Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Dreams May Come

One of my friends e-mailed me this article written by creative guru, Lee Silber. I found it so inspiring that I'm reposting it here. It's very long, but well worth reading. Silber's bio and Web site URL are at the end, as well. I've posted MY thoughts on it after.

The Ten Commandments To Health & Happiness

Copyright © 2005 Lee Silber

Have you ever had an epiphany or flash of enlightenment while you slept? Well, I was awakened one hot summer night recently sweating profusely, and not because it was warm. I was frantically attempting to write down the things that had come to me in a dream. This information was either being channeled through me by a higher power or I had eaten some bad food—either way, it seemed important.

When I awoke the next morning, I had scribbled the following ten ideas on a pad of paper (and partially on the night stand, too.) In the light of day some of my midnight breakthroughs have seemed silly in the past. These Ten Commandments to Health And Happiness are in the exact order they came to me in my dream. Since the night these thoughts came to me in my slumber, I have read and reread them several times and you know what, these principles of prosperity make a lot of sense. So, welcome into my head, I hope these help you as much as they have helped me.


“Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel. Without it all we see is darkness.” —Lee Silber

In the movie Shawshank Redemption (a movie that takes place in a prison) one of the main characters "Red" says to his frield and fellow inmate Andy, “Hope is a dangerous thing.” As much as I love this movie, I have to disagree with old Red. Hope is is a POWERFUL thing. Having hope is what gets us up in the morning—whether we have all we have ever wanted and believe there is more good things on the way or, we have hit rock bottom and believe that things are going to get better. People who have lost hope are self-destructive (“What does it matter anyway, I’m doomed to fail”), self-loathing (“Nothing good ever happens to me”), selfish (“Nobody cares about me so why should I care about them”) and depressed ("I suck, life sucks, the whole world sucks"). People filled with hope are exciting to be around. They have a certain positive energy about them. They are motivated. They believe good things are around every corner and more times than not, they are.

What you can do today: Find a person who has done what you want to do or have and learn how they did it and what they had to overcome along the way.


"A life without love is no life at all." —Lee Silber

We all need it. We all want it. We all spend our lives looking for it. This isn't up for discussion, it's a fact, we want to be loved and we want to love. Now, some of us can say we love books, surfing, Kauai or our boat. That's love. Some of us are romantics and want to find the love of our life. Others love to love and are serial lovers. You can love animals. Hopefully you love yourself. Equally important is that you love what you do for a living. Love is the thing that matters most for many of us. Even looking for in all the wrong places is better than having no love in your heart. I read a study by a researcher who interviewed people who knew they were dying and the common denominator for nearly all of those on their deathbeds talked about the people, places and things they loved. Mostly the people who loved them. The highest form of love is the unconditional love you (should) get from your family. Not everyone has that kind of love. But "family" can be a group of friends that love you—no questions asked.

What you can do today: Allow yourself daydream about what you would do if everything was perfect and you knew you could not fail. Is there some way to make this your new reality? Could you scale it back and live part of the dream?


"We all feel fear. It's what we do when we feel it that makes a difference." —Lee Silber

I will never forget the first time I parachuted. It was a whole new kind of fear. As we passed the drop zone in this broken down plane the instructor held my head out the opening (there was no door) and said, "See that spot right there? That's where you land. Now, get the hell out the airplane." Every fiber of my body said, "Don't do it." But I climbed out on the wing and then hurled myself into air. You know the ending to this story because I am here to tell it. What you may not know is that nothing has come close to being as scary as that jump. Actually, the second time I parachuted was worse, but that's another story. Even though I have never been so terrified, I have also never felt such exhilaration. Facing your fears can change your life—for the better. People who have courage can become successful entrepreneurs. Courageous people can become multi-millionaires when they take (calculated) risks in real estate, the stock market or in themselves and their abilities. Fearless people live larger lives than those who lack courage and cower whenever they start to move outside their (small) comfort zone. The key is to use fear to motivate you to work harder, practice and prepare more and then to allow it to race through your veins not as a poison, but as a positive force to push you to do more, be more and have more.

What you can do today: Do one small thing that pushes you a little outside of your comfort zone and makes you feel at least a little bit of fear.


"It is my belief that having a vision for your future and a plan to achieve it is what separates the winners from the losers." —Lee Silber

I was on a path to becoming a beachbum when I was a teenager. I took life one day at a time and put no thought into what I wanted tomorrow to look like. Then I found a book called The Winner's Edge in my high school library and it changed my life. The lesson I learned is that winners set goals. I set the goal to make honor role and had a plan to achieve it—to start attending class. Once I reached that goal I was hooked. Over the years I have developed and designed an advanced goal-setting system that has proven so effective I surprise myself (and my parents) with the things I have been able to achieve. For creative people like myself, it's important to focus our energy and efforts or else we end up all over the place. It is also helpful to engage both sides of our brains in the planning process. That means you write out what you want your life to be like (left brain) and then find images that visually represent what you want (right-brain). Whatever form your goals take (a wish list, a statement of intention, a dream board or a general idea of what you want—that is written down) you have done more than most people. By fast-forwarding your life you can time travel to your future and allow what you want to guide your daily decisions. Goals keep you excited and motivated no matter what your current circumstances are and give you a general direction to point your time, talent and tenacity.

What you can do today: Grab a stack of magazines and catalogs and start ripping out anything that inspires you and create a collage full of images and words that get you excited about your future.


"Low self-esteem is the root of all evil." —Lee Silber

Many of us strive to achieve things for reasons that aren't always in our best interests. Maybe you want to impress a parent or your peers through an accomplishment. It could be that you believe making a certain amount of money or holding a certain title or degree will make you feel worthy. A great many of us have been brainwashed to believe that a big house, massive SUV and expensive clothes will make us feel good about ourselves. While these things can and do make us feel better about ourselves, there is more to self-esteem than just the things we can call our own. Again, it's good to strive to be all you can be and to be rewarded for your efforts. There is also something to be said for finding the people, places and things that we are passionate about and pursue those. That's the path to happiness and ultimately, success. Maybe the term self-esteem isn't the best word to use to describe what is essentially a feeling of contentment, of being sure of who you are and what you can do.It's a sense of purpose and a belief that you can make things happen for you and others. I do know that people who lack self-esteem struggle in all areas of their lives. A belief that you don't deserve good things to happen to you can lead to poor choices in relationships, with money and in regards to your career.

What you can do today: Make a list of all of your past accomplishments (big and small), leave a positive message for yourself on your voice mail, write yourself a nice note and mail it off or e-mail yourself a list of things you are proud of.


"We all have talent. We all possess a skill. We all know more than we think we know. What we need to do is find a way to do, what we like to do and do well, as a way to earn our daily bread." —Lee Silber

So many of us say, "I'll be happy as soon as..." Many times we have more than we think we do. I can't tell you how many people I know who are over-educated. They felt that in order to do what they wanted to do they needed an Ph.D. Sure, practicing medicine and law without a license is criminal. However, if you want to play guitar, but haven't started because you first felt you HAD to read music, it might interest you to know that Paul McCartney doesn't read music and that Phil Collins wrote out the horn parts to his solo album using his own unique series of dots and dashes. Many best-selling authors still can't type, spell or use a computer. Many great businesses were built by college drop outs (Apple Computers, Virgin Records and Microsoft). Learn all you can, hone your craft, practice until you get it right but then DO SOMETHING. It is the people who act that succeed. Are you a scholar or are you someone who makes things happen? If I knew everything there was to know about publishing, I would have been paralyzed by fear. I believe it was my lack of knowledge that made it seem possible to get published. Have you heard the term, "She's a natural" or "Man, he makes that look easy"? There are certain skills that it seems we are pre-programmed with. If only we could figure out what they were, we wouldn't have to struggle with things that seem right for us on paper, but are wrong for us simply because we aren't using our God-given gifts.

What you can do today: What is one area you feel you need to know more about to achieve more in your life or your career? Do something about it today. Buy a book, sign up for a class or ask someone for help. Then do something with this new knowledge.


"It usually isn't the most educated, most talented or most privileged person that makes it big. It is the person with passion and purpose that rises to the top." —Lee Silber

What is it that pushes people past what others think is possible? What makes a person outwork, outhustle and oulast everyone around them? What keeps some going through failure and financial hardship when others who were only mildly interested gave up? If you said "passion" you are right. If you said a sense of purpose, you are also correct. When a person has both, watch out. In sports there are always stories of players who hung in there despite overwhelming odds, injuries and setbacks. In the movie Bull Durham the character that plays the wise, but aging catcher ("Crash") loves baseball so much he simply stays with it even though he is stuck in the minor leagues. The reason ballplayers stick with it is their passion for the game and their sense of purpose—to make it to the Major Leagues. I have also met activists that are so passionate about what they are doing they are able to open doors that were closed to others. They are even able to inspire others and "evangelize" them to their cause. I have met people who floundered through life until they figured out what their purpose was and all of a sudden they were focused, disciplined and motivated beyond belief. If only all of us were able to first know what our purpose is and then have the courage to pursue it we would be filled with the same energy, enthusiasm and enlightenment that most high achievers and happy people seem to have.

What you can do today: Just answer the following questions. What is something you could study or do all year long (and nothing else) and not get bored? Think back to a time in your life when you were perfectly happy and content. What were you doing? What are you most passionate about? If someone asked you what YOUR purpose in life was what would you say?


"Nobody achieves success alone. Nobody." —Lee Silber

When I was a young upstart I did something that changed my life forever. Even though I started my first business at age eleven and another at eighteen, it was something I did after high school that I think set me apart from my peers. I typed up a letter that asked some of San Diego's most wealthy and influential people if they would have lunch with me so we could talk about their success. I then made copies and went to Rancho Santa Fe's main street (this is is a super affluent area of San Diego) and placed my letters on the nicest cars I could find. I then went home to wait by the phone. Several people called and one invited me to his home for lunch. It turned out he was a major player in publishing. As you now know, this person has been very helpful in my career—as has several other mentors. Even though I am not a joiner, I am a founder. Over the years I have founded several clubs to bring people together to support, encourage and interact with each other. This also has been life changing. Also, through my books and radio show I have interviewed many successful people and many have helped me in a variety of ways. The bottom line is this, we all need help, support and encouragement from time to time. I would recommend finding a mentor or three, starting a mastermind group of your peers so you can exchange ideas and insights and finding a person whom you could assist in some capacity.

What you can do today: Make a date to either attend a meeting where there are people who can help you, you can help or you can help each other. Then show up and make the most of the opportunity.


"People ask me all the time, 'How did you manage to find the time to write eleven books in eleven years?' The answer is easy, I made the time by being disciplined and determined enough to put my pen to paper day after day." —Lee Silber

Picasso was known for being a great entertainer but he always painted. Sometimes leaving people alone in his home to go to his studio. Hemingway was famous (and infamous) for his drinking, but he awoke each morning and wrote BEFORE drinking himself into a stupor. Jimmy Buffett is best known for his songs "Margaritaville" and "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" but he himself is not the party animal he appears to be. He has written four best-selling books, recorded over thirty records, founded a successful chain of restaurants and his own record label. You can't do that without discipline. Discipline comes in different forms. There is the discipline to be able to focus. There is the discipline to create no matter what the distractions. Then there is the discipline to do something. Without discipline a very bad thing happens—nothing. I will say, when something you think you want to do never seems to get going you may want to ask yourself if you are one hundred percent committed. If it is something you want and should be doing then do it. It's that simple. Winners do what they say they will do and do it while losers just talk about it.

What you can do today. Find a simple step that you can take to get going on something you have wanted to work on for a long time but just can seem to find the time or the inspiration. Make this a micromovement—something so simple you can do it in under an hour.


"By being an 'Idea Person' anything is possible. Problems aren't a problem, they are opportunities. You are able to express what you think and feel into forms that others can see and hear. By being creative you are living 'The Life' ." —Lee Silber

When I was in high school and college I often wondered what was wrong with me. I'd look at a problem on a test and see more than one right answer or I'd come up with several other options. I would have a hard time focusing in math and science but excelled in art, music and writing. It seemed I thrived when I didn't have to just memorize steps, systems or solutions but was able to come up with my own unique ideas. When I finally found myself in art school I heard a giant click. This is where I belonged. I was rewarded for being an "idea guy" and a "creative person". I think it is the ability to solve problems with innovative thinking that should be held higher than all other skills and abilities.

What you can do today: Is there a better way to do this?" for every task encounter the rest of the day.

LEE SILBER is the author of eleven books including ORGANIZING FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN. Lee is also the founder of five companies and a sought-after presenter. To learn more (and get a lot of free stuff) go to:


The reason why I enjoyed this article so much is that it not only spoke to me as a "creative person," but as someone who constantly has to push herself to actually get things done -- case in point, losing weight. I'm very good at accomplishing short-term projects: to wit, in the past few years, I've written two novels, recorded an album and completed that 20-mile charity walk, but I seem to lack the discipline to keep going with stuff. I've been especially feeling this lately (broken leg aside) as I've tried to find something to feel motivated and passionate about.

I have one friend whom I envy because he's great at getting stuff done. He's accomplished a lot and while I admire him for doing so, I admire him more for the hard work he puts in to get there. He doesn't stop, even when things get tough. He's always encouraging me to not give up on stuff, but I have a tendency to not push myself that extra bit. I definitely think this ties in with my weight loss.

Some of it has to do with the fact that I feel drained from the times I have pushed myself. After writing two novels and attempting to get them published, it never happened. I managed to land two literary agents over the course of five years and wrote dozens or rewrites, but the publishing companies just didn't like my work well enough to buy it. Meantime, I'm really proud of my CD, but it hasn't sold as well as I'd hoped. As for my weight loss, I was so proud when I lost a lot of weight and could complete that long walk, but now I have to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. It's so daunting to think I have to go all the way back to the beginning when I was getting so close to being where I want to be. It's kind of like climbing Mt. Everest and then tumbling down only a few hundred feet from the peak.

That said, this time at home has given me some opportunity to review my dreams. I think that part of the reason why I'm so frustrated about not getting my novels published is because I was holding onto a "dream" that isn't really a dream of mine. Yes, I had two good ideas and I'm glad that I put them down on paper, but since then, I just haven't had a good fiction story in mind. I've known other fiction writers who've had their work rejected, but they've written story after story until they've found "the one" that sells. I just don't feel that passion and desire. But what I DO enjoy writing is non-fiction, I've found. Though many aspects of my job at a magazine annoy me, those annoyances mainly have to do with the beauracracy and not with the writing itself. I still look forward to doing interviews and writing them up. I also really like writing in this blog and I love writing up travelogues for our trips -- which I do strictly for fun. Many friends have suggested that I write a book of my travelogues, but I don't really care whether or not I earn money from them (though it would be nice). I write them because I enjoy sharing my experiences and I know that my friends and family enjoy reading them. When I was writing my novels, it felt more like work to me. I enjoyed putting them together and felt a sense of satisfaction when I'd finished, but I wasn't writing these stories for ME -- I was writing them in the hopes of selling something.

What all of this has to do with my weight is that I think that a big part of my overeating has to do with trying to "fill myself up" with something that's missing. That said, I'm trying to refocus what I want and what I really enjoy doing. I think that the more non-food related things I find to satisfy myself with, the more success I'll have -- both with my weight and in my overall life.

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