“You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.” - Colin Wright
Grandma used to say, “Wish in one hand and shit in the other. Then see which one fills up faster.” Grandma was a little different, but her point stands: wishes don’t count for much. They’re sweet, they can even inspire, but they don’t get anything done. You can make a wish on a star, dandelion or eyelash, but if you want to make a wish come true, that’s all on you.
The wiser side of wishing is turning dreams and ideas into goals and plans. But that requires taking something out of the realm of hazy perfection and placing it into the messy, real world. Not to mention, going from Wish to Will is a journey over a deep chasm that requires strength, determination and discipline.
Before you decide your wishes should be will, consider this: you may want a wish to stay a wish. For example, wishes with magic required for fulfillment are best left in your fantasy world. Magic includes changing the very nature of things (I wish I didn’t have this chronic health condition) or relying on others to act a certain way (I wish Rick would love me instead of Marcia). Applying Will here may make you certifiable or gain you a restraining order.
The fantasy and yearning of the wish world can be a valid place to house your dreams, but for the dreams that could be reality, bringing them over that chasm from wish to will can help deepen your life experience and satisfy soulful yearning.
Here are three things you can do right now to slide your wishes toward reality:
Expand the vision and take ownership
Experts say, go ahead and dive deeper into the fantasy of your wish and begin to envision details and scenarios of how it might play out in the real world. Kinda fun, right? And, it’s not a waste of time. According to this study published in the Journal of Cognitive Science, “Episodic future thinking allows humans to mentally simulate virtually infinite future possibilities, yet this device is fundamentally goal-directed and should not be equated with fantasizing or wishful thinking.” In fact, they found it deepens brain pathways and activated regions associated with self awareness and judgement.
There is one caveat though. Other studies have clarified that the expanded visions need to be realistic. In other words, they need to focus on both potential positive and negative outcomes to be beneficial in moving a dream into a reality. You’ve got to take the vision off its perfection pedestal and think about how the details may or may not work in the real world.
Write your expanded vision down:
Studies have found that writing down a goal increases its probability of achievement. It can also play a part in making it more real and making you more invested in its reality. When we take ownership of something we work to keep it. This is called the Endowment Effect and writing down your dreams as goals, is a good first step in owning them.
Focus on becoming stronger:
Not a weight lifting regime, although that may help. We’re talking about mental strength and a proverbial backbone. You need to become mentally ready, and okay with sacrifice, discipline and failure. Make friends with uncertainty and discomfort. It might seem like we’re suggesting you ruin your life here to achieve something, but believe it or not, those who exercise, self control and discipline are happier. And not just after they achieve goals either, but day-to-day in the process.
As Washington Irving once said, “Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.” Dare to dream and then dare to make it a purpose and reality.