8 ways to make yourself shine
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breaking the spell of someday

 

live now

Queen: This is no ordinary apple. It's a magic wishing apple. 
Snow White: A wishing apple?
Queen: Yes. One bite and all your dreams will come true. 
Snow White: Really?  
Queen: Yes, girlie. Now make a wish and take a bite.

 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the tale of Snow White, the scene above takes place in a small cottage where Snow White is living to escape the wicked Queen. The Queen, in an attempt to rid the world of beautiful Snow White, has disguised herself and is visiting Snow White at the cottage, offering her a poisonous apple that will make all of her dreams come true. When I watch this scene (yes, the Disney version), I scoff at Snow White's naivete and think to myself, "Well, I would never fall for that! An apple that makes my dreams come true? Puh-leeze!" But when I take a moment to step away from that obnoxious, ego-driven voice in my head, I have to wonder...If someone offered me something that would make all of my dreams come true, would I take it? How difficult would it be to say no?

This question raised my internal eyebrows and got me thinking. I began to think about my dreams, my desires, my wishes. Was I, just like Snow White before she bit into the apple, sinking my teeth into the idea that all my dreams will come true... someday? Do I, like the raven-haired beauty, spend more of my time wishing than actually doing? After all of my years studying fairy tales, criticizing these silly little women who believed someone would rescue them, was I, in fact, just as bad, sitting around wishing and hoping and dreaming? How many of us are wishing for something without actually doing anything about it?

More often than I'd like to admit I want things, I wish for them, but I don't actually do anything to get them. Sound familiar? Yeah, I think we all do this sometimes. But think about this -- we have one life to live (that we know of) and, as much help and support as we get from others, the only true way to get something done is to do it yourself -- so what are we waiting for?

One of my favorite songs -- and music video -- of all time is Gwen Stefani's "What Are You Waiting For?" (click on the link to see the awesome, Alice in Wonderland-inspired YouTube video). I won't paste all of the lyrics here, but I have to say that this verse is by far my favorite: "Naturally, I'm worried if I do it alone/Who really cares 'cause it's your life/You never know, it could be great/Take a chance 'cause you might grow/What are you waiting/What are you waiting for?/Tick Tock Tick Tock/Take a chance..."

We're all scared. (Okay, maybe not all of us, but certainly most of us.) We all want things that we don't go after. We all wish and dream and hope but we don't take action. There are a million reasons for this. We're scared. We're taught to just wait and be patient. We don't believe we can do it. We're told we can't do it. We have physical or mental barriers that we don't think we can overcome. We believe that we'll be saved. We think success will just drop into our laps. There are many, many reasons why we wish instead of do. I know I'm guilty of at least more than one of these. But, as I had to do with my negative attitude, I need to kick my someday habit to the curb.

Someday. That should be four letter word in my life, an existence that is trying it's hardest to focus on the now. However, someday seems to be one of my favorite words. Check this out...

 

Someday I'll write a book...
Someday I'll read that article...
Someday I'll deal with that issue...
Someday I'll study psychology...
Someday I'll have a different job that I love...
Someday I'll write for a magazine...
Someday I'll eat healthier foods...
Someday I'll start exercising...
Someday I'll get in touch with that old friend...
Someday I'll work for myself...
Someday I'll be more trusting...
Someday I'll stop shopping so much...
Someday I'll check out that new place...
Someday I'll listen to that song again...
Someday I'll have a great relationship with myself...
Someday I'll be who I want to be...

 

Someday sucks. Someday is not now. Someday is a never-ending cycle with me. Don't get me wrong. There are a LOT of things I actually do. I have a job that I'm good at. I go to work every day. I started this blog. I started Hope Springs Internal (which I'm still giddily excited about). I do a lot of things I love to do -- writing and reading and sharing with others -- and I spend a lot of time with people I love and care about. I do a lot. We all do a lot. But what are the things we're not doing? And how can we make our own wishes come true? 

That's it! That's what I really, really want. I want to take my wishes and I want to make them come true. I don't want a magic apple or a fairy godmother or a pretty prince. I want to make wishes a reality. I know I can...people have been telling me for years that I can (yes, Mom, I know, I need to start sending things I write into magazines). I just have to BELIEVE I can. I have to know I can do it -- that I can do anything -- and then I will be able to.

Of course, I have to take action. If believing were enough, we'd all be billionaires, living our happiest lives doing whatever it is that we love to do surrounded by all of the love and support we could ever want. No, believing is not enough. Action is where it's at. So how do I go about breaking this spell of someday? How do I train myself to do instead of to wish? I hate to admit it, but it's pretty darn simple...

 

3 Questions That Will Get You To Stop Wishing and Start Doing


  1. What do I want? 

    I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time saying "I want." I want to be this. I want to be that. I want that bag. I want some ice cream. I want to go to sleep. I want to be anywhere but at work. I say "I want" a lot. But, really, what do I want? What are the big things, the important things? Do I even know? If we have sure, concrete goals we are more likely to work towards these goals. Don't think about what you want in vague terms like "success" or "love" or "happiness." Think about specifics. If you could be doing anything, anywhere, with anyone, what would that be (okay, get your mind out of the gutter and focus). Identifying what I really, truly want is the first and most important step in making my own wishes come true.


  2. How can I get it?

    Once we've figured out what our goals are, what we really want, then we need to spend some time figuring out how to get what it is that we want. This is hard sometimes, really figuring out the logistics of what we want to accomplish, but we NEED to do this in order to have a plan. When it comes to your goals, you must have a plan of attack. Going through life waiting for opportunities and chances is no way to make your wishes come true. You have to do the work and, first, you have to know what work needs to be done. When figuring out the "how" part, be sure to take a lot of time to really look at it from all angles. Keep an open mind and maybe even ask others for ideas.


  3. What can I do right now?

    A plan is of no use if it's not put into action. You have to do something. NOW. You can't say that someday you'll start working on your goals. No, no, that just won't do. You have to get to work now. Today. Immediately. Even if you do one small thing (and, yes, drafting a plan counts), do it today. There's no time like the present to get the ball rolling so do it! Stop reading this right now and get to work on making your wishes come true. Trust me -- this is no fairy tale. You have to do it for you, and you have to start right now. Don't let someday suck you in. Today is ALWAYS better than someday.


 

As simple as these three steps sound, we all know that simple doesn't mean easy. If it were easy to do these things, everyone would be making wishes come true right and left. Clearly, these three steps are hard. But, since  we all recognized how absolutely awesome we are yesterday, I'm pretty sure we can do it. I know it's not going to be easy for me, seeing as I do love the idea of someday, but if I don't make my wishes come true than they will be forever what they are -- mere wishes. Today I'm going to break the spell of someday. I'm going to tell someday off and I'm going to make today the day that I start believing I can do whatever I put my mind to. I'm going play the role of my own fairy godmother and grant my own wishes. And you can too!

 

How do you deal with the concept of someday?
What are you doing right now to make your wishes come true?

Comments

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This is a great post, Dani! I get sooo sick of people waiting, wishing, hoping, but never doing anything about it. It's really nice to hear someone tell people to get off their duff and DO something! You rock!

Jay - To repeat what I just tweeted to you, YOU rock. Thanks for the great comment. I agree that there's nothing worse than listening to someone bitch about something but do absolutely nothing to change it (and, yes, I've been guilty of this myself). I'm determined to change old patterns and to DO something!

Someday, someday! This post made me think about so many things...I do have a list of things I want "someday". However, I am actually in goal-getting mode right now, but sometimes I still feel stalled. I make vision boards of what I want to get, I write down goals and when I want to achieve them by, and just yesterday I did an exercise where I wrote down my "ideal day", which I pictured to be three years in the future, and then worked backwards from that day until now to see what I should be doing. Answer: Writing a book and trying to get it published! Thinking positive! Finding more people to coach! Sometimes I feel like I can do anything in the world, sometimes my own worry gets in the way of my dreams.

PS - I LOVE that video; I've never seen it before because I have no MTV. But I do love Gwenny-Gwen-Gwen.

I'm going to play the role of my own fairy godmother and grant my own wishes. -----> Loved that (i´m picturing a fairy grandmother putting her magic wand on her own head haha)
I think writing all our ¨somedays¨ like you did is a great first step, from there we just have to set priorities and start figuring out what we can do NOW, then HOW, and there we are.
Thanks for another great, inspiring post :)

The other thing that goes with this 'someday syndrome' is 'waiting until the time is right'. In fact we always have everything we need right now, so as you say, 'someday' is an illusion!

I'm reminded of the old joke (I think it fits with the theme!) where a man is sitting on a house roof in the middle of a flood praying to God to save him.

Along comes a rescue boat. He refuses to get in because he's put his faith in God to save him.

Along comes a rescue helicopter and again he refuses to go because he knows God will save him.

The water rises higher and he drowns.

In heaven he confronts God and angrily asks why God didn't save him.

God shakes his/her head and says:

"I sent you a boat! I sent you a helicopter! What more did you want?"

Jen - I'm so glad I could share the video with you. I LOVE Gwen and I LOVE Alice in Wonderland and I LOVE positive, encouraging messages so this video is definitely one of my favorites...I'm with you in that my worry, or a sense of being overwhelmed, gets in the way of my dreams, but I really do think both of us will get published. I can feel it!!

Rosa - I LOVE the image of a fairy godmother putting a wand on her own head. That's great. I'm glad you liked the post and I hope it has inspired you to make your wishes come true!

Ian - Someday IS an illusion. Thanks for sharing that joke because it definitely fits in with the theme. So many of us are waiting for the perfect time to do something and there is no "perfect" time. The only time we have is NOW.

Nice post and some good thoughts. I think what helps me is to prioritize. You can't do everything at once. So you have to pick and choose what's the most important thing you want to do right now. And the second thing that helps me is baby steps. Sometimes big goals are daunting. Baby steps helps.

Lately I've been all about saying yes. Just doing it, making it happen, finding a way, and insisting on moving forward. Still, my somedays look like this...

Someday I'll write a cookbook
Someday I'll have a baby
Someday I'll visit Italy

My Daisy List is what stops me saying someday. Especially as I've put it out there for all and asundry!

Much like you've outlined, I've decided what I want to do, written it down, made myself accountable (by putting it out there), worked out the "how" of a couple of them (actually often the "how" just shows up) and started taking steps.

I can't tell you how awesome it is to accomplish something you've always wanted to do. Someday is today!!

Great post Dani. I've been a victim of someday syndrome for a long time, but I think I'm making alot of progress in moving out of it lately - yay!

And I second Vi's point: prioritise and baby steps. Trying to do everything now can become overwhelming, and that can lead to (yet again) postponing things till someday. Prioritising requires us to decide what we're going to let go of in order to do what we want to do now. Cos unless we're sitting on our asses doing nothing at all, (which of course we're not ;-) then we've got to let something go in order to make room for something new.

Vi - Great point. Prioritizing is so important and so are baby steps. That's the great thing about #2. You can break down what you need to do into smaller and smaller steps to make it more manageable.

Michelle - I completely believe you will do ALL of those things. Believe in yourself and it WILL happen!

Sami - Your Daisy List is a great example of what I wrote in this post put into action. I love reading about how you cross things off your list and I think it's a great idea to hold yourself accountable by writing about it online.

Hilda - I think we all suffer from "someday syndrome" sometimes, but I do believe that Vi makes some great points in that if we prioritize and take baby steps we'll be a lot more likely to reach our goals.

Good advice. I have no tips to share as I'm the empress of procrastination, to my shame. But I do have a friend who changed jobs TWICE as a result of pop songs inspiring him. One was the Gwen Stefani song you mentioned and the other was Jump by Madonna. It's worked out well for him... I wish I was so easily motivated! 'Someday' I might be. (arf... no no, you're right, I KNOW you're right... seize the day.)

Queenie - That's so interesting about your friend, changing careers because of pop songs. I've definitely wanted to do things when I've heard songs but I'm never quite THAT determined. Though I do believe the time is now, I do think that we all have to do things when we're ready to. Forcing things never works!

I LOVE this post --- so inspiring! fantastic. thank you ;)

Shannon - You're welcome! :) I'm glad you were inspired by the post. Thanks for leaving a comment!

this is really just what i needed to read right now. i'm actually about to graduate college & this is my last real summer of "freedom" - so there are so many things i PROMISED myself i'd do (set up an online portfolio, exercise & finally get healthy, etc. etc. ). but after reading this, i realized these things just aren't going to happen if i don't MAKE them happen. this post was really the little kick i needed. thanks again for this!

I need an apple like that! The truth is, all of us have that apple, most just choose not to take a bite ;)

Sometimes I think procrastination is the human condition since we all seem to suffer from it. Your article reminds me that time is in limited quantities. Thank you!

Rock on! You know I'm all over a post about kicking Someday's butt!

I love your three steps to getting rid of Somedays. Awareness, choice and action. Woo hoo!

Great insights, great pointers.

Happily ever Now.

It's all we have, and all we need.

Very inspiring. I have just discovered your blog and am very impressed. Great food for thought here...

"I'm going to tell someday off..." I laughed at that phrase - I love it!

Baby steps are better than no steps. That's how I usually get started on flipping "someday" the bird.

Erica - I'm so glad this post provided that little extra bit of motivation you needed. You're completely right. Nothing will happen unless you MAKE it happen!

Melissa - You're right. We all have the apple and the ability to make our wishes come true, but often we are too scared to bite into it!

Anally - Our time is very limited which is why, if we want something done, we must do it NOW.

Alex - You KNOW I was thinking about you and your site when I wrote this post! There's no way I can think about the word "someday" without your site coming to mind. I knew you'd like this one and I'm so glad you commented on it. Thank you!

Kaushik - Oh yes, happily ever after now! That's what we have and what we need -- great point!

Ruby - I'm so glad you found Positively Present and enjoyed the post. :)

Megan - Haha. I'm glad I could make you laugh! And I think baby steps are a GREAT way to flip the bird to someday.

Guess what? You didn't have to wait for 'someday' to write this article. I'm glad you didn't. :-) Cheers for more to-days of joy.

I Take Off the Mask - Good point! I could've postponed writing this post, but I didn't. Yay for today! :)

This is such a GREAT post. I doubt that there's anyone who canNOT relate to this. Well, the people who can't relate are probably the Richard Branson's of the world.

I'm sure I'll refer back to this post over and over again, although the message is pretty simple: Get out there and DO...

Lately I've been having a hard time setting long-term career goals for myself. I simply have far too many things I'd want to do (mostly all in the arts, where I'm most likely to live in someone's attic, starving). I never had focus on one thing in my entire life because there was never one thing that I really excelled at or desired more than any others. So, I'm going to do this with my smaller, but no less important, goal which is to be myself inside and out. Thank you for the post, Dani! (You mind-reader, you)

Great post. You're right. Someday sucks. But we all keep holding off on things we think we want to do. The amount of excuses we can make for anything in our lives is pretty bad. It's amazing what will happen in our lives if we just begin to act on our somedays :)

Gwen rocks.

Believe it or not, the 4 magic pieces that helped me switch from someday to now are:
1. watching Peaceful warrior
2. reading Work from the Inside Out
3. watching the Last Lecture
4. watching a video on Stumbling on Happiness

For whatever reason, that was the magic combo and it just keeps getting re-affirmed the more I learn. Writing up lessons learned from Peaceful Warrior gave me tremendous insights, as well as helped remind me of what I already know to be true. I never read the book, and the movie is so simple, but like anything, it's what you make of it.

YES!! Someday is no longer in my vocabulary and I have you to thank for it!

Hi Dani .. great post - yes .. just get on and do it. Someday is too too late .. or may never come as time runs out quicker than we expect ..

Thanks - Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Kirwin - So glad you related to the post and felt that others would relate too. That makes me feel like I've written something worthwhile. Doing is the only way to get things done. Sounds simple enough but, as I'm sure you know, it's a LOT easier said than done.

Ia - That is a GREAT goal and, in working towards that goal, I bet you will figure out exactly what you want to focus on in the long-run.

Srinivas - You're right. It's so amazing what happens when we start DOING and stop WISHING. I really hope this post reaches out to people who sit around hoping for things to change and helps them to realize that it's up to them to choose to do!

J.D. - Thanks for sharing those four things with us. I've read The Last Lecture, but I'm not familiar with the other three. Sounds like I need to check out this magic combo you've got goin' on!

Tabitha - AWESOME! Someday should be a four letter word. All we have is right now.

Hilary - Yes, if we wait until someday to grant our own wishes it may be too late. Today is the day to do what we want to do!

After surviving breast cancer, I removed Someday from my personal dictionary. I've accomplished more in the last 5 years of my life (including marrying the love of my life!) than in the previous 41.

My passions are clearly posted - what I want to accomplish NOW and what I'm doing to get there. (I think you've read the my windfall of successes after taking The Passion Test)

I have a Bucket List...and I have the other list...the one that has a list of things I never want to do, like SCUBA diving...

Oh yes...what's your Twitter name? I'll look you up...I'm ToolBoxGirl

Great post Dani, it reminded me of an old friend of mine, he used to always say, "Why not today!"
He is gone now, but I am sure he would have love this post.
Thanks for sharing.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Peggy - Your comment is so inspiring! I hope that people read it and realize how important it is to seize the day. I love the idea of a bucket list (though I haven't seen that movie yet...). You can find me on Twitter by clicking the Twitter icon at the top of the page, or look for me as "positivepresent."

Giovanna - Why not today! I love it. Your friend was very, very wise.

I think prioritizing is the key. I have recently started using the "Most Important Tasks" strategy and it has been working pretty well to break my someday syndrome.

If you focus on getting the most important tasks done first, you will feel a sense of achievement everyday. You will feel that your life is going according to your plan.

Tesheen - Great point! I also try to get the most important tasks done on my list first too. Another strategy I like to use is to do the tasks I want to do least first so that I get them out of the way. Thanks for your comment!

Love this post. I think planning a trip to Paris (& actually going) last May helped me throw "someday" out of my vocabulary. Part me felt like it wasn't the right time (academic book wasn't finished), there wasn't enough money for such an impulsive adventure, my french was really bad, etc, etc. But going really showed me that all we have is now so why not dive in to whatever even if it doesn't make complete sense at the moment.

Bookmarking this post in case I start somedaying & need a cure! :)

Revisionista - Thanks for your comment! What a great story about how you wanted to put of going to France but you didn't. That's great. We all need to take a lesson from your a seize the day more!

This was a great post. I just found it via a recent post, but I needed to hear it. Thank you!

Jennifer - Thank you! I'm glad you came across this post. It's one of my favorites. Thanks for reading!

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