There’s a Japanese proverb that says:
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
It underscores the importance of pairing action with vision to manifest anything in life.
You can create all the vision boards, do all the visualizations, and talk about your goals until your blue in the face but if you don’t get moving your goal just becomes a wish.
And conversely, you can drown yourself in action — doing various tasks and learning different things about your goal but if you don’t have a clear vision for what you truly want, it will be like trying to sail upstream without a paddle. 🚣
You get nowhere.
This is because when we want to manifest anything big in our life we struggle with knowing where to begin.
This is where most of us get stuck: the process…
Because we obsess over answering that one “deadly” question which is a danger to our goals and dreams. ⚠️
It’s the 10,000-pound elephant in the room that we believe we need to address before we start working on our goal and committing to what we want to manifest.
But truthfully, it should be avoided at all costs even though our minds are programmed to ask it every time we set a goal or dare to dream of going after something big.
For many of us, this happens when we initially become inspired to start something new.
It’s when we want to manifest real change in our lives.
Maybe we get an idea to take on a new project, start a side business, or we just get that intuitive pull to create something we feel beckoned to express.
It could be something more personal like restarting and repairing certain relationships in our lives.
Whatever the desire, even if it seems just slightly challenging, we shy away from it because our mind immediately tries to figure out “how.” 🧐
It’s anytime we have an urge to try our hand at doing something big or chase that long-held dream we always kept in the back of our minds but never went for it.
We immediately start thinking that we need a giant stroke of luck, a large sum of money to fall in our laps, or loads of time that we don’t have to make our goal a reality.
In one single breath, we go from feeling inspired and motivated to perplexed and discouraged. 🤦🏻
This is part of the human predicament: our brains want all the answers upfront because we crave control and want to believe our goal is possible on an intellectual level.
But more importantly, our brain wants to keep us safe, and setting big, bold goals means you’re inviting something unfamiliar and unpredictable into its world and it wants to protect us from any potential “danger”, a.k.a. failure and rejection.
But the real “danger” is the curse of asking “how” because it’s a form of self-sabotage.
👉 “How” takes the wind out of the sails of any big, audacious desires.
👉 Asking “how” is your one-way ticket to feeling deflated.
👉 It’s the reason why most people abandon their goals before even getting started.
👉 “How” stops inspiration dead in its tracks.
Our incessant need to ask “how” though is not just our brain’s fault, it’s also because we fail to remember one important nuance when it comes to goal setting:
Goal-setting is about the transformation of your identity. The entire landscape of what we call “achieving our dreams” and “making our desires a reality”, whether it’s goal-setting, manifesting, or habit creation is about changing your identity to becoming someone new.
As James Clear says in Atomic Habits, “every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” ✅
It’s a journey of permanent change (a.k.a. transformation) of layering on new attributes and habits over time which eventually shapes and locks in a new identity.
But if you’re obsessed with figuring out “how” you are going to get to the final result from where you are right now in this moment today, you will psych yourself out. 👎🏼
Your rational brain wants proof that your goal is attainable and ‘realistic’ which like “how” is another “dangerous” word that will send you straight to the land of deflation. 😮💨
And when the present-day version of yourself can’t fathom how you will make such a big transformation you won’t believe you are capable of making this a reality.
And since belief is directly linked to our ability to achieve and manifest, you’ve already put yourself behind the eight ball.
Back to where most of us get stuck: the process…
The process of achieving goals and manifesting big desires is not about figuring “how” you will attain them, it’s about painting a beautiful picture of what you want, determining why you want it, and believing the “how” will emerge once you fully commit yourself to it.
Simply put, you must begin with the end in mind which is one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
In the book Playing the Matrix, author Mike Dooley ramps this idea up a notch by saying:
All manifestations begin with the end in mind. The end in mind will force the details.
I say don’t ask “how” ask “how come”.
Meaning, ask yourself why. Instead of asking how you will achieve it, start exploring why you want it!
And you can do this with everything.
Why do you want to take this job?
Why do you want to get fit?
Why do you want to start that business?
Why do you want to run that Spartan race?
Even for more personal things…
Why do you want to get into that relationship? Have kids? Buy that house? Eat this meal? Watch this TV show?
And if you throw in asking “where” and “what” along with “why”, you start asking better questions that can actually get things moving forward.
Instead of allowing “how” to leave you paralyzed and unsure of knowing where to begin.
Because sometimes when we can clearly define what we want and why we want it and align with those reasons, the “how” will begin to emerge and become more and more apparent to us.
Below I compiled a few more resources and ideas on reframing and getting beyond the curse of asking “how”.
👉 So if you’ve been getting that call to pursue that idea, take that plunge, or make any type of change in your life…
One of the biggest ways you can undermine yourself is to hold yourself back and talk yourself out from answering that call by obsessing over “how”.
Don’t let asking “how” torpedo your dreams!
Scratch that itch by asking better questions. 👉
You’ve set your big, audacious goal, you’ve moved past the dreaded curse of asking “how” by defining what you want, where you’re going, and why you want it. With the wind in your sails, you’re fully committed to getting after it… so now what?
💭 How do you get started even though you’re not supposed to ask “how”?
👉 Simple… take the next most obvious action.
There is always one obvious step you know comes next.
Just show up and take a baby step even if it feels like the wrong one. It’s better to go down the wrong path than no path at all because it will eventually lead you to a better one. Remember when you’re fully committed to a goal your brain is working overtime to filter reality to get you more information to fulfill that desire.
Just roll up your sleeves and do the best you can with what you have from where you’re at. Ask for help where you can. Keep learning. Follow your heart and remain available.
This is the all-important first step that creates forward momentum and telegraphs your intention to the Universe that you are ready, willing, and committed to what you want.
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