Dr Peggy Marshall

A Decided Heart

Peggy_cropLast month’s blog was about the seven decisions we can make that leads us to greater success.  As February is “Heart Month” this month’s blog will focus and expand on two of the decisions from “The Travelers Gift”-a decided heart and taking action.  In order for us to make real change in our lives, we have to start with a decided heart.

A Decided Heart

What does it take to have a decide heart?  You have to be in touch with what you really really want.  It sounds fairly easy-however-for some individuals it is not.  First, according to Jack Canfield  in “The Principles of Success”, our early programming can get in our way.  What messages did you receive as a child or young adult that blocks your truly getting in touch with what you want?  I was at a workshop last week when an attendee told me that she didn’t want to ask for what she wanted because she didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t happen. This is definitely early programming at work here and a form of settling.  When we don’t believe we can have what we want we are tempted to settle for what is in front of us.  Rudolph Driekurs, an American psychiatrist, said that “A child would rather have a soggy potato chip than no potato chip at all.”  Where in your life are you settling for a soggy potato chip?

You also have to be willing to live your own dreams and not someone else’s dreams for you.  I have addressed this several times in past blogs-often others offer-sometimes impose-ideas and suggestions about our paths without really knowing what our dreams are.  This is often done without malice yet it can stifle our dreams for ourselves.  Similar to taking on other’s dreams for us, we have to be secure enough in our own dreams that others cannot talk us out of them.  Once again, others can dent or pour water on our dreams without even knowing it.  It is important that we build a strong support team with whom we share our dreams and goals so that our dreams can be nurtured and supported.  Finally, what do you need to let go of in order to live into your dreams?  Joseph Campbell tells us that ‘You have to give up the life you had planned in order to live the life that is waiting for you.”  Are your plans connected to your dreams or are they simply plans?

The next time you have a moment of quiet make an “I” want list.  Let this list be a free-flow of ideas that you don’t judge-just write down whatever appears in your thoughts.  Ask yourself the question that started this blog-“what do I really really want?”  Don’t block whatever comes up?  We tend to think in terms of material things, i.e., lose weight, a new house, a new job, yet you might want to move your thoughts to include qualities, i.e., happiness, peace, serenity, too.  As your mind surfaces your wants make a list.  Put the list aside for a couple of days.  When you return to the list, decide if these things are what you really want.  If so, pick something that you know you can be successful with and begin to take action.

Take Action

Once you have a decided heart, it’s time to take action.  Once again, we have blocks to action.  Many times we are simply making excuses which give us the rationale for not taking action.  Wayne Dyer in “Excuses No More” provides an extensive list of excuses.  Here are just a few that you might be able to relate to: Not enough time, not enough money, no one will help me, it hasn’t been done before, it will be too difficult, it’s not the right time, it is too big, etc.  Many of us have used these excuses and others to prevent taking action.  What is holding you back?

Instead of making an excuse, you might want to try “ooching”.  Ooching is a word coined by Chip and Dan Heath in “Decisive”.  Ooching is a combination of scooting and inching and it provides us with a way to experiment with new behaviors without going fully in.  This can be somewhat disconcerting for a person who has to know exactly where he/she is going as with ooching, you are starting a process without seeing the entire path.  And this process gives you the option to change directions when you find that things are not working as planned.  The real benefit of ooching is to build momentum in taking action.

It is also important that you make taking action time-bound.  Without having a deadline for taking action we can sometimes put off taking action.  Brendan Bruchard in “The Charge” advises us to set 30 day goals for the new action.  When you know you only have 30 days to achieve a goal, you tend to start more quickly in accomplishing that goal.

This month think about what your heart is asking of you and how you can dream even bigger and accomplish even more with a decide heart.

To Your Success!
Dr. Peggy