In one section of my book, I detail the importance of “Going There in Your Mind First.”
The gist is that if you want to experience something, first you have to imagine it.
As an example, I wrote about the time I imagined my new house before I found it. When thinking about what I most wanted, I took out a sheet of paper and listed out all the aspects of my dream house. I listed everything from “inspiring views” to “high ceilings” to “easily affordable.”
I still keep the list in my drawer because it still delights me to remember that everything on that list, no matter how unrealistic it seemed to some people, came into my experience with this house.
Well, almost everything.
Ah, how Number 12 eluded me: “Fast Internet connection”
My new home came with only one alternative to dial-up, an expensive, slow satellite connection. For the past seven years, this is what we’ve used. While it technically qualified for a high-speed connection, I wanted more. A lot more.
In the meantime, I’ve become somewhat of an expert in rural broadband technologies. Every time I’d get a whiff of some potential solution (they’re going to start running Internet through the electrical lines! They’re talking about putting a Wi-Fi tower on the hill!), I’d end up disappointed, chasing another ghost.
Over the years, I’d gotten dozens of cards in the mail, telling me good news — there was new service in my area! When I’d call to inquire, they’d tell me I’d received the mailing in error. I was Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, only to have Lucy pull it away.
Recently I got an e-mail from my town supervisor telling me they were having a meeting on the issue of rural broadband. My wife and I showed up at the local firehouse (this is how we do things, country-style), overflowing with people who shared our powerful desire for a solution.
While we got no clear answers, we left the meeting feeling hopeful. I could detect the distinct scent of possibility in the air. Somehow, someway, someday, we would finally get this resolved. Eventually, this was going to happen for us.
Looking back, I realized I’d never felt hopeful on this subject before.
When I first moved to the country, I doubted this desire could be fulfilled. It felt like a little too much to ask. And then after so many years of false starts, I could not reach the tipping point of belief. I simply had too much evidence to the contrary.
On this subject, I felt the uncomfortable tension between having a clear desire, and not believing it was possible to fulfill that desire.
But as we left the firehouse, I felt something new.
I felt a sliver of hope.
When we arrived home, I collected the mail at the box. Among the bills and magazines was an advertisement for a new satellite system with speeds faster than cable. (How these little miracles are possible is none of my beeswax.)
I’d never seen this particular flyer before, but I knew this was going to work. Finally.
Two weeks later, our long-standing desire was fulfilled.
As I shared the story of our entry into the 21st century with a friend, I realized what had unfolded. The energy at the town meeting allowed me to experience a “crack of hope.” And that crack was just enough to allow my desire to come into my life.
Think of a concrete dam holding back an expanse of water. No matter how thick the dam, a crack is all it takes. Once the crack is present, the pressure of the water cannot be held back. The same is true for your desires. The only thing holding them apart from you are your beliefs. All you need is a crack of hope, and the self-imposed barrier falls.
If there’s something you really, really desire but has continued to elude and tantalize you, then perhaps it’s time to check and see if your thoughts and beliefs on the subject could use an upgrade.
See if you can connect to a thought of hope.
Just a crack will do.