Climbing Mt. Vision

We are what and where we are because we have first imagined it. -Donald Curtis

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become. -Buddha

A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances. -James Allen

We become what we think about all day long. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Throughout the ages, the message has been repeated over and again. You are the product of your thinking. In our youth, our imagination ran wild with the possibilities of what we could accomplish. Somewhere along the way, as we aged, we became more “responsible” and put away those childish dreams. However, reigning in our imaginations did not halt the fact that we are still the product of our thoughts.

In Pushing to the Front (click here for free e-book), Orison Swett Marden wrote, “We lift ourselves by our thoughts, we climb upon our vision of ourselves.” Mt. Everest is but a molehill compared to the vision I have imagined for myself. I don’t know if I will ever get to the top. Regardless, I will never stop climbing. Consider Marden’s words and elevate your level of thinking. Take your imagination to the heights and begin your ascent to Mt. Vision.


Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Unintentional Consequences of Delaying Your Dreams

One Take from the Week #9: Unintentional Consequences of Delaying Your Dreams

Ever since childhood, Carl was a dreamer. When he was a child, he watched a movie that left a lasting impression on him. The world was much bigger than he realized. Beyond his little neighborhood was a vast unknown waiting to be explored. That day, Carl made up his mind. He was going to be an adventurer and travel to the far reaches of the world.

That was Carl’s dream, but he did something different. He did what he was expected to do. He didn’t have the money to follow his dreams, so he got a job. He met someone with a similar dream, and they got married. To save up enough money to go on their adventures, his wife got a job.

They had a plan. It was a good plan. In fact, it was the logical plan that responsible people are encouraged to make. But in the movie Up, we realize that plans are only plans and have no guarantees. Carl and Ellie continued to dream and to work as they got older. Ellie ended up dying and they never got to go on their adventure together.


Carl’s story reminds me of Jack. Jack owned a construction and built houses all over town. Like Carl, he also dreamed of travelling the world with his wife. One day he was going to slow down and retire. What he didn’t count on was becoming a widower. His loss was devastating, and his quality of life took a dramatic turn for the worse. Eventually, his daughter forced him to move in with her and her family. This didn’t go over well and what ensued was War with Grandpa.

Carl (Up) and Jack (War with Grandpa).

A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts, so he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions.

Alan Watts

The lesson could be that wives should never die before their husbands, but it is not. Instead, the lesson is about the unintentional consequences of delaying your dreams. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, let alone another twenty years and a comfortable retirement. If your dreams are nothing more than a fantasy, that is fine. Have your fantasy. But if this dream is important enough, you must start setting it into motion today. Make the plans, lay the groundwork, and attack it with all your being. Don’t let these dreams only be wasted thoughts. Bring them from the world of illusions into reality.


Feature photo by Peter Fogden on Unsplash

Beware the Stories

The stories you read. Do they nourish your mind? Are they only entertainment, something to help pass the time?

Back up in my Army days, I picked up the book Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I knew little about the book at the time, except that it was a classic. I decided to read it. About halfway through the book something strange started to happen. The novel started influencing my dreams. I found myself conversing with the characters and trying to cope with the not-so-pleasant times. It might not have been the first time I dreamt about a book I was reading, but it was the most vivid time.

The stories you tell. What about the stories you tell whether it is to yourself or to others? Are they helpful, or are they a hindrance? If you lie to yourself enough times, soon you will believe it. If you encourage a capable person, leading them to believe they can do a task, they too in time will believe they can do it.

Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.

Ben Okri

One of my favorite computer programming terms is GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). If you put in bad coding, you are going to get a program that does not work the way you intend it. The amazing thing about GIGO is that it works in so many other aspects of our lives. Eat a bunch of garbage and what happens? Either that garbage will come out or it will influence you in a way you never intended. Garbage work results in low quality products and a business model that will not last exceptionally long. And what you read and the stories you tell, if they are garbage, will imprint themselves into your very being and eventually find ways to come out. Garbage in, garbage out.

Thankfully, the opposite is true. Allow good things to come into your life, and in time, good things will be flowing from you. If you eat good food, your body will respond in a better way. If you produce quality work, others will notice and reward you for it. If you read the quality stuff, consume the right media, and tell the good stories, it will permeate your mind and your soul. Thomas Edison said, “Never go to bed without a request to your subconscious.” You could literally make that request right before you go to bed, but the reality is that you make that you make those requests throughout the day through the things you consume. This is how you engineer your tomorrow. Good stuff in today, good stuff out tomorrow.


Feature photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Dream Time

Begin with the end in mind.

I have heard the above quote before, but I was reminded of it this week while listening to The Art of Manliness Podcast #607  with Stephen M.R. Covey covering his father’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

What is the ultimate end? Death. For a moment, consider what might be said at your funeral. How will you be remembered by your spouse, children, co-workers, and community? What would you like them to say about you? That is your end. And if your goal is to get them to say what you would like them to say, then it would be best if you begin planning and working on it now.

In the same fashion, you could imagine where you want to be in 5, 10, or even 20 years. Once the seed is planted in the imagination, we must begin the cultivation process and allow that seed to grow into reality. Start at the end, draw out the blueprints, lay the foundation, and then complete the project.

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. -T.E. Lawrence

As long as we have breath in our bodies, we can set a new goal. We can have the waking dreams that make us dangerous in the good way. In the book Super Brain by Rudolph E. Tanzi and Deepak Chopra, we learn that cells are dynamic. As long as they keep moving, they live. But once they stop, they die. Even into our later years, we can continue moving. It is only when we become stagnant that we lose the dynamic ability to achieve new growth. The key is to keep growing, to keep improving.

For some of us, we suddenly have more time on our hands than ever before. What will you do with this time? If you have nothing to keep you occupied, it might be a good time to start dreaming. Set a new goal. Dream a new dream. Become the person you want to be known as when you come to your journey’s end.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. –C.S. Lewis

Keep Dreaming

Hope 10/19/2019

I have been thinking about dreams lately. My dreams at night have become more and more vivid. Not only vivid, but stimulating enough to activate my mind and keep it awake for several hours afterwards. This is a bummer if I have only been asleep for ten minutes, which is what happened to me earlier in the week.

I have a friend in Ireland who told me about her recurring dreams. I am in her dreams, but in them I refuse to climb up a mountain with her. It reminds of me of my own recurring dreams. I used to love those types of dreams, because I always woke up feeling like a completed the next chapter of a book. And though my dreams are very different than my friend’s, they have one thing in common. They are both completely random. On that day at that particular time, the mind pulled that dream out of nowhere, allowed it to run its course, and then casually placed it back in the hidden closet from which it came. The sleeping dream is completely random. And try as you might, you have no ability to influence its outcome.

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. –T.E. Lawrence

I used to spend more time thinking about my sleeping dreams than I ever did on my waking dreams. What a shame, because I was focusing on something I had no control over. Why focus on something I can’t control, when I could focus on the things I can control. One is magical in that you can’t control it or touch it. You can only watch it and hope the story turns out good. The other is magical in a totally different sense. You can imagine it, shape it, and write your own narrative. You can control it from the beginning and even see it through to its completion. The waking dream that becomes reality is truly magical, and the magician is the dreamer who chooses to keep her eyes open.

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.” –James Allen

Move Your Mountain

How often have I looked into the future and viewed that great achievement of my imagination? I could smell it, visualize it, almost reach out and touch it. I would imagine how great it would be to accomplish it. The vision would often continue in my mind for a few days, even for weeks. And then, it would fade. I wouldn’t write it down. I wouldn’t plan it out. I wouldn’t begin the work. It was only a dream, one of many.

The vision is a mountain. It is tall and majestic. In all its glory, looming large within the scopes of my imagination, I would never be able to move it. It is simply too big. Or is it? I can take away a bit at a time. It would be hard work. It would take time. But time and work equals results. If I broke it down into small milestones, the pieces would be more manageable. With the right plan and persistence, that dream could be a reality.

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away a small stone.” –Confucius

 

Is This Hell?

I had a dream of Hell. It wasn’t what I imagined. Go figure, the dream started with me in a bar having a drink. God picked me up and we went for a drive. We were looking for someone, and unfortunately we never found him. The Devil was in the car behind us. He kept wanting me to leave God’s side and join him. Even in my dreams I knew better than that. The Devil seemed a nice enough person, but I sensed there was danger lurking beneath the façade.

This vision of hell was not one of pain and suffering. There was no fire, no gnashing of teeth. It wasn’t Dante’s Inferno. No, it was pretty similar to the world as we see it today. People were going about their everyday business, but something was missing. They didn’t have hope. There was no joy. They were completely void of any emotions, like machines operating on auto-pilot. The more I try to think back on what I saw in my dream, the more fearsome this hell became.

Imagine your hell of working in a job that you are not passionate about. Every day you get up and go through the motions. No joy. No happiness. Nothing. The day ends and you go home to prepare to do it all over the next day. What do you have to look forward to? The weekend? Retirement? Is this a life?

Unfortunately, there are those who already live in this type of hell. They feel like they have no choice, that this drudgery is their lot in life. But does it have to be this way? We can choose a different life. We can make changes. The changes might be gradual at first, but there is nothing wrong with that. It is still a change, and small changes add up. This would be progress. Progress toward escaping our self-created hell on earth and finding instead a small piece of heaven.

Aim High

I was speaking to an associate today who told me he has a five year plan to leave his manufacturing job. I asked him what he was planning to do. His reply: play the stock market, get his money, and then get out.

Of course, I was initially skeptical of this plan. This has to be a pipe dream if I ever saw one. How is this young adult going to walk in and accomplish what so many have failed to do over the years? If you are looking for someone to scoff at, this would be the one.

This man plucked this idea out of the far reaches of the ether. But he didn’t stop there, he gave this idea life by saying it out loud and saying it to someone else. Will he be able materialize this thought? Does he have the drive to stick with this dream until the end? As Plutarch said, “Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.” Is he willing to suffer?

I can’t believe God put us on this earth to be ordinary. –Lou Holtz

After thinking about this man’s dreams and my reaction to it, I began to think about my own dreams. I too, have a wildly ambitious plan that is far beyond where I am today. Why is my dream so realistic to me but the thought of his dream ridiculous? We are both striving toward the same thing: our perception of success. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I get that same skepticism when I voice my dreams. The reality is that many shoot for the stars, but only a few make it there. The few that make it are the ones we remember, and it keeps the dreamers dreaming. It drives them to action and the hope of a better future.

I hope he can achieve his dreams. He just may be a shining example of what one can accomplish with the right amount of creativity, determination, and persistence. There could be a day that he is a role model for others, even a role model for me.

For more on pulling ideas from the ether and giving it substance, check out the Aubrey Marcus Podcast #143: The Road Map to Transformation with Anahata Ananda. I listened to this episode this week and found it really insightful to making my own dreams a reality.