Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all, heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built. ― James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
As you may have surmised by the title of this article and its opening quote, I just read As A Man Thinketh (← read it free online) by James Allen. I picked up a copy at my local library’s annual book sale. The book has been on my radar, but I was not actively seeking it out. I’m grateful to have stumbled upon it as it is filled with gems of wisdom and truth. Ideas from this book could easily become the subject of my writing for the rest of the year. But for now, let’s dive into how I agree with the quote above.
I reflected recently that I don’t always have a clear vision of what I want. Generally I know what I’m aiming for, but I don’t always have a clear vision, a specific ideal.
In order to cultivate a more clear vision of what I want my life to be and look like, I asked myself a few questions:
- What do I want?
- What type of person do I want to be?
- What specifically does my future ideal day look like?
Now to be clear, number one’s answer did not contain items or things I desire to own as any pleasure I derive from them, for me, is quite fleeting. But you are to ask the question of yourself. As you consider your life, what do you want?
I then asked myself what type of person I want to be. What’s my Identity? How do I treat others? Am I present with others? Do I spend time and energy thinking about money? Am I the type of person who values exercise and health? Do I create daily? Am I the type of person who spends time with people who bring me down? These are my questions. What are yours, and what type of person do you want to be?
And lastly I considered what my ideal day might look like. When and how do I wake up? With whom do I spend time? How much time do I spend exercising and what does that look like? How do I fuel my body? How do I connect with others? When do I do deep work and what does that look like? But again, that was what I chose to ask myself, what does your future ideal look like? Be specific!
After cultivating a clear vision of what I want my life to look like, I spent some time considering how I will cherish this vision and honor all that I know to be true in my heart.
The etymology of cherish is: to have affection for, to respect, to hold dear. So how can we cherish what we desire to create?
1. Trust thyself by cherishing the music that stirs in your heart.
As soon as I read the above quote from Allen, this Emerson quote came into mind.
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
When I trust my intuition, it leads me in the right direction. When I push against what I know to be true, I err. How about you? How can you trust yourself a little more today?
2. See all the ways in which you are already or can live your ideal life today.
I realized that my ideal life is not all too different than my current reality. I feel so grateful for this to be the case. Now I can have fun closing the gap between how I am currently living and my ideal life. Even if it’s just in one way, how are you living your ideal life today?
3. Take daily action towards creating what you want.
A vision board won’t get us there. Journaling on our ideal life, though helpful, won’t move us towards our ideal life. But action will.
So what action, no matter how small, can you take today that moves you towards becoming the type of person you want to be as you create your optimal life through a series of awesome days?
Got it? Now go do it.