Gnarly twisted oak trunks are bending over as if to pick up a lost leaf from the spring grass. Leaves are making a shuffling sound as they move violently and are pushed out of their comfort zone in the strong wind.
Dark, almost purple clouds, are billowing over the distant blue mountains like Indy race cars competing to get to the finish line.
My ears are filled with the whistling of winds coming from different directions … like a chorus of flutes.
I’m reminded of “In Like a Lion” as spring makes its way to the backyard of this tin-roofed Texas ranch house. I’m out on the back porch, coffee close at hand, and happen to look down the entire length of the porch. There’s another one at the front of the house. It, too, runs the entire length of our home. I never want to take these porches for granted.
When I was about 30, I dreamt of owning a house with a big porch, a tin roof, and a view of a mountain.
Now, here I sit, many years later, living that dream.
Years ago, when I was first introduced to the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York, I fantasized about living in the first house built there in the late 1800s. Today, we spend much of our time in the first house built on our little lake in 1840.
Imagination is a powerful thing. What we imagine somehow gets implanted in our minds and sometimes, without even remembering those implanted visuals, our mind makes them happen.
No Effort Required
Though I’m big on the idea of turning your dreams into a plan, setting goals, and following the plan, I’ve also come to see how our dreams really can come true. Sometimes no effort is required … things just fall into place.
I suppose the big difference is the speed at which things happen.
Dreaming is important to all of us. Imagining ourselves living our ideal life, in our ideal circumstance, and having our ideal career.
In reality, most of us do some form of dreaming and imagining.
Sometimes, when we don’t really believe in our own dreams, that’s when we find ourselves in places and circumstances we don’t want to be in. Too many times in my life, I’ve thought to myself “I’ll never be able to have that” — and I was right. I didn’t believe in my own dreams and they never happened. If you think you can’t, you can’t.
Your Other Brain
The reality is that everything you dream about won’t come true.
But, what you think about constantly is what is most likely to happen. Advertising experts know that repetition sells products, but repetition is also the most influential controller of your brain.
Therefore, what you think about most, what you watch or read most, is often the outcome you get, whether or not it’s intended.
If you think about how much you hate your job, your brain is likely to make losing your job happen, usually through self-sabotage.
Oh, it’s not you. It’s your subconscious mind. If your brain is engaged in unhealthy fantasies, like having affairs with the pizza delivery guy, be careful! It’s likely to happen in some form or another. If you keep thinking “I just want to hit that jerk” … you might accidentally just find yourself doing it.
People frequently say things like, “I don’t know what made me do it, it just happened.” The answer often lies in what you’ve implanted into your subconscious, which controls much of your activity.
That Happened Fast
A couple years ago, someone recommended that I talk to a major TV network about doing a TV show. Though it sounded really exciting, my initial belief was “not me, it’s not going to happen.” He then scolded me with a reminder, “if you think you can’t, you can’t.”
So instead, I thought about what it would be like when it did happen.
I focused on believing it would happen and, one week later, I found myself in front of the right person, talking about a TV show!
Another time, someone suggested I be featured in Success magazine. I rejected the idea … not believing that it could happen for me. Again, scolded by my friend Lee, I decided to manifest it like she suggested. Boom. The following month I was featured in a story in Success magazine.
Has it ever happened to you?
Have you ever thought about something so much that it started happening in your life?
Have you ever manifested anything?
I don’t use prayer like Santa Claus. But I do lift up my ideas for direction and I know if they are part of the plan, they will happen.
To me, prayer is part of manifesting what you want. If it’s linked to a good purpose, it’s more likely to happen. We’ve always been told to be careful what we wish for (or pray for) because we often get it, even if it’s not what we really need.
Do you spend time dreaming about outcomes? I role-play meetings with myself while driving to meetings, and they often turn out as anticipated.
I never used to believe any of this. I called it all “positive thinking BS” — but I’ve seen enough evidence now that I believe there is more to it than meets the eye.
And, as a result, I’ve formed a few little guidelines that I try to apply in my own life.
I’d like to offer these guidelines to you because I’ve discovered how very powerful they can be.
- Be careful what you put into your brain. Be careful about what you think about or obsess about. The old saying “garbage in garbage out” is true. Focus on good or focus on evil. You choose the outcome.
- The more vividly and more detailed you dream, and the more you do it, the more exact your dreams will come true.
- Though things can and do happen when you dream them, you stand a better chance if you’re being deliberate. In other words, consciously make an effort to keep them in your mind. Set goals. Make a plan and follow it. Don’t give up.
- Roadblocks to every dream are not outside factors, but inside your head. Clear the roadblocks, clear the indoctrination you’ve inherited from others, get the “I don’t deserve this” or “I’m not the kind of person who gets to have these things” out of your brain.
- When you have a valid world-changing purpose, it makes things happen faster. Find your purpose.
- Though some things happen on their own (good or bad, depending on what’s in your brain), they happen faster when you work on them. Remember, a boat floating with the engine off can drift anywhere. A boat with the engine running, propeller spinning, and rudder aimed at a compass setting always gets to its destination!
Imagine what your life would be like if every dream you had came true? If everything you had thought of had become a reality?
What would you do if you knew there were no limits — no age limits, no money limits, no conditions to get in your way?
What if you discovered that everyone is a dreamer, but only people who are willing to jump over roadblocks are the ones who get the prize?
My guess is that inside of you, right now, is one burning desire you’ve dreamed about but did not believe you could do or have. Pull the trigger today. Don’t delay. Make it vivid, make a plan, and start action today, and every day, and you’ll change your life in 90 days.
PS: Please follow me on Instagram
PS: The last thing my dad said to me before he died recently is that he wanted me to take Sunday Coffee to the next level, reach more people, and expand it worldwide. Would you help me do that? If you enjoy it, find value in it, share it with 10 friends. I want to make my dad proud. And the week he died, the first thing I did was reach out to a book agent. Fingers crossed.
Yes You Can Learn to Paint
Many of you know that I’m an artist. I was the guy who did not believe I could learn it. I was the guy who told myself special talent was a requirement. Today, I’m in three art galleries and I’m a proficient painter (we can all grow, and I work hard at growth).
I can teach anyone to paint. A good place to start is PaintByNote.com. It’s the foundation everyone should be given before they get confused … And it’s free!
Exciting in-person events with live, breathing people:
Tired of zoom calls and being alone. Want to be around actual people? Want to have some amazing experiences and make some great friends? Here are some art things I’m doing soon. Of course, we’ll all do what is required for safety. But, it’s TIME TO GET OUT!!
My Adirondack Artist Retreat
The 10-year anniversary of my annual artist retreat in the Adirondacks. We stay together, eat together, paint together, and sing and play together. It’s like summer camp for people who love to paint (amateurs to pros, all are equal). I have 10 seats left. PaintAdirondacks.com — come join the fun!
Pastel Live Global Art Conference
Our first Pastel Live event for people who want to thrive or learn in pastel painting. Not in person, virtual, but an amazing experience. PastelLive.com. Price goes up soon. Hundreds are already attending this global art conference. Don’t Miss It!
What people don’t know about Russia is that it has an extremely rich art history. Seeing the history in person, and painting in the places of the great Russian masters, is going to be amazing. This is my first Russia painting adventure. It’s been hard to organize and probably won’t happen again. I only have 3 seats left — come with us to Russia!. PaintRussia.com
My Fall Color Week Artist Retreat
My annual Fall Color painting week is taking place in late September/early October. This will be the very first Fall Color Week in the Adirondacks — the color and scenery is beyond breathtaking. We’re living in a classic old Adirondack camp right at the water’s edge. This will be the only time we do this because we go somewhere new each year. I’d love for you to be there to experience it with us. FallColorWeek.com
Fine Art Trip to Europe (Not Painting)
You don’t have to be a painter to attend. We go behind the scenes at the top museums, art studios and homes, plus other touring. It’s a small, intimate group and we have lots of fun together. We call it the Fine Art Trip and this year we’re going to Germany and Austria. Come with us, won’t you? FineArtTrip.com
Realism Live Global Art Conference
We’ll be doing another global art conference on Realism. Be watching because we’re announcing the world-class faculty lineup very soon. Find out more and get the best price by registering now RealismLive.com
If you’ve wanted to attend an art event “someday” — now is the time. We’ve all been locked up and alone for too long. Treat yourself … you deserve it! It’s time to get out and play! (safely, of course!)
Thank you. I have ordered your ‘Paint by note’. I am anxious to receive it. I have been stymied (hope that is a word) for almost two years. You were very encouraging in your message above. I am sending this to my son who is a photographer on the side. I think he will also be encouraged by your message. Again, thank you I enjoy your Sunday coffee. michele
Love your Sunday posts – in this often sad stressful time your thoughts are positive and forward thinking – and about painting often- that keeps me sane
I am thinking about the Fall color 7 day retreat. Am turning 75 a week before and bit nervous but visualizing this could be wonderful for me – concerns, but. Been painting on and off and always wanted to do this extended sort of paint-out! Can’t walk/ hike far but sounds like there are ‘easier spots’ too? ( I can drive from CT- know how long?). How many people?… is there room still? Thanks…
The skill you’re talking about is called Creative Visualization and there’s a book by that same name…and yes it does work…best for good! Julie
You are an upbeat, talented, caring, expressive, person. I Love reading your Sunday Morning Coffee. Good luck on your book you have a gift of writing & painting. Rock On !
Please change my email address to the address below
Thank you Eric for your incredible words of wisdom.
Your words from Today’s Coffee are a reminder that what we focus on expands in the mind; if you focus on negativity, you’ll manifest negativity and likewise positive thoughts manifest positivity.
I also appreciate your sharing tidbits of inspiration you learned from your father. He must have been an incredible man and would surely be proud of your accomplishments.
Thanks for your inspiration! I will now try to make my vague dreams more vivid and specific. I will write you back in a year to see what happened! Your videos and online instructions have really helped my art grow. Thanks for all you do.
This weeks “Sunday Coffee” resonated with me and prompted me to respond by revealing my circumstance that I don’t usually share. I have been LIVING with cancer (Multiple Myeloma) since 2008. The key word is LIVING. The diagnosis and subsequent treatments have often times been brutal, but I have never allowed negative thoughts to rule my thinking about this diagnosis. LIVING with cancer means taking really good care of yourself, being a good patient, and avoiding circumstances that you know may endanger your well being. For example I love working in stained glass. The real threat is that I might cut myself and not be able to stop the bleeding. I don’t do stained glass anymore but my oil painting has benefited from this extra creative time. I truly believe that our thoughts are so important to our quality of life. In my prayers I pray for complete remission and I visualize myself as an old woman with robust health and still painting every day. I’m LIVING each and every day.
I am so pumped that you are offering Realism Live again. I will be signing up.
You are so inspiring to me! I’m going to put more into my “dream” hopper! I have been painting for 7 years and had never done it before. I’m in a bit of a blocked time where I just don’t go to my easel and get into it. Thank you for your info and guidance and spiritual slant. I love the Lord and all of his creations.