Turning Dreams into Realities

Future pacing

I used to be a dreamer…

Head in the clouds, moonwalking through life. But for every dream I had I wasted a day in the real world.

It can be easy to get caught up in the day to day. Waking up and thinking how many minutes you can lie in bed before you have to get ready for work…

Watching the seconds tick away as you procrastinate until the end of the day.

But what about those future plans? When is the time for dreams?

Life doesn’t start at some indefinable point in the future, it doesn’t start tomorrow, it starts now.

This is an exercise designed to make those dreams of yours something tangible and achievable that you can start working on today.

It’s crammed full of NLP exercises, designed to motivate you and structure your thoughts to achieve your future goals.

It’s something you can do in a few minutes, but you can continue to use for years to come.

Whenever you’re feeling tired or de-motivated I want you to stop for a moment and perform this exercise. It only takes a couple of minutes, and once you get good at it, it will trigger automatically when you’re having doubts.

Resource anchoring.

I want you to imagine a moment in the future where you have everything you’ve ever wanted: absolute happiness…

I doesn’t have to be a complete vision of success, just a moment in time where you feel like you’re there. Like you’ve won.

Maybe it’s sitting in front of a cosy fire surrounded by your future family…

Maybe it’s walking into your dream home for the first time…

Maybe it’s standing on top of that mountain you’ve always dreamed of climbing…

Now step inside yourself and think about what you see, what you hear, what you feel.

Maybe it’s the warm touch of a lover, the feeling of elation as you watch the sun rise over the peaks, the pride of finally achieving your goal.

Close your eyes and take a moment to feel this, to live this…

 

How does it feel? Good right?

I want you to save this in your mind. The sights, the sounds, the emotions. This will be your light at the end of the tunnel, the thing that get’s you out of bed in the morning, that lifts you up when you fall…

This is your “Anchor.”

I want you to give it a name. Make it real. Use it like a resource, a trump card. For the sake of this article let’s call it “Absolute Happiness.” Because that’s what it really is.

Side Stepping

When you’re feeling demotivated I want you to close your eyes and perform this simple exercise.

See how it makes you feel now. Compare it to the state you were in a moment ago. Realise the “Trigger” that got you feeling the way you were.

Maybe it was something someone said that made you feel down, or something you saw, like looking at your bank statement.

When you get good at seeing the cues, it will trigger the thought of performing the anchor automatically.

If you want to take it further, you can take a deep breath and imagine side-stepping out of yourself.

Look down at your current self and think about what they look like. Think about how this state of mind will hinder them from achieving that goal.

Compare this to how you think being in the anchored state will help you to achieve your goal.

Shake your head at your other self and then step back inside and perform the Anchor.

 

Small chunks

Now I want you to image that this moment, Absolute Happiness, was going to be tomorrow.

How does that make you feel? Do you feel excited, nervous…prepared?

If you were to achieve your ultimate goal tomorrow, would you be ready for it?

Chances are, the answer is no.

Now can you see that your ultimate goal, absolute happiness, isn’t something that you can wave a magic wand and it will appear. It’s a process that you must build up to, that you must be prepared for, that you must achieve.

And how much better is achieving something than having it given to you?

This will help you bring that dream down to earth.

So let’s take a step back.

Now I want you to think about what it would take for you to be able to experience Absolute Happiness.

Perhaps in order to have the dream home you need a certain sum of money and financial security. If it’s the family you dream of, then perhaps you need to meet your future partner. And if you’re climbing the mountain, perhaps you first must have the physical or mental strength to achieve it.

So let’s make this the future goal. Because if you have this, you have the tools you need to experience the Absolute Happiness you named earlier.

Let’s call this “Readiness.”

Now I want you to think about how long it would take for you to achieve Readiness. If you started today that is, and put all your efforts into it. Just this one thing, nothing more.

Think about it…

 

Would it take 10 years? 2 years? 2 months?

Chances are, when you actually think about it, you could achieve this in a relatively short amount of time. Perhaps shorter than you’d previously thought.

Isn’t that amazing? To think that you could achieve Absolute Happiness in such a short period of time…if you started today.

So what would you need to do in order to achieve Readiness?

If you need a some of money and financial security, perhaps you would need to have a good job. If you needed to meet the partner of your dreams, then perhaps you would need the confidence to start and nurture a relationship. And if you needed the physical and mental strength to climb a mountain then perhaps you would need a personal trainer, or life coach.

So what would it take?

Let’s call this “The Vehicle.”

Think about what that Vehicle is for a moment…

 

So how long would it take for you to obtain The Vehicle?

What do you need to do in order to obtain The Vehicle?

Step back again, and again, and again, until you get to Today…

What do you need to do Today in order to achieve Absolute Happiness. Maybe it’s something as small as buying a book, hiring a life coach, or getting up an hour earlier.

Imagine if the road to achieving Absolute happiness started with something as simple as reading a book? Imagine that your road to Absolute happiness started toady?

Wouldn’t that be worth it?

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

 

Life gates

To be able to think about something in this way is incredibly useful. To be able to say:

“In order to achieve (Absolute Happiness) I must first have (Readiness)…and in order to obtain (Readiness) I must first have (The Vehicle)…and in order to obtain The Vehicle I need to (insert action here) Today…”

These are your Life Gates.

So you see having an actionable plan with a time frame for achieving your life goals isn’t difficult. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to plan your life.

And there’s nothing stopping you from doing this today.

You see in this way, you are motivated by this moment you named earlier, your Anchor, your Absolute Happiness, whilst at the same time you can see The Vehicle you need to obtain Readiness.

That intangible dream that used to float somewhere off in the future has now been brought down to earth. We have defined it, defined what you need to achieve it, and set an action plan that you can start today.

I want you to practice this every time you are feeling lost or de-motivated. Re-live your moment, Anchor those feelings to now, then break it down in to small chunks, and focus on what you can do Today to achieve it.

Identify your Triggers, use your Anchor, practice Side-Stepping.

If you can plan in this way, then you Will achieve your moment. You will achieve Absolute Happiness.

 

And so you see minutes don’t matter: Plan in years, live in days.

I used to be a dreamer…

Now I’m a doer.

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Why Most Businesses Work Backwards

Why Most Businesses Work Backwards

When starting a business most people think they have to come up with an idea or product that no one has ever thought of before.

Then they spend months and months, and thousands of pounds crafting and recrafting this unique and beautiful product until they think it’s perfect.

Then and only then do they show it to the world and find out that actually no one wants to buy it.

These are the kinds of businesses that fail every day…

Wisdom from Dr Suess

The perfect example of this is in the film The Lorax. In this film the Once-Ler set’s off in search of the perfect material for his invention the “Thneed.” He searches far and wide and eventually comes across a big fluffy tree and cuts it down.

He then begins knitting the strangest and most convoluted garment he can imagine and stands out in the town square trying to sell it. He lists all the features and benefits and shows everyone how versatile and wonderful it is…but no one buys it.

After years of researching and making this new and unique product, and not being able to sell it, he then gives up and throws it over his shoulder.

Do you see how ridiculous this ideology is? It’s so ridiculous in fact, that even Dr Seuss thought to point it out to children.

thneed_need

Fortunately for the Once-ler the Thneed just so happens to land on someone’s head in the shape of a hat, and someone complements them on it. Other people see them complimenting it and ask where they got it from, and soon everyone is crowding around the Once-Ler’s shop and buying all the hats he has for sale…

In reality, hardly anyone is so lucky.

 

Let’s take another example of a business from that film.

After cutting down all the trees in the forest to make Thneeds, the whole city becomes polluted and horrible. The foreman at the Thneed factory, after a coughing fit, turns around anecdotally to his apprentice and says: “Man, I wish we had some clean air. That’d be a million dollar business!”

The apprentice then has the biggest “AHA!” moment in history and becomes a multi-millionaire selling bottles of fresh air.

You see how this business model works better? Smart Man Dr Suess…

The Best advice I ever Got

So why doesn’t the Thneed sell?

I’m going to give you the best piece of advice I ever got in business:

Your opinion doesn’t matter!

batman-slap-robin

You are not your target audience, so what you think is unique and perfect is not necessarily what other people will think at all. This kind of thinking is a recipe for wasting your life and your talents.

Breaking down False Beliefs

So let’s break down these false beliefs and turn this business model on it’s head:

False Belief #1:

“When starting a business you have to come up with an idea or product that no one has ever thought of before.”

The problem with this belief is that, if no one has ever thought of it before, how do you know if people actually need it?

NASA spent millions of dollars developing a pen that could write in space, whilst the Russians simply used a pencil…

A much better idea is to find a market that already has lots of interest and create a product that fits in the same niche.

Go to any shop and look at any isle you want: toothpaste, dog food, mobile phones; there will be shelves and shelves of similar products all side by side. Why? Because one brand saw it was successful and jumped on board. Everyone needs toothpaste right?

Now that’s not saying that you can’t have a Unique Selling Point (USP), but your basic idea should be something you know already has a market where people are buying it.

 

False Belief #2:

“You need to spend months and months refining your product until it’s perfect before showing it to the world.”

First of all how do you know what’s perfect? If no one has ever seen it, you can’t have got any feedback from your target audience at all, and you are asking for failure.

Most people hold onto their ideas like they are babies, never wanting them to go out into the world because they are still young a vulnerable and they fear what people might actually think of them.

Well here’s a tip for free. Your first attempt will fail. Just like the in The Matrix “No one makes the first jump.”

The key to success in business is continuous improvement:Create Measure Improve

When starting out with a new business, create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) then release it to a trial audience and get their feedback. They will likely tear it apart and this is what will make Mk.2 100% better.

Look at any piece of software you own and see the version. It will likely be something like 5.2.15 or something ridiculous like that. Imagine if iOS had never release because they were still waiting for iOS 9…

So now can you see why the Thneed failed and bottled air succeeded?

The Once-Ler thought he knew what people wanted, spent years perfecting it, then tried to sell it and no one came.

O’Hare Air listened to his target market, found out what they wanted, and gave it to them. This is the secret to success.

No one needs a Thneed…