensive traveling.

And I wish I'd.....
expanded my talents and abilities in and beyond the education field.

If I'd done or experienced these things, I'd consider my life a success.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Achieving My Dreams

dream (dreem)
n.

1. A series of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.

2. A daydream; a reverie.

3. A state of abstraction; a trance.

4. A wild fancy or hope.

5. A condition or achievement that is longed for; an aspiration: a dream of owning their own business.

6. One that is exceptionally gratifying, excellent, or beautiful: Our new car runs like a dream.

In this context, achieving my dreams is accomplishing my goals and resolutions, and I most certainly have a desire to do this. Writer Susan M. Heathfield suggested following the philosophy of Napoleon Hill, in his groundbreaking book, Think and Grow Rich, by saying, "The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat."

The next big question is - - How deep is my desire to accomplish my goals (See Five Wishes blog)? Am I willing to work hard while maintaining a full-time job as a teacher, being a wife, and mother? Will I be able to confidently break down barriers, take risks, make plans to follow the path, and commit to the discipline it takes to get there? Will I allow myself some wiggle room and give myself a well-deserved pat-on-the-back on my slow but steady progress on a regular basis? How long will I keep going? Will I give up hope?

While contemplating my "dreams," The 1994 Cranberries song "Dreams" came to mind. (Hahahaha, I know. I look at my life and add appropriate soundtrack songs to make it more melodramatic and interesting.) The first few lines are particularly striking for me:

"Oh my life, is changing everyday

In every possible way.

Oh my dreams, it's never quite as it seems…."

It's so true! Just when I think a perfectly matched opportunity falls into my lap, I am reminded by a stronger force of nature – God's plan, my destiny, my fate, or whatever you call that higher power that is beyond our control. Indeed, the path to success is never quite at it seems. Recently, I kept re-reading my Five Wishes. Did this opportunity (to make lots more money) that fell into my lap match my goals and desires? I honestly don't know. What I do know is that it takes more than opportunities falling into our laps to become satisfied with our success. I think my next step is to write a step-by-step plan of action that will allow me to measure my progress in achieving these goals - - sort of like an expanded lesson plan for myself with goals/objectives, procedure, list of materials needed, and assessment. Man, those five wishes are gonna take me forever to accomplish! Ugh………..

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