If you have a dream, something you are passionate about achieving in your life, sometimes it can be reassuring to look back a few years. How did you previously accomplish something that is now present in your life that was at one time just a dream?
I do this all the time. In doing so, I have noticed a pattern of behavior.
There have always been a series of sequential steps taken. They have been present in every journey I have taken from a dream to reality.
These steps have become so familiar I finally just had to give them a name. I call it the Pattern of Desire.
Maybe this could be helpful for you too.
Step One – Begin in any way possible.
This is the hardest step as it involves some degree of courage. Whatever that thing is you desire, whether it is writing a blog, dramatically improving your Art, learning to sing (that one terrifies me) or even quitting your day job to do whatever that is your more passionate about, you first must just do one thing.
You must begin. The first steps can be small but they are essential. Do that one thing that moves you a tiny bit closer towards the dream.
The “Living on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, making Art in the morning and swimming in the warm sea every afternoon” dream (Oh you have that one too?) might possibly start by taking a beginning Italian class at the local community college. Getting your Art in a prestigious gallery might begin by taking a trip to visit and possibly just saying hello.
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It is hard because it is an actionable step. You must DO something. You must be proactive. It is scary because any worthwhile dream carries within it the fact that you have never actually been there before. It is all brand new. And that is scary.
So make it a small step but simply begin it in any way possible. The pattern will not work if this step is not first taken. The world will never know what truly extraordinary thing you were thinking of bringing to life. You simply must first begin.
Step 2 – Talk about it
The repercussions of taking an actionable step towards whatever that desired thing is in your life is significant. Almost immediately the payback comes in some form of exhilaration. Pushing send on that first ever blog post you just wrote, or starting to paint on the biggest painting you have ever tried, gives you the secret sauce you need to maintain momentum. It also is newsworthy.
I always tell my students that the challenges they are overcoming, getting their work from A to B might not be pretty, it might be hard but it is almost always super interesting for other people to hear about. We all appreciate the Mona Lisa but wouldn’t it be fascinating to hear how Leonardo felt insecure the day he painted it? That he was going to work on that other painting of his neighbor’s dog but since he couldn’t find it in his messy studio he just decided to work on the one of that rather plain looking girl he had started but didn’t feel particularly good about?
So let the thrill of beginning enter your life and share it with those around you. Talk about what it feels like to have your first ever reader comment on something you have written, say you feel happy in Italian or share on Instagram a photo of that started painting that is so big it practically couldn’t fit into your studio.
It is not boasting. It is generosity because your willingness, your bravery to take a step towards whatever it is you desire in your life inspires everyone around you. Talking about it, sharing it also adds to your momentum. Like a child first learning to ride a 2-wheel bicycle, you are wobbly but OMG! I think I am actually doing this and now the feeling is contagious. This is big news. Make sure all those you care about know about it. Tell them your dream is starting to come true. Because, in fact, it is.
Step 3 – Teach Someone
I used to think I had to be the world’s biggest expert to teach. I now see how that thinking was flawed. It really held me back for years from helping people because of course I never could really become the world s biggest expert in anything. It is also not necessary. In fact, all that is needed is that you are simply just a few bends down the road ahead of the person you are teaching. So wherever you are on the road to accomplishing whatever you desire in your life, I assure you there are quite a few people behind you wishing they were where you are right now.
So help them.
The act of teaching, offering guidance will not only be super helpful for those around you but equally important to you. There is enormous personal conviction gained by teaching. The universal principles of first giving and then in turn receiving – not to mention the confidence and personal authority that all comes with helping others – is often all the additional tailwind that is needed to hold your course steady to the realization of your true desires.
It does of course take time. It might take years. However, knowing that you are on a reliable course, that there is a worn path ahead of you, makes the journey far more doable. If the journey is familiar, it will be palatable. The path can be enjoyable and even exhilarating. If it is, there is a strong likelihood you will remain upon it. And of course if you do, then that desire that once was only a dream, might just possibly come true.
What are some of your dreams?
In gratitude, Nicholas
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.