I recently read the book “Five Wishes: How Answering One Simple Question Can Make Your Dreams Come True” by Gay Hendricks. I really enjoy Gay’s work and I also liked reading this book, but the goal-setting process did not work for me at all. Intellectually, I can see how this book could work really well for a lot of people, and I don’t want my experience to discourage you from reading it and trying it out, but for a recovering perfectionist like me, it was a disaster.
The book asks a very interesting question: If you were on your deathbed, either today or years from now would you say that your life was a total success? If the answer is no then you identify five wishes you have that would make your life successful. Through the help of the book you state those wishes in the present tense as though you already have them. It sounded like another great goal-setting/manifesting process. I had an amazing time writing my five wishes and I felt really good when I thought of having them in my life.
Here are my five wishes:
- My life is a total success because I’m now devoted, mind, body and soul to healing work.
- My life is a complete success because I’m now living consciously in every moment.
- It’s also a success because I’m now freely sharing my the vast wealth of past-life and present-life wisdom I have with the world through writing and teaching.
- And I’m now sharing the delicious experience of a sacred home with many, many people through my sacred, healing centres.
- And I’m now fully peaceful with my glorious body and I really love every part of it for this glorious life experience it is giving me.
The problem for me was that I felt like a complete failure because I did not have these five wishes now. I felt like I had really screwed up my life, by not being brave enough to risk it all and just go after what I wanted. I have a long-standing pattern of perfectionism that sometimes pops up in situations where I, or others, create a standard called ‘good’ and I vigorously try to be ‘good’. I was the obnoxious one in grade seven who knew all the answers in math and corrected the teacher’s mistakes. In the academic model, we are rewarded and praised for being ‘perfect’ and having all the answers. But life is not black or white, it is a kaleidoscope of infinite colours and infinite answers to untold questions. ‘Perfect’ is an abstraction, created by one person under a specific set of circumstances. ‘Perfect’ does not exist.
I think if I was able to just relax, and just trust that the Universe would guide me to these wishes, the process would have been a very positive one for me. Ultimately, I could not get past the language of ‘success’ and ‘failure’. I kept feeling more and more angst and depression because I could not see all the steps required to get me to my goals. And I could not have them right now. There is a profound power in honouring your pitfalls and traps of your ego; and I found them in this process!
I am oddly grateful for this process, because it brought to light something I have been feeling for a while now. I have to walk my own path. I have to create my own rules, write my own book and put the knowledge I have always innately had into practice. Several years ago, I manifested my husband. I was clear about what I wanted in a partner, and I resolved to not compromise. I was sure that he was out there, just waiting for someone just like me. I was ready to be the person I wanted to marry and I cleared all of the emotional hurdles out of the way. My manifesting of not just a man, but my man, not perfect, but perfect for me, was easy. I just had fun, dated and stayed focused on my vision.
So why, if my manifesting process that I created for myself, worked so well, did I abandon it and try something that wasn’t quite right for me? All I can think is I’m a good student.
So I scrapped my five wishes list, and rewrote it in my own style, using my voice and my process. Here is my new life-long goal:
I love my family. I am the luckiest woman alive to have manifested such a beautiful relationship with an equal partner, someone who I adore and who adores me. We have a wonderful, amazing child who is a delight in all ways. He is a true gift from God and teaches me daily to be present, open and loving. My gorgeous, beautiful family is all the evidence I need that I can manifest miracles. As I love them with an open and free heart, I can rest in the knowledge that if the universe can bring me this amazing life, it can take care of everything else too. I love myself. I love my husband. I love my son. I love my life. Thank you!
Ahh! That feels better!