If you’re like most people, you dream of a better life. There’s an idea percolating in your mind that yearns to see the light. It wants to be realised. And there’s one thing you’re sure of – it will keep bugging you until you pursue it.
But you have doubts. You’re putting it off. It’s not the right time. You want to wait until you have more money, skills or spare time. I get it. It pays to calculate, especially when we’re talking about life changing decisions.
On the other hand, you’re worried that you’re making excuses. Are you preparing to follow your dreams, or putting it off? One is sensible; the other, tragic.
What do you do? Your inner mind pushes you towards a greater life. Your inner mind also slams on the brakes, filling you with doubts and hesitations. Consciously, you know you want this. Unconsciously, though, there’s conflict.
Where does this conflict come from? How do you resolve it?
I want you to imagine, just for a moment, that your mind is like a council. Many different people come together to discuss, debate and negotiate. No individual makes decisions on their own because everyone contributes.
But don’t imagine this yet. First, bring to mind your dream. Focus on your ideal future – the life you’ll live after you achieve your goals. What will be the same? What will be different? Focus on what you see and really notice what it is you want.
Your dream might excite you. It might terrify you – what if you can’t achieve it? Chances are that you feel both things, and more. That’s how you know this is important to you. Even if you don’t feel the emotions, this dream of a better life fills your mind and occupies your thoughts. If it dominates your thinking, then it matters.
Now, back to the council. There may be dozens of voices in your mind, each steering your thoughts in different directions. Focus on two of them: one that wants to pursue your dream and one that doesn’t want to.
Dreamchaser and Dreamblocker appear to disagree. They argue, both quite persuasively, but not enough to beat the other. Take the time to listen to each of them. Hear their concerns. Dreamchaser probably wants a more meaningful life. Dreamblocker probably has concerns about losing what you have.
As you listen to them, you might realise that one of the arguments collapses. Creating personas for your inner desires clarifies things. It allows you to confront them and explore them. It’s empowering. And that might be enough to resolve the issue.
If so, great. But you probably have two councilmembers who still disagree. That’s okay. You’ve heard their concerns and see their points.
So it’s time to go deeper.
Ask Dreamchaser why they want you to pursue this dream. You might learn that it’s because it is fun or will make you more money. Ask the question again. What’s important about fun? What would having money do for you?
Keep investigating. Dreamchaser will reveal more about why the dream matters. When you peel back the layers, you’ll see that it fulfils an important value. Somehow, it adds meaning to your life – meaning that’s missing or stifled now.
Then ask Dreamblocker the same questions. Learn what makes them want to leave this dream alone. They might say something about keeping you safe. So ask the questions again – what’s important about safety? Keep peeling back the layers.
In time, Dreamblocker will share its truth. It, too, tries to satisfy a deep value for you. And I’ll bet money that it’s the same value that Dreamchaser wants.
This is the shape of your inner conflict. One part of you seems to want something different from another apart. But the key word is ‘seems’. At their heart, they want the same thing. How can I be sure? If they wanted different things, there’d be no conflict. Whichever value was more important would win. When you have two different ideas on how to satisfy the same value, that’s when you get stuck.
Take a moment to appreciate the situation. Dreamchaser and Dreamblocker want the same thing. They’re not rivals. They are allies. So it’s time for them to act like it.
What can these two personas learn from each other? What happens when they begin to cooperate instead of squabble? Up until now, you’ve had two options. Together, they create a third – one that’s superior to both.
If you let your inner mind resolve this, the third option will appear. Call it Dreamliver, because it combines the ambition and enthusiasm of Dreamchaser with the caution and protectiveness of Dreamblocker. It’s a better creature, with the best features of its component parts. The energy of the conflict goes instead to sustaining this new force in your mind.
Your brain loves to add personality and motivations to things in the world. We imagine rocks and trees as having minds and goals they pursue. It’s why early cultures imagine gods behind weather and animal migration patterns. Humans imagine thoughts in every natural process.
So use this feature of your mind on itself. Imagine your goals as people and negotiate with them. Treat them kindly and they’ll return the favour. And when they argue, explore what the argument is about. Since it’s your mind, they’ll both act to best serve your desires. Find the agreement, bring them together and enjoy the better alternative.
You can’t wait for the right time, because there is none. And the only wrong step is standing still. Use your inner mind to find the right action. If you have doubts, listen to them. Explore them. Maybe even act on them. But never, ever, let an inner conflict dictate your actions. Find peace, find the next step and take it.
If you’re looking for a good next step, exploring your inner mind is better than most. Enhance your intuition, creativity, emotional wellbeing and energy levels. When you stop fighting yourself and start living, there’s no possibility except a better life.
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