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Turn Your Dreams Into Reality is all about knowing what you want, making sure it is a realistic goal, and then imagining what you need to make those dreams real. I have also called this the GWYW—the "get what you want" approach to life. It's a way to think about coming up with realistic goals and deciding what you need to do to make them happen, while being ready to revise those goals and create new ones in response to changing conditions. While you can work out the steps to achievement using just your reason, you can be even more effective if you draw on your intuition, so you imagine possibilities, decide on priorities, and then imagine what you need to do to achieve them.
I was inspired to write Turn Your Dreams because I have been employing this approach to life since my early 20s, after I went to a workshop that involved learning about visualization. It was led by a woman who was an artist and teacher, and she stressed the need for us to tap into our power of intuition to see what we wanted to do. This workshop was the first time I had tried to use my imagination in this way, and I found this ability to be a very powerful tool that continued to guide me throughout the rest of my life—and led me to write a series of books on using these techniques.
In the first exercise, which opened the door to using the intuition and visualization, she asked us to visualize and experience the energy of the earth rising up into our bodies, while the energy of the air came down into us through our heads. Then, we visualized that this energy would meet in our heart, stomach, or torso (I forget which now), and we could direct this energy out to achieve a goal.
In my case, I had just started to write, so I decide to direct this energy out through my hands to whatever I was writing, which was then on a typewriter, and I imagined being able to use that energy to being able to write quickly and effectively. Later, when I went to the typewriter to write, I used that visualization, and I found I could write my assignment much more quickly and confidently than usual. Though I don't remember now what I was writing, I do remember very clearly that after that day I began to use this approach for all sorts of things I wanted to do, from doing homework and writing for clients to imagining applying for and getting hired for a job I wanted.
Around this time, a friend working with hypnosis "hypnotized" me by taking me down to the basement of Macy's toy department, where I could see all kinds of new games and toys that were still prototypes and had not yet been produced in reality. But they seemed very real, like one could buy them off the shelf and play them. I found the experience very much like my use of visualization and the imagination. Though my friend called the journey to Macy's toy department "hypnosis," for me it was experientially the same thing as what I had already been doing—getting very relaxed so I could readily access my powers of visualization and intuition, though perhaps what I saw in my imagination was a little more vivid. After that, I began designing games by using this visualization of going to Macy's. I also began attending all sorts of workshops on visualization, hypnosis, and shamanism; soon, I no longer needed to go to Macy's toy department or anywhere else for my imagination to work. I didn't even need to close my eyes, though getting relaxed in a quiet place and closing my eyes certainly helped me focus on what I was seeing. Rather, I just began to be able to access my imagination and intuition and apply what I saw in my mind immediately to anything I wanted to do.
Since I am a writer, I started putting this approach into my first book on the subject, Mind Power: Picture Your Way to Success in Business, which was published in 1987. Today, when New Age teachings are everywhere, these notions about using the intuition and imagination seem quite ordinary. But in 1987, the book was initially rejected as being too weird. Eventually, one editor decided to champion it and the book was published, which led to a follow-up book in 1994, The Empowered Mind: How to Harness the Creative Force within You. Years later, after the rights for these books were returned to me, about two-thirds of the combined content was republished in 2009 as Want It, See It, Get It! Visualize Your Way to Success. However, the emphasis in these earlier books was on using these techniques in business, so Turn Your Dreams Into Reality is designed to apply these time-tested techniques to everyday life. Besides work and business, you can use them in your personal life, such as in having better relationships, losing weight, improving your skills in sports, whatever you want to do. You can use them to help you decide what to do next after you experience any kind of negative situation, so you turn that negative into a positive.
Meanwhile, I've been applying these techniques in my own life for all sorts of things. For example, I used them to find and get the house I wanted again and again. When I moved to San Francisco in the 1980s, I imagined living in Presidio Heights, and soon found a place on the main commercial street there, Sacramento. After the landlord decided to do some renovations, I imagined my next place nearby, since I planned to go to law school at San Francisco State. After that, while I was deciding between staying in San Francisco and Santa Monica, I went to a workshop where we were to visualize where we wanted to be next, and I imagined myself living in a house by the water, and within a few days, I found a house near the ocean in San Francisco. At first it seemed it was already rented and I was all set to move to LA. But then the prospective renter dropped out, the property manager called, and I got the house. So I felt strongly I should stay in San Francisco, and I did. Later, about 20 years ago, I used this approach to get my house in Oakland, and after I had to move due to the mortgage meltdown; my visualizations led me to a flat in San Francisco near the ocean. Then, a year ago, after I felt ready to move again (due to rent increases in the crazy San Francisco market) I used visualization to target exactly where I wanted to be—near downtown in a small house in Lafayette, a city about half-way between Oakland and Walnut Creek, about 25 minutes from San Francisco. Within a week, I found the house and rented it—the only house I looked at because I clearly saw where I wanted to go.
Likewise, I have used these techniques to write over fifty books, write about fifteen scripts, connect with the director and co-producer of my first feature script to be filmed, and find a major distributor. These techniques have also helped me in making choices about who to work with or not work with, and how to turn any bad experience into a success story. One good example is a recent client interaction I had; he seemed, by all appearances, to be a wealthy businessman in a private practice, but in reality was struggling to pay his mortgage to keep up the facade. So for me, as a writer, the positive transformation was to use this experience to come up with ideas for a series of new books on workshops on how appearances can be deceiving, dealing with impossible clients, and how to turn negative experiences into gold.
In short, for over 40 years, I have made these GWYW techniques a part of my life, because they have worked so well again and again. And now for the first time, Turn Your Dreams Into Reality is designed to help others apply these techniques on a daily basis in both their personal and work life. All you have to do is imagine what you want, assess that it is a realistic goal that is possible to achieve, and imagine what you need to do that is realistically possible to make it happen for you. Finally, go get it. Make it happen, and it will.
Gini Graham Scott, PhD, is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and workshop leader, specializing in business and work relationships and professional and personal development. She is the founder of Changemakers ...