Or perhaps you know this version from the world of healers and spiritual growth: Be the change you want to see.
Buddhist author Leo Babauta puts it yet another way: If you want to be a writer, write!
What these three bits of advice share, each in its own way, is that if you have a goal or vision for yourself, don’t wait! Do whatever you can right now to start living that goal.
If you want to be a farmer, don’t wait until you can afford to buy a farm. Farm your back yard, farm your patio in pots, work as a farmhand, or volunteer on a community farm. Find a forum in which to speak to the experience you are creating for yourself in the agricultural world and express your views on subjects that are in the forefront of agriculture. In other words, wherever you are, whatever you have – big or small – use it to be a farmer.
A colleague of mine is conducting a four-year study of the “possible human,” which includes interviewing a variety of people who are following a spiritual path. Preliminary findings show that while most of her test subjects are highly evolved in the “spiritual” world, they are woefully lacking in the “ordinary reality” world of personal and professional growth. They have vision, compassion, belief, and intuitive skills that are well-honed, but they haven’t done the work or taken the risk to develop themselves on the material plane.
I had a client come to me one time saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong. Every day God tells me I will have a healing center, but it isn’t coming. I don’t have any money, and I’m about to lose my apartment. I don’t even know how I am going to pay this month’s rent.” The answer, of course, is to stop waiting for the healing center to appear and to put her energy into sustaining herself as a healer where she is. Learn the skills that successful healers have – including business practices, personal interaction, and self-management – and build those into her practice. Be a healer in the best, most well-rounded, successful sense of the word where she is right now, and one day, perhaps, the healing center she has visualized will be a viable option for her life.
I’m not saying this is easy. I’m saying this is the work to be done if we want to thrive in the world.
For us would-be authors, self-publisher Dan Poynter says, “If you wait for inspiration, you’re not a writer but a waiter.”
If you want to write, write. If you want to have a published book, what are you doing to get it there? If you want to be a best-selling author, learn and do what best-selling authors do.
If you want to be a dreamer, dream.
Visions are important, I would even say essential to living a fulfilling life. But if you have an inkling of the job you want to have, the best way to get there is to do it. Be it. Learn it. Wherever you are.