Guest contributor: Evan Griffith of NotesforCreators.com. Evan’s blog “shares insights on the connected creative life” and is one of my personal favorites.
Six or seven years ago, I was cleaning out my home office when I came across a folder of loose sheets, each one with this phrase (or a variation of it) hand written on it:
We are selling more than $20,000 a month.
This sentence was jotted down about 20 times per sheet. Each sheet represented one day of writing down this dream. It was from the first year or so that our art gallery was open, when such numbers were a hookah pipe dream.
You’ve likely heard this before, but I’ll say it again: If you write something down repeatedly, day after day, it is much more likely to come to pass. You train your brain to believe it is actually possible, then likely, then even a certainty. Your brain–and the whole wild world–find amazing ways to bring it about.
There are two astonishing things about this $20,000-a-month-in-sales declaration that I want to share with you.
The first one is: It came true!
By the time I re-read these note pages, we were so far beyond $20,000 a month in sales that to suddenly average that amount would have been catastrophic it would have been so low. Even after the 2008 stock market crash we posted better numbers than that.
When I came across the folder, I had long since forgotten about this exercise, which probably lasted no more than a few weeks to a month before I stopped doing it. I had forgotten about it even when we hit the $20,000-per-month-in-sales milestone a couple of years after doing the exercise.
And so here is the second thing I want to share with you about this declaration: I got what I said I wanted, but it wasn’t what I really wanted.
See, it wasn’t the $20,000 in sales per month that I really wanted. What I really wanted was healthy profits. By focusing on a secondary effect–the sales–instead of the actual desired effect–the profits–I attained what I was clear about quite quickly but didn’t attain (until later) what I wasn’t being clear about (healthy profits).
My lesson: Always, always focus on what you really want.
Oh, and one more thing: Have you written down your dream yet or what?
After Rachel and Matthew had their first child, they had a couple of fights. Well, okay, more than a couple—they fought for over three years. They fought about schedules. They fought about bad habits. They even fought about the lawn mower. And besides actually having their child, it was the best thing that could've happened. Get Fights You’ll Have After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Story on Amazon now.