A solitary fantasy can transform a million realities.
—Maya Angelou

Who is “wearing the pants” in your life? Who determines your destiny and success?

One aspect to wearing your pants is creating your present and future. You are the creator of your destiny . . . so what does that look like for you?

Often we use the words hopes and dreams interchangeably as we plan our lives and future successes. When we stop to consider the differences between hopes and dreams, we see that this is not accurate. In fact, this is a limiting factor in creating our reality of success.

A hope implies that you are not in control of your destiny. A hope is something that you leave to others to create . . . and someone else will wear the pants. A hope is a wish that is often seen as an unlikely possibility, and your deep inner self does not truly believe that it is going to be a reality.

A dream is something quite different. It is created by you and forms the template for your own life. A dream contains the vision and the action that are required to create reality. A dream is your vision—a prediction of what is to come. A dream is fully owned and believed by your inner self . . . and you are wearing the pants!

Where Is Your Dream Taking You?

Creating your best reality requires a complete and vivid vision of what your life will actually look and feel like—your dream of the future. The foundation of your future and the road map that you will follow to success is determined by the completed vision that you have for your life. Those areas that you do not create in your dreams become voids in the plan that someone else will determine.

1. Take some time to reflect on your vision of success. Consider all the areas of your life—family, career, spiritual, community, financial, recreational, and so on. Let your mind consciously and unconsciously travel to your deepest dreams.
2. Now consciously add additional layers of detail to your vision of success. Be vivid in your vision . . . make it so real so that it is as if you are already there.

Those who want to wear the pants in their lives leave nothing to chance, luck, or hope. They create the master plan as completely and in such detail that they are the only ones wearing the pants. Your dream becomes your inspiration and the road to fulfilling the grand purpose of your life.

There are many examples of incredibly successful people who started their journey without the benefit of a privileged birth. They were from financially impoverished, emotionally unsupportive, intellectually undernurturing, or spiritually lost backgrounds but rose to create fabulous lives of spiritual peace, wisdom, love, and wealth. One of the best examples of that in our current society is Oprah Winfrey. Her biography is a perfect illustration of manifesting a dream to make a significant contribution to the world, despite growing up in poverty, a woman, and an African American.

Why her? Why not you, too?

Some may say that this is just good luck and bad luck, a random chance, a fairy godmother’s intervention, or a magic trick. I suggest that there is nothing chance or luck has to do with it! In looking at the lives of those who grew so successfully, they have certain characteristics in common. One of these is a strong and vivid vision of their future success. If the child and teenaged Oprah had not seen herself in a place beyond her current reality, then there is no way that she would have ended up as she is today – a successful businesswoman, a leader for the black community, a multimillionaire, and a generous contributor to many charities and projects around the world.

Author Jim Collins discusses this in relation to corporate success in his book Good to Great. The BHAG, or “big hairy audacious goal,” is a key component to the success of those companies who outperform their peers substantially over time. Success and motivational expert Mark Victor Hansen refers to this phenomenon as “beginning with the end in mind.”

If you do not know what success looks like for you, how will you know when you find it? Will you be like the emperor who had no clothes, relying on what others tell you, even though you cannot see the pants yourself?

From Dreams to Reality

As lovely as that vision in your head is, it needs to be brought into reality and acted on to create successful results. In the words of Frederick Faust, “There is a giant asleep within every person. When that giant awakes, miracles happen.”

The stepping-stones to move your present life toward the life of your dreams are your goals. These are the signposts to mark your way from “now” to “then” in achieving your vision. The dream may be perfect but needs actions to make it manifest. By setting your goals and taking action on them, you wear the pants in creating your dreams in the world.

There are many experts on goal setting that will help you move forward in the creation of your dream plan. I would like to share with you just a couple of things that have been revolutionary in my experience with goals and living toward my dream.

First, there is no wrong answer.

For those of us who are perfectionists and those who may be afraid of committing to the unknown future, this is a reassuring thought! Many of us find goal setting to be incredibly intimidating. We get caught up in the voices in our heads that feed our fears:

• What if I do not achieve it? Am I a failure?
• Who am I to think I can do that?
• What if the pants do not really look as good as I think they will?

So set realistic and achievable goals. In today’s fast-paced society, there is often little patience for steady growth. We may be attempting to create our success in such a short period of time that we are overzealous in our goals and timelines for attaining them. Then, when we predictably fail to achieve the goal on schedule, we feed the fear monster and the negative messages in our heads get louder and more insistent. Give yourself permission to be dedicated and yet flexible. Goals are not meant to be rigid and unchanging, but living and real.

Second, write them down. So simple . . . and yet so powerful!

1. Set your goals . . . and keep going. Write down at least 100 goals that will be part of your dream.
2. Choose the first goal to achieve.
3. List the top three actions that you can start doing today to make that goal happen. If it does not take three, then use the other two to take action on the second goal, and so on.

A written goal is many hundreds of times more likely to be achieved than one that merely stays inside your head. I have found this to be one of the most phenomenal tools in my own life. I started the process of writing goals, cutting out pictures to represent my dreams, and even displaying them on a “dream board” in my office. It was shocking that keeping these tangible pieces of my vision in view had such a powerful influence on reaching these goals. I would love for you to do the same!

Third, do something to move that goal toward reality. By doing just three things to move toward my goals each day, I have accomplished 21 actions in only one week—and 1,095 in the first year alone. That momentum has now enabled me to increase to five actions per day. Now even more goals are being accomplished and at a faster rate. Accomplished entrepreneur and businesswoman Mary Kay Ashe is often quoted as saying that this was her key to success. She chose the seven key things to do each day to accomplish her dream, and before long, it became reality.

This is your pattern for creating and wearing the pants of your life. Now, make them real . . . and make them yours!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways3.html

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Wanda Lee MacPhee is a successful chiropractor and professional leader. She speaks to groups across Canada and facilitates workshops for professional groups. She is now completing her first book project entitled Who Is Wearing Your Pants? The Authentic Guide for Finding Your Unique Success in Life. Dr. Wanda has a passion for helping others to discover their paths to fulfillment and live their purpose, with a particular focus on young professional women. She believes everyone can decide to wear the pants in her life and make her dreams a reality. Please visit her Web site for more information: http://www.whoiswearingyourpants.com or http://www.whoiswearingyourpants.ca.