Do you know that writing experiment "What would I do if I had a million dollars?" What if you flipped it on its head and asked instead "How do I make a million dollars?"
This was the interesting question that Patrick Grove posed in his Mindvalley talk. He talks about how the simple exercise of journalling can be used as a tool to set you up for greater financial success. He said, people always ask "Why...?" Why is my life like that? Why do I not have more money? Why am I fat? Why does my job suck? Which was what he did initially when he journaled. He just complained about his own life. But after he let out all the negative energy, he decided to go on to journal about the how. And he thought, why not try to figure out this audacious and crazy question of how to make $100million in 12 months? At that point, he said he had no idea how to. And he wasn't turned on by the money, more by the thrill of the challenge, of being able to do it despite. So he would journal, think hard about how, and through that process of journaling, he figured it out and executed on it. Indeed, 12 months later, he brought his company public at a valuation of $100million. The next time, he journaled towards a $1billion target but got close, at half of it, at $500million.
Aim for the stars, and even if you fail, you'll land on the moon.
I love how he flipped the original writing experiment question, from "What would you do...?" to "How do I...?" I love the pragmatism behind it, and the crazy optimism required to even contemplate that question seriously. You need almost delusional levels of optimism. Reality-distorting levels. But somehow it's precisely because it's so crazy that I sat up and listened. And even if you don't hit it, you'll get somewhere far beyond what you initially dreamed of, precisely because that target was so far out. Even before taking a single step towards making that question come true, just the act of asking it, felt incredibly life-giving and awe-inspiring already.
I'm super stoked to try it now. Because it isn't really about the money (though it'll be awesome to have it too). It's about dreaming bigger. Waaay bigger. And trust me, most of the time, even when we think we are dreaming big, we're just being incremental. We aren't built for dreaming big on that scale. It's too scary. Too much ambiguity and uncertainty. And our survival instincts don't like going into uncharted territory. Everything, everyone, anchors us down in reality. Be practical, they say. Be safe. Save up, spend less. Wait for retirement. Lower your expectations, so that you won't be disappointed.
Practicality be damned. Playing small does not serve the world.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
So, back to the million dollar question...... just how do I make a million dollars?
To be continued...