“The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” ~ Lee Iacocca, auto executive
Before I ever moved to Jacksonville, when I was still in college, I wrote in my journal what I wanted for myself as a young adult on my own. I live alone in a great apartment by the beach. I have a job that pays all the bills, lots of friends and an orange cat. Years later, I re-read my entry. I didn’t even recall consciously wanting those things, yet I had them all, right down to the color of the cat. Henriette Anne Klauser explains this phenomenon in her book Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want – And Getting It! By putting it on paper you declare your intent. And that, she says, keeps the subconscious part of your brain working in the background to make it happen. You become more alert to the signs and signals that help you achieve your goal. So, I went into the Humane Society in ’92 thinking I wanted to adopt a kitten of any color, but when I saw the orange one some part of my brain went Ding! Ding! Ding! By writing it down, you declare yourself in the game. Putting it on paper alerts the part of your brain known as the reticular activating system to join you in the play. ~ Henriette Anne Klauser
So write it down. Don’t just think it. In the same way that you may keep a list of things to do that day, write down what you’d like to accomplish in the longer term. A year or five years. “There is a solidity in actually committing it to paper,” says Klauser. “It is a physical thing to put it on paper…writing it down is a commitment.”
And experts say to use language in the present tense, as if it’s already so. As in, I work for myself, I have all the clients I need, or I am a successful writer. And I’m no expert, but for what it’s worth – be specific! I should have said I live on the beach, not by the beach.