Back from my hiatus, feeling clear and refreshed, like a new man! I unplugged from the "real world" for a while and I'm feeling the benefits. I have to say that I hit the bottom a few weeks back (see 10/30 post). An experience completely new to me, but an experience that definitely made me a stronger person. It's amazing the "bounce" you get once you've pulled yourself out of the doldrums. Now back to living, back to life as I want to know it, back to manifesting my future the way I want it.
There is so much information out there regarding life and living, creating plans, manifesting, what it takes to be successful, etc. I'm sure we've all been asked about our "five year plan". But do we need a five year plan? Can we really anticipate what challenges and obstacles we're going to face over the next five years? Looking back at my last five years, I'd have to say "no". I'm not suggesting that planning a future is a bad thing, but I do believe there is a lot of pressure on people today to have things "figured out". Five years ago I probably did have things figured out. Did it mimic the reality of my life five years later? Not even close. Light years apart actually. There is just no way to anticipate what the universe will throw at you. Plan all you want, just be sure to build in some flexibility and anticipation of the unknown.
I've started practicing my own philosophy on planning and manifesting, I call it "have YOUR day!" While I'm sure it's nothing new, I'm running with it and it seems to be working for me. I've actually been practicing this philosophy off and on for about four years, but only recently have I really been disciplined in my practice. It's a simple philosophy really; I consider it a hybrid of some self-help books that I've read. The two most influential books I've read to create my hybrid philosophy are "The Secret" and "Attitude is Everything" . Very simple concepts, you attract what you think about and you only have control over one thing in life, your attitude. Obviously both books go deeper on their philosophies, but at the very basic level, still a profound way of thinking.
In late 2008 I was laid off from a 5 year job and 10 year career. It was the beginning of the "Great Recession" and most "normal" people would've probably freaked out; which I did, for a moment. This was not a part of my plan. I had no contingencies lined up. I was under the false belief that I would retire with this company. What the hell was I thinking? I attribute this type of thinking to the fact that I am a child of Baby Boomers and the thinking of my parents' generation was "go to college, get a good job, stay there for 30 years and retire". But what happens when things don't go as planned? I was lost for a while, not knowing what I wanted to do with myself. One thing I did know, I did not want to go back into the only career I had known. I had accomplished everything I set out to accomplish in that space and was miserable. Being laid off ended up being a blessing in disguise. This is when I discovered the power of manifestation. I had read the books, taken bits and pieces from each of them and started to implement them into my life. I began by being very aware of my thoughts, actions, and attitude. I woke up every morning being thankful for what I had and thankful for where I was heading (although admittedly, I wasn't quite sure where I was heading). Once I finally figured out my new career direction, I had to put it out into the universe, I had to attract what I was thinking about. However, I didn't just create a vision board, put myself and my new career on it and think about it. I had to take conscious actions which supported my visions and thoughts. Long story short (I'm thinking about writing a fuller version of my story later on), in a matter of only two years I had completely changed careers and am currently in the fourth year of my career transformation. I have to say, this stuff works.
Recently I found myself with another life challenge. This prompted me to revisit what I went through in 2008 and how I overcame those challenges. I now start and end every day, having my day. It's a method of manifesting and planning in smaller chunks. I have an idea of where I want to go, but instead of mapping it out with a five year plan, I keep my eye on the prize one day at a time. Before I go to bed I reflect on what I want the next day to be and I tell myself to "have YOUR day". I visualize my entire day, from waking up smiling and feeling good, to completing work tasks, and even what I'm going to do for dinner. In the morning I remind myself of the "day" I created in my mind the previous night. It's amazing to me how effortlessly I can get through my days in this way. At the end of my day I reflect on the day I had and begin to manifest my tomorrow. Taking bite sized chunks allows me to be flexible when the unknown hits. If something comes up, it doesn't rattle my whole plan, it may just rattle my day. Who knows where I'll be in five years? I don't. I do know that each and every day between now and then, I'm taking steps. I'm more comfortable now than ever with not having things figured out. It's quite liberating. Just continue to have YOUR day! Stay in the present, go easy on yourself, be aware of your attitude, your thoughts, and your actions.
You can put a vacation on your vision board all you want. But if you're just staring at it and thinking about it, are you ever really going to go on that vacation? Take action. Like the great Henry Winkler said in Waterboy, "visualize and attack!".