The First Step in Getting Anything You Want Is Willing It in Your Mind’s Eye

Jessica Lynn

By Orla

Yesterday my daughter’s class had a Zoom call with Henry Winkler who played, “The Fonz” on Happy Days. Winkler recently won an Emmy for his role as Gene Cousineau on HBO’s Barry. A great show, but violent. I close my eyes a lot when watching it. Great guest speakers are among the many benefits of living in LA. Since most people are in the entertainment industry, the parents get the most interesting speakers to participate. Parents always welcome.

Winkler was forthright and funny and offered a ton of great advice to the kids (and adults), his best being, if you will it, it can be yours.

Part of willing it is seeing it first in your mind, imagining it. As Napoleon Hill once said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” You can’t dare to do something, like writing publicly, starting a business, or being an actor, if you can’t see it in your mind first. Imagining an end result you want is the first part of willing it. It is the seed that grows into reality with intention — the first step in the process of getting anything you want.

Winkler wanted to be an actor from a young age, yet he had a severe learning disability holding him back in school and two parents that were not only not encouraging but called him dumb. He held onto his dream anyway.

He was told he would never achieve anything, he was told he was stupid, he was told he was lazy. Winkler shared in the Zoom call and on The Howard Stern Show (I’m not disclosing anything he has not said publicly) “my short German parents called me ‘dummer hund,’ which translates to dumb dog.”

He held onto his dream anyway.

He acted in plays at school.

Sometimes it only takes one person in your life to have faith in you, for you to see the potential in yourself; a kind teacher, an adult who says something encouraging, a friend, someone who believes you’re more than your perceived limitations (or disabilities), so you don’t think your dream is crazy or beyond your reach.

Henry had one kind adult in his life who told him success can be his if he willed it to be so.

He held onto his dream with a resilient spirit. He willed it and eventually completed an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1970.

You Have to See a Dream first

If you can’t see it in your mind, if you can’t see yourself in a play, a commercial, a TV show, accepting an award, how will you ever take the necessary steps that require action.

Action is needed to turn any dream into reality.

With action, you create the habit.

When we see ourselves doing something — even if only in our mind — like, hey, I can be a writer, I can find an audience, it adds to our identity as that thing we want to be. It adds to our identity of whatever it is we dream and dare to become: writers, playwrights, actors, musicians, or orthodontists.

You have to think of yourself as “the thing” first.

It may sound silly to call yourself a writer or an actor before anyone knows your name or before making a cent from your art, but it doesn’t matter if you aren’t making any money from your thing yet, if you do the thing, if you act, if you write, you are an actor, you are a writer.

Do the thing. Identify with the value first.

When we identify with a value we see in ourselves — or we want to see in ourselves — it gives our habits a more significant impact.

Which of the following sentences is more impactful? 
1. I’m trying to be an actor. 
2. I’m an actor.

If you use the language in the first sentence, I’m not going to believe you will be an actor. The second sentence uses power language. In the first, the excuse is there in the word “trying.” There is no try, only do. If you say, “I’m an actor.” I believe you are an actor. And I bet you act.

Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits. — James Clear, Atomic Habits

If you want to be a professional anything and make an income — even if you’ve never made a cent from that profession — having a goal and stating what the goal is, is necessary. But what drives success is setting up a system to support the goal — the habit of the thing. Doing the thing so much that through repetition, it becomes a habit.

When you call yourself the thing, a writer, an actor, you identify with it more strongly, what it feels like to be what you want to be, and what you want your life to look like. You will it.

What you do each day is usually a reflection of your identity. And that begins with the will to bring it into existence by seeing it first. Despite what your friends and family tell you what they think you can or can’t be.

What you do each day is usually a reflection of your identity; the behaviors you choose indicate the type of person you believe you are. This is why it’s essential to pay attention to what we tell ourselves — unconsciously or consciously.

How Do You Will Something To happen?

The first step is to be clear about what you want. Really clear. And write it down. If you don’t know exactly what you want, you can’t take the necessary steps to achieve the goal.

I knew I wanted to work from home and make an income. I called myself a writer first before I hit publish. Since I can remember, I’ve considered myself a writer because I wrote a lot. It counts even if you only write in a journal. You write, therefor you are a writer.

For a good year before I shared any writing publicly, I wrote the word “writer” in my Facebook profile. Each time I logged onto Facebook and caught a glimpse of that word, my identity to that value grew stronger, and eventually, I took the leap and shared my writing.

Manifesting what you want is the art of co-creating with the universe.

Put it out there and have fun working toward your goals to increase your chances of getting what you want. You can’t simply write it down and/or dream about it, you have to create action by taking the steps toward what you want, but believing undergirds those steps making your identity with the outcome stronger.

Maybe you want to quit the job you hate for the boss you don’t respect who pays you less than you’re worth. You want to be a content creator and get paid to work for yourself.

Today, write down three actions you can do to bring you closer to your goal.

  1. Start a daily writing practice.
  2. Research freelancing gigs to submit your work to.
  3. Sign up for an account on this platform, create a profile, write something and hit publish.

Take action today and every day until you reach your goal. There is power in writing the steps down, the actions you will take every week, every month, every three months, every year to reach a particular goal. When you see your plan on paper and revisit it daily, it keeps you on track.

You need to see it in your mind’s eye first, and then will it. Once you have the mental picture conceived, you’ve taken the first step in believing you can achieve it. When you believe you can do something, the steps to getting there won’t be as daunting to act on because belief fortifies your will and habits.

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Writing on all things California and Texas. It unfolds here. Your daily dose of local news. From politics to food, from celebrity culture to current events. Follow me for the latest updates. Twitter: @girl_thriving

Los Angeles, CA

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