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Monday, December 18th, 2006

The power of the pen

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

Write it downA friend of mine runs a wildly successful business that she and her husband worked tirelessly to develop for over 20 years. In fact, although it’s their flagship enterprise, it’s only one of several ventures she’s conceived, created, marketed and made money at. People say she’s got the golden touch – although I’m well aware of how hard this woman works and how brilliant her natural marketing ability.

But she shared with me several years ago a strategy she is absolutely convinced has helped her succeed in every aspect of her life. (She’s also a fabulous mother, enjoys a rewarding marriage, and is active in her community.)  It’s advice she dispenses to anyone who’ll listen, although she admits she is sometimes greeted with a condescending nod.

It’s simply this: when my friend wants something – really wants it – she writes it down on a piece of paper. Then she tucks it away somewhere. She writes it in very specific terms. Not the wanting of it, but the success of having achieved it.

As I struggled to self-publish my book, launch my online business, work three jobs, and overcome personal challenges, she told me more times than I can remember: write it down, make it happen. Frankly, it sounded a little Pollyanna to me at first. But she had begun doing this long before a book of the same name was published (which I have bought, read and recommend). She says to this day she often finds bits of paper in her bedrooms drawers and jean pockets with long forgotten goals since met. And she’s convinced it’s because she committed those goals to paper, confidently projecting them into the future, and then went about making them happen.

I was so moved by my friend’s passion and history of success that I ultimately incorporated the concept into the visualization exercises of my program – and the book itself – leaving spaces on the page for readers to jot down their goals and projected success. I even considered including a chapter with more detail about the “Write it down” concept but was rushed to publish and also hoped to present as streamlined an explanation of the overall program as possible.

These days, we are driven to be ever more productive, to get things done, to check things off our endlessly long to-do lists. And that’s not what this is about.  “Write it down, make it happen” is about clearing your head, figuring out what it is you really want out of life, and believing in that possibility. Results follow. Because believing it can happen becomes the most powerful force in creating your own destiny.

Now I’m the one who finds crumpled scraps of paper in unexpected places. They always bring a smile. And a reminder that my friend was absolutely right.

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