This week, Life Training Online is reviewing The Aladdin Factor, by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the twenty-second of fifty-two books in the 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks series.

Knowing What to Wish For

Now that you know the importance of asking, the next step is figuring out what to wish for. It seems simple enough, but most people when asked have no idea what they really want. Remember, you can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is that you want. To help you in discovering what it is that you want, the authors have come up with five tasks which will unearth those desires that may have been laying dormant for some time now:

  • The First Task: Make a List of 101 Wishes. This is a great exercise that sounds a lot easier than it is to do it. After trying to do this myself, I was initially able to fly through my various wishes, but once I hit 68 things, it was a struggle to finish. I had to really think deep to come out with the remaining 33 wishes. Try it…
  • The Second Task: Clarify your Vision. This is an exercise in sub-consciously driven envisioning. The best way to do this is to put on some relaxing music, close your eyes, do some deep breathing to get relaxed, and ask your subconscious what it is that you want in various areas of your life, such as:
    • Marriage and relationships
    • Job and career
    • Money and finances
    • Achievements
    • Health and fitness

    This is not an exhaustive list by any means. Just allow to come into your mind whatever images present themselves. After finishing this exercise, take a moment to write down the impressions that came to you.

  • The Third Task: Complete the perfect day fantasy. Again, for this exercise you’ll want to get into a relaxed state and close your eyes. Basically you want to envision the ideal day. For example, start with waking up in the morning. Who would you wake up to? What would your house look like? What would you do then? Would you exercise, pray, eat a gourmet breakfast, or get a massage? How would you get to work? Where would you work? What does your ideal car look like?

    Continue with this exercise until you’ve envisioned your entire day. Fill it in with as many details as possible, experiencing this vision with all your senses. This will help it come alive.

  • The Fourth Task: Complete the “I want” process. According to Canfield and Hansen, this is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to surface what is it you really want. This exercise requires a partner.

    Facing your partner, get in a really relaxed state and clear your mind. Your partner then asks you one question, “What do you want?” Continuing to keep your eyes closed and staying relaxed, answer them. Your partner then records your response. Following that, they ask you again, “What do you want?”

    This process continues for the next ten to fifteen minutes, then you reverse roles. At the end of the exercise, review your list of answers. You’ll probably find that the answers that come later in the process are more in line with what you truly want in life.

  • The Fifth Task: Stretch your imagination. For the final task, the authors try to further discover what it is that you want by stimulating you with some deeper questions. Here are some of them:
    • What would you most like to accomplish before you die?
    • What things do you want to own that you currently don’t own?
    • What do you need or want from your spouse or significant other?
    • What kind of contribution would you like to make in your lifetime?
    • What would you most like to learn?

Now that you have clarified your wants and desires, let’s take a look at the steps the authors provide in helping you accomplish them…

Lighting the Lamp

Once you know what you want, the next step is believing it is possible to get it, without which you’ll never have the courage to ask for it. The most powerful way of strengthening your belief is “to see the result that you want as having already been achieved, and to consistently see yourself as having already accomplished the goal.” Consistently doing this will increase the mental force in your mind which will eventually turn into motivation, propelling you to the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.

Continuing with the previous five tasks, Canfield and Hansen offer two more tasks that will raise your belief to the level that it will spur your motivation to act:

  • The Sixth Task: Visualizing your dream. Unlike the previous exercises which were a one time task, this requires a daily commitment. Each day, take some time out to visualize your desired outcomes as having already been achieved or completed. If your goal is to have your Ph.D. in medicine, visualize yourself sitting in your office with your diploma hanging on the wall. If your desire is to have a specific car, envision yourself driving it around. What does it feel like to sit in that car’s seat? What sounds do you hear from the engine? Can you smell the scent of a new car?

    Again, it is recommended to be as detailed as possible in your envisioning. Try to activate all your senses — really experience yourself being there.
    Try to do this exercise twice a day — once when you wake up and then again in the evening before you go to bed.

  • The Seventh Task: Creating your dream. If visualization is not your cup of tea or your just not good at it, then Canfield and Hansen recommend you create what many refer to as a ‘vision board’ or a ‘dream book.’ Basically you find pictures — such as ones you cut out from a magazine — which show your desired goal and place it in an area where you’ll see it every day. The theory, the authors claim, is thast each time you see it, it will become more and more of a reality in your mind.

How to Ask

Now that you’ve discovered what it is that you want and have awakened within you the motivation to go after those desires, the final step is learning how to ask for what your seeking after. Here are eight principles in asking for and getting what you want:

  1. Ask as if you expect to get it. This is the most important of all the principles of asking. It has to do with your state of thinking in regard to your level of certainty about getting what you are asking for.

    If you really believe you’ll get what you’re asking for, it will be reflected in your body posture, your eye contact, your tone of voice and your choice of words. It really comes down to discovering how you would appear/speak/act if you really believed you’d get what you’re after. And once you get in touch with that, then come from that place and make your request and ask your question. You’ll be amazed at how doors literally open up for you.

  2. Ask someone who can give it to you. This seems simple enough, but unless you ask someone who can give to you what it is that you want, you’ll never get it. As you are going about doing your asking, make an assessment of who would best be able to provide what it is that you want and seek out that person.
  3. Be clear and specific. Ambiguities like, “I want more money,” do nothing to promote what it is that you really want. Whether it’s money, relationships, a new job, or your health and wellness, unless you are specific with what your after, you’ll only experience disappointment.
  4. Ask from your heart. This principle can be best summarized by a quote from Dr. Gray Arthur, “Speak from your heart and don’t worry about how it’s going to be taken and ask with the intention of it doing the highest good for everyone involved.”
  5. Ask with humor and creativity. One of the most powerful ways of influencing and moving others is to use appropriate humor. Humor gets our immediate attention and breaks down our barriers. It floods our brains with endorphins and makes us feel better. Using humor to ask creatively will sometimes open the crustiest of hearts.
  6. Give in order to get. Whether you call it Karma or the Golden Rule, helping others get what they want will come full circle, eventually blessing you with what it is that you want.
  7. Ask repeatedly. Very similar to the principles outline in Go for No!, take every NO as a NEXT! A no does not mean to stop. It simply means not here, not now, not yet. Keep asking. Eventually someone will say yes.
  8. How to deal with resistance. Remember, not everyone will say yes. As you go about asking, be gracious in accepting a no. And keep in mind that a no may be a blessing in disguise.

The Aladdin Factor is the twenty-second of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.

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