One thing I found out about following your dreams is that you can’t just jump right in and make them happen.

When I decided that it was time to pursue my dream of being a published author, I had the mind-set that when you make a decision you just go with it and figure it out as you do it.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I jumped in head first and didn’t think twice.  After all, the only thing it takes to get published is to write a great book, right?  I couldn’t have been more wrong!

The whole thing was sort of like jumping into the deep end of a pool without knowing the first thing about swimming.  After spurting and sputtering and sinking to the bottom a few times, you eventually figure out how to stay afloat, but you’re still not swimming. Suddenly you realize that you will not be the next Michael Phelps just because you had the guts to jump in.  There’s much more to it than just taking the plunge.

So there I was, treading water in the big swimming pool of dreams, but I wasn’t going anywhere.  I wasn’t really doing anything that I hadn’t done before.  It occurred to me at that point that I needed to take a good look at my habits, my goals, my life in general and see what it was I needed to do, or not do, to make my dream happen.  I needed to make a plan.

I have had some rough spots in my life, and I’ve made some iffy (if not just plain horrid) decisions.  Which in turn, got me into a very bad habit of being cynical.  I always expected the worst, that way when it happened I wasn’t disappointed.  But this mind-set was not going to work if I wanted to successfully follow my dream.  I was not going to set healthy, attainable goals for myself with that type of attitude.  I had to have more faith in myself, make better decisions and create better habits.  These were not going to be easy tasks to accomplish.  I am by far my own worst critic.  Thus, the first step in my plan was to make a concerted effort to think more positive.

So I started reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, which was recommended in a blog by author Michael R. Hicks.  (Please see his link to the right; he’s a great author and has some good advice about self-marketing!)  This book is fantastic!  I haven’t completed it yet but so far I love it.  It hasn’t provided me with anything that isn’t plain common sense or anything I don’t already know.  It  just put it all in perspective for me.  I won’t tell you more about the book – I’ll let you read it for yourself.  But it has been instrumental in changing the way I look at things, the way I think about them.

You would be surprised how much your mentality or your mind-set has to do with the direction your life is headed.  By thinking more positive, I am seeing life in a much brighter fashion now.  I laugh more.  I am not letting myself be pulled under by negative influences any longer.  I’m not getting as stressed out about things the way I used to.  I am more creative and able to work on my book more often.  I get excited about the little things and not just the big things.  I am getting ready to start a work out routine, not just because I am ready to lose weight, but because it’s good for me.  I am even more positive about  my job – which up until recently has been a huge stress factor in my life.

By thinking more positive, I’ve been able to make some wonderful changes to my life which have resulted in me being a happier person.  To me, that aspect alone makes it a successful step forward.  Now I feel I’m ready to take the next step in my plan which is creating attainable goals and workable schedules.  And to think, I could have done all this a long time ago. All I needed was a new way of thinking!