Yesterday, the Chief and I went for a coffee. He had some concerns about my recent lapses of confidence: particularly, in Sherlockian terms, The Case of the Possibly Lost Job that you all may remember from a few weeks ago. Some of the things that he said really resonated with me as they echoed many of the cards I've pulled over the last couple of days, concerning self-confidence, and living in the moment rather than the past or the future.
But it's not in the Chief's nature to philosophise out loud for long, he's more of an action man. Well, not an Action Man, like the Boy Barbie with a rifle and moveable eyes, but a man of action. So, he gave me a task - to list 10 goals or aims that are achievable and that can be fairly quickly actioned. I think the idea is something like the 'cosmic ordering' phenomena currently sweeping the nation and recently much publicised by Noel Edmonds.
When she came back from San Francisco, the endlessly talented Lisa Clark brought me back a small book called 'It Works' by a guy called R H Jarett. Published in 1926, this book, I think, carries the seed of cosmic ordering, except that to me, there is little that is mystifyingly 'cosmic' about this process, really. The book gives you a simple set of instructions, create a list of your goals and aims, these can be anything you like, and then you follow the:
Three Positive Rules Of Accomplishment
1. Read the list of what you want three times each day: morning, noon and night.
2. Think of what you want as often as possible.
3. Do not talk to any one about your plan except to the Great Power within you which will unfold to your Objective Mind the method of accomplishment.
You can find the entire text of 'It Works' on the internet at http://www.successcounsel.com/it_works.html
To me, this looks like a simple pyschological strategy to keep your goals in mind at all times, and in so doing to ensure that each decision you make in the course of each day is congruent with those desires. Over time, you will get closer to the things on your list, because you will start living your life with your goals in mind and this will act to prevent you becoming easily distracted, as the rest of us are. Let me know what you think.
So, today, I sat down and wrote my list of ten things; it was very difficult to do. This was mostly because to commit a dream that usually lives in your head into actual, physical words is a very powerful act (ask a wizard, they'll tell you - why do you think they won't tell anyone their full or proper names, huh?) and I kept chickening out. It made me realise that as well as being powerful things, dreams are often frightening things, too. Sometimes to really strike out for my dreams might mean that I have to sacrifice my attachment to things that I do not want to let go of. Sometimes to reach for my dreams may mean stepping out of my comfort zone, or making some drastic changes. It's strange, but sometimes I am more afraid of attaining my dreams than I am afraid of staying in situations that make me fundamentally unhappy!
In searching for 'It Works', I stumbled across an audio recording by a man called Earl Nightingale and recorded in 1956. Earl spent 20 years searching for the secret of success, and he believed that after so many years he had found it. It is easy to dismiss thinkers like Nightingale, but the pervasity of the fundamental ideas found in today's cosmic ordering principles is something that I find fascinating and so much of what he says is so very familiar, and from so many different sources, for example, Earl quotes many different writers, politicians, religions and thinkers, and a huge section of the recording is identical to a course I took last year called Tuning The Orchestra, run by NLP guru Steve Hender.
I think Earl may have a point, but don't take my word for it. Listen to him. I know some of it is dated to our ears, but I can't help but find that endearing for the faint intellectual discomfort it gives me. I would love to know what people think on this one. I'll warn you though, the recording is lengthy, maybe 30 minutes or so, but worth it.
Earl claims that:
"If you understand completely what I am going to tell you, from this moment on, your life will never be the same again."
Now, the list is written, I've made my commitment to the world of dreams and dreaming. I'd love to tell you what they are, but then I'd have to kill you, obviously. I'll give you another list, though, of today's
3 Beautiful Things
1. Dancing to the Puppini Sisters in the office
2. Making up the 'Lisa Clark in Borders' song and singing and dancing with Lisa Clark
3. Not sticking to 'The Plan' today. Again.