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Spontaneous Overflow Reflecting in Tranquility

The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

Abandon Hope

I read an article recently entitled “Abandon Hope.” At first I didn’t want to read it because I thought the title was pretty depressing. But my curiosity got the better of me. The article was about how often many of us put off living because we fantasize about some vague time in the future when all will be well. We live in the mistaken belief that somewhere in the future all of my problems will be solved and life will be easy. My particular fantasy has something to do with winning the lottery. Now I am not greedy. I never buy the trillion dollar power ball ticket. I have more modest and humble fantasies; just a couple of million dollars would do nicely. Then, I dream about living a life of ease. Perhaps I would buy a home on a lakeshore and write novels, paint landscapes, and just sit basking in the luxury of never having to work again. The author then says when you have your full blown fantasy right before your dream filled eyes – CRUSH IT! That was harsh. But his point was that this fantasy of mine keeps me from doing what I need to do now, in this moment, to make my dream of becoming an author or an artist come true. That would involve putting in hours of writing or drawing thousands of bad sketches. Creating a dream is hard work and requires that we abandon our future fantasy and live now.

We have this moment to live fully. Time flies!

So how many times have you said, or heard someone else say: “When I retire. . . I wish I would have started this sooner. It’s too late now. . . When I have more time.” When hope becomes a crutch or an excuse not to act right now in this moment, it is not hope. It is a fantasy – Crush your fantasy. Abandon it. Get busy. There is a payoff and it is called “joy.” Life is hard work. Time is fleeting. But the present moment is filled with possibilities. Seize the moment. When you move your hands and feet to call a loved one, write a note, talk to a child or your significant other you are seizing the moment. When you put your dream into action now, you are calling upon all the forces of the Universe to help you. And when you are doing what you love to do, joy sneaks up on you and happiness finds you. So try this little exercise.

First picture your fantasy. A fantasy is something that happens to you. It is passive and has an element of magic. What does it look like? Is it fame, fortune, something you wish you could buy? What is this fantasy of some future pleasure? Living on an island? Owning a big yacht? What does it look like? Now crush that fantasy. Now picture something you would love to do; whatever comes to mind. You may feel some resistance or dread because you have to do something. Visualize yourself successful at whatever it is; surrounded in a warm glow of light. Identify what specific steps you would need to do to make your dream a reality. What is the first thing you need to do? Now you know where you are going and what the first step is. No one is going to take it for you. It is up to you. There’s never been a better time than right now. I do mean right at the end of this sentence. . . . Ready. Get busy!

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