When we embark upon a self-development journey and desire to achieve some big goal, I think most people understand that they’re not going to sit in their living room with their eyes closed chanting “BMW… BMW… BMW…” and open their eyes to find a brand new, shiny BMW sitting there. That’s not how it works. However, I think there are a lot of people who think the process will be a lot quicker and a lot easier than it often is – especially when we are talking about great big, UNREALOGICAL goals.

On the contrary, my personal experience and that of nearly a thousand of my clients has born out again and again that the process is far more nuanced than we ever thought it would be when we started our journey. Rather than allowing us to just “trip” over our goal, the universe tends to bring us to the trailhead – the path that may possibly lead us to our goal if we are diligent in following the map and guideposts that it leaves for us.

I’ll give you an example in my own life. For the past 17 years, I have been eating and exercising a certain way and up until about 3 years ago, I got terrific results from that plan. I was always very slender and muscularly defined. I had come to expect that I would be that way forever. But then a funny thing happened: My results stopped dead in their tracks, even though I changed NOTHING!  I was eating exactly the same way and I was continuing to workout 6 days per week. It should work the way it always had, but it wasn’t!

Then, to my utter horror, I started gaining weight! It wasn’t a huge amount, but it was enough to make my clothes quite uncomfortable and to make me not very happy with what I saw in the mirror. Now, I realize in the grand scheme of things, this is a very trivial example, but it will make my point. Over the past 2 years, I have changed and tweaked how I eat and how I exercise over and over again, but to no avail. By June of this year, I was incredibly frustrated and had gained 10 lbs in total. I used part of my Imagineering time to write about the physique I wanted. I added pictures of similar body types at an ideal weight to my vision board and my MindMovie and I continued to look for a solution to my ever-expanding body.

In July, I went to the National Speakers Association annual convention as I do most years. It’s a great gathering and I always walk away with several golden nuggets that help propel my business forward. By the last evening of the convention, I was kind of bummed. The speakers were good and it was wonderful to see my speaker friends, but I didn’t feel like I had gotten the same pearls of wisdom as I had in the past. I stopped to talk to a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while and I had to remark on how much weight he had lost since we were together the last time. He proceeded to tell me all about how he had lost over 40 pounds in a relatively short period of time. I walked away from that conversation thinking he was just a little on the crazy side, but by the next morning I found myself asking, “What if it’s true?” I sought my friend out at breakfast and we talked more.

Once I got home, I researched his information and implemented his strategy myself. Lo and behold, it worked like a charm. I haven’t been at my current weight in 15 years!

So, you see, I put my desires out to the universe, but it didn’t answer with some immediate solution. Rather, it showed me the trailhead and then I had to do a whole lot of work to get where I wanted to be. The same holds for any goal.

Opportunities and answers will come from the most unlikely places and we have to be ready to seize them when they appear.

And sometimes what looks like a dead-end turns out to be a doorway that leads straight to our dreams!

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