How to Make Your Dreams Come True | Motivational Podcast

Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from The Victorious Attitude by Orison Swett Marden, published in 1916…

Whatever an individual concentrates upon, they tend to get, because concentration is just as much a force as electricity. The young person who concentrates upon law, thinks law, dreams law, reads everything they can get a hold of relating to law, who steals into court rooms and listens to trials every chance they get, is sure to become a lawyer or judge.

It is the same with any other vocation—medicine, engineering, literature, music; any of the arts or sciences. Those who concentrate upon an idea, who continue to visualize their dreams, to nurse them, who never lose sight of their goal, no matter how dark or forbidding the way, get what they concentrate on. They make their minds powerful magnets to attract the thing on which they have concentrated. Sooner or later they realize their dreams.

What could have kept Beethoven from becoming a master musician? What could have kept Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs, whom no hardships frightened, from realizing their wonderful visions?

If you can concentrate your thought and hold it persistently (work with it along the line of your greatest ambition), nothing can keep you from its realization. But spasmodic concentration, spasmodic enthusiasm, however intense, will peter out. Dreaming without effort will only waste your power. It is holding your vision (together with persistent, concentrated endeavor on the material plane) that wins.

There are thousands of devices in the patent office in Washington D.C. which have never been of any use to the world, simply because the inventors did not cling to their vision long enough to materialize it to perfection. They became discouraged. They ceased their efforts. They let their visions fade, and so became demagnetized and lost the power to realize them. Other inventors have taken up many such “near” successes, added the missing links to their completion, and have made them real successes.

Everywhere there are disappointed men and women who have soured on life because they could not get what they longed for—be it a musical or art education, the necessary training for law or medicine, for engineering, or for some other vocation to which they felt they had been called. They struggle along in an uncongenial environment, railing at the fate which has robbed them of their own. They feel that life has cheated them, when the truth is they have cheated themselves.

They did not insistently and persistently send out their desires and longings; they did not nurse them and positively refuse to give up on them; above all, they did not put forth their best efforts for their realization.

Three things we must do to make our dreams come true. Visualize our desire. Concentrate on our vision. And work to bring it into reality. The implements necessary for this are inside of us, not outside. No matter what the accidents of birth or fortune, there is only one force by which we can fashion our life material—mind.

Consider the bee and the snake. They draw material from the same plant. The one transmutes it into deadly poison; the other into delicious honey. The power that changes the stuff into a new substance is within the bee and snake. Or consider two sailors who force the same breeze to send their boats in opposite directions. It is not the wind, but the set of the sail that determines the port of call. The power that makes our desire (our vision) a reality is not in our environment or in any condition outside of us; it is within us.

There is some unseen, unknown, magnetic force developed by a long-continued concentration of the mind on a cherished desire that draws to itself the reality which matches the desire. We cannot tell just what this force is that brings the thing we long for out of the cosmic ether and objectifies it, shapes it to the form corresponding with our longing. We only know that it exists. The cosmic ether everywhere surrounding us is full of undreamed potencies. And the strong, concentrated mind reaches out into this ether, this sea of intelligence, attracts to it its own, and objectifies the desire.

All human achievements have been pulled out of the unseen world by the brain—through the mind reaching out and fashioning the wealth of material at its disposal into the shapes which matched the wishes, the desires, of the achievers.

All the great discoveries, great inventions, great deeds that have lifted us up from our animal existence have been wrought out by the perpetual thinking of and visualizing of these things by their authors. These grand characters clung to their visions, nursed them until they became mighty magnets that attracted out of the universal intelligence the realization of their dreams.

No matter your current condition in life, no matter the hardships with which you have to deal, don’t let go of your desire and dreams. Whether it be music, art, literature, business, or a profession, hold on to it. No matter how dark the outlook, keep on visualizing your desire and light, and opportunity will come to enable you to make it a reality. Whatever the world has fitted you to do, it will give you a chance to do, if you but cling to your vision and struggle as best you can for its attainment.

Most of us (instead of treating our desires seriously) trifle with them as though they were only to be played with, as though they never could become realities. We do not believe in their divinity. We regard our heart longings, our soul yearnings, as fanciful vagaries, romances of the imagination. Yet we know that every invention, every discovery or achievement that has blessed the world, began in a desire, in a longing to produce or to do a certain thing, and that the persistent longing was accompanied by a struggle to make the mental picture a reality.

It is difficult for us to grasp the fact that ambition, accompanied by effort, is actually a creative power which tends to realize itself. Only the things that we SEE seem real to us, when, as a matter of fact, the most real things in the world are the unseen.

We never doubt the existence of the force that brings the bud out of the seed; the foliage and the flower out of the bud; the fruits and the vegetables from the flower. It is invisible. We cannot sense it, but we know that it is mightier than anything we see. No one can see, or hear, or feel gravitation, or the forces which balance the earth and whirl it with lightning speed through space, bringing it round its orbit without a variation of a tenth of a second in a century, yet who can doubt their reality? Does anyone question the power of electricity because it cannot be seen or heard or smelled?

The potency of our desires, of our soul longings, when backed by the effort to make them realities, is just as real as that of any of the unseen forces in Nature’s great laboratory. The great cosmic ether is packed with invisible potentialities. Whatever comes out of it to you, comes in response to your call. Everything you have accomplished in life has been a result of a psychic law which, consciously or unconsciously, you have obeyed.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that the way will not open because you cannot now see any possible means of achieving that for which you long. The very intensity of your longing for a certain career, to do a certain thing, is the best evidence that you have the ability to match it, and that this ability was given to you for a purpose, so that you might play a divine and magnificent part in the great universal plan. The longing is merely the forerunner of achievement. It is the seed that will germinate if nurtured by effort.

If, however, you stop sowing the seed, you will get just about as much harvest as a farmer would get if he should sow his seeds without preparing the soil, without fertilizing or cultivating it, or keeping down the weeds. It is the blending of the practical with the ideal that brings the harvest from the seeds of thought. You must keep on struggling toward your ideal.

No matter how black and forbidding the way ahead of you, just imagine that you are carrying a lantern which will advance with you and give light enough for the next step. It is not necessary to see to the end of the road. All the light you need is for the next step. Faith in your vision and persistent endeavor will do the rest. There is no doubt that if we do our part, the Divinity that has created us, that has given us an appointed place and vocation within the plan of the universe, will bring things out better than we can plan or even imagine.

Send out your wishes; cherish your desires; force out your yearnings (your heart longings) with all the intensity and persistency you can muster, and you will be surprised to see how soon they will begin to attract their affinities, how they will grow and take a tangible shape, and ultimately become actual things. Fling out your desires into the cosmic ether boldly, with the utmost confidence. Therein you will gather the material which shall build into reality the castle of your dreams.

The trouble with us is that we are afraid to do this. We fear that fate will mock us, cast back to us our mental visions empty of fruition. We do not understand the laws governing our thought forces any more than we understand the laws governing the universe. If we had faith in their power, our earnest thoughts and efforts would germinate and bud and flower, just as does the tiny seed we put into the ground.

There is no human being who doesn’t have some sort of a chance. If your present position cramps you; if it does not give you room to express yourself, you can make room by filling it to overflowing, by doing your work as well as it can be done, by keeping your mind steadfastly fixed on the ladder of your ascent. In your mind you make the stairs by which you ascend or descend. Nobody else can do it for you. The master key which will unlock that cruel door that keeps you back is not in the hand of fate. You are fashioning it by your thoughts.

Your next step is right where you are, in the thing you are doing to-day. The door to something better is always in the duty of the moment. The spirit in which you do your work, the energy which you throw into it, the determination with which you back up your ambition—these, no matter what opposes you, are the forces that unlock the door to something better. If you hold to your vision and are honest, earnest, and true, there is nothing that can stand in the way of its realization.

When we first start out in life, we are enthusiasts. Our vision is bright and alluring, and we feel confident we are going to win, that we shall do something distinctive, something individual, unusual. But after a few setbacks and failures we lose heart, and faith in our vision dies. Then we gradually awaken to the fact that our ambition is beginning to deteriorate. It is not quite as sharply defined as formerly. Our ideals are a trifle dimmed, our longings a trifle less insistent.

We try to find reasons and excuses for our lagging efforts and waning enthusiasm. We think it may be due to over-work; because we are tired and need a rest; or because our health is not quite up to standard, and that by and by our former intense desire to realize our dreams will return. But the whole process is so insidious that (before we realize it) our fires, for lack of fuel, are quite burned out. Our grip on our vision was not strong enough. We did not half understand its mighty power, when firmly and persistently kept in mind, to help us achieve our goal.

What we get out of life depends very largely on fidelity to our visions. If we truly believe in them, we will not let them die for lack of nursing. If we really have the ability to match them, and are not self-deceived by egotism, petty vanity and conceit, no misfortunes, no failure of plans, no discouragements, no obstacles, nothing in the world can separate us from them. We will cling to them to our dying day.

Never mind what discouragements, misfortunes, or failures come to you. Let nobody, no combination of unfortunate circumstances, destroy your faith in your dream of what you believe you were made to do. Never mind how the actual facts seem to contradict the results you are after. No matter who may oppose you or how much others may abuse and condemn you, cling to your vision, because it is sacred. It is the God-urge within you. You have no right to allow it to fade or to become dim.

Your final success will be measured by your ability to cling to your vision through discouragement. It will depend largely upon your stick-to-it-ive-ness, your bull dog tenacity. If you shrink before criticism and opposition, you will demagnetize your mind and lose all the momentum which you have gained in your previous endeavors. No matter how black or threatening the outlook, keep working, keep visualizing your life’s dream, and some unexpected way will surely open for its fulfillment.

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