In the spirit of the holidays, I am going to be recharging my batteries and taking some time off to celebrate and reflect. I will return with my next post on Friday, January 3, 2020, so I hope to see you all then and thanks for being a loyal reader! Happy holidays and a healthy new year!
When the year end is just about here, I always want to take the time to reflect on how it all went. Was it a good year? Did I do anything to improve myself and my family’s lot in life? Did I take the time to help anyone with their problems? Did I take the time to appreciate all the things that I have and not dwell on those things that I want too much?
So now, in this time of year when we get a small break (at least for a few days), we have this chance to get together with our families and friends and enjoy the holidays. That’s a good time to do the reflection about how your year went, isn’t it?
It doesn’t really matter whether it’s the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever you and yours celebrate. The time you can spend with loved ones and important people in your life needs to be treasured and appreciated. Right there, if you are lucky enough to have that in your life, you can count your year as a success. But even when you have all of that, it seems to be our human nature to still make wishes and want more, doesn’t it?
To be human is to wish. Everybody desires at least some improvements to their life such as more money, better health, or the love of that special someone. But can your dreams and holiday wishes really come true simply by wishing?
Is There Anything Wrong with Wishing?
Everybody has wishes they want to be fulfilled. That’s just a fact of life. Sometimes they’re big wishes and sometimes they’re small ones. Like when you are driving and you say to yourself “I hope this light stays green long enough” or a biggie like “I hope someday I will finally meet ‘the one’ and fall in love”.
But these wishes are likely fleeting hopes which you don’t focus on for any extended period of time. Focus is an important word, especially when it comes to achieving the things you want in life. This lack of any focus is why most wishes made by people don’t come true.
“Wishing won’t do it. Savings will!”
I didn’t make that phrase up, but I could have. You see, when I was a child, the PSFS Bank (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society Bank) was the big bank in town and that was their motto.
In fact, at one time in the early 1900s, PSFS had the most depositors of any savings bank in the United States. It was second to the Emigrant Savings Bank in the amount of money deposited. PSFS encouraged children to put money into savings accounts instead of spending it on treats, and also established school programs that allowed children like me to open accounts with PSFS. In the 1970s, things changed in the personal finance industry and that led to some banks struggling to stay open.
The bank struggled and eventually was merged and merged again over the years and today the iconic PSFS building is now part of the Lowes’s Hotel chain, but the skyscraper and its PFSF logo still stands tall in the downtown Philadelphia skyline—sign and all!
What PSFS Taught Me
That early banking experience taught me this: In order to make your real wishes come true, your desire must be more than just an idle thought. While perhaps in fairy tales, sometimes wishes are granted by a genie or some other kind of higher authority, wishes usually are not just granted. Usually, wish fulfillment requires focus, action, and hard work. Oh, and it also depends on the way you wish for them, too.
“The Man in the Bottle” – The Twilight Zone
As a kid, I was always a big fan of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s great show that gave us a look inside ourselves very often and maybe even taught a few lessons about life and human nature along the way.
Now relegated to late night re-runs (and thank goodness for that!), I DVR them and play them at my leisure each day and enjoy them all over again. That’s when I got some inspiration to write about wishes and the holiday season. Although the story isn’t about Christmas or the holidays, it is all about wishes.
“The Man in the Bottle” (Season 2, Episode 2) is the story of a discontented curio shop owner who thinks he’s finally found happiness when a genie he discovers in an old bottle grants him four wishes. The story goes like this:
The curio shop business is not very good and Arthur, the shop’s owner, is having trouble paying all of his bills. Despite that, good-hearted Arthur buys an old wine bottle from a poor and desperate old woman for a dollar. When he knocks the bottle over accidentally and breaks it open, a genie appears offering him four wishes. He soon finds that his wishes don’t always lead to the outcomes he had hoped for and may in fact not always lead to happiness.
The moral of the story (and there always is one) is to be careful what you wish for. Make sure your wishes are for the important things in life, the ones that will make you and your loved ones truly happy.
You Can Dream About Your Wishes – Really, You Can!
Wish as you fall asleep? In order to make a real wish come true, you need to wish at the right time.
One of the best times to wish is when your mind is clear and relaxed. It’s called hypnagogia; a unique state of mind which occurs right before you fall asleep. So, you can think about your wish when you’re in bed for the night.
It’s very similar to visualization, something I wrote about before, that makes you see and feel your wishes and desires coming true.
Wishes should be as specific as possible. Build a mental picture in your mind of what your fulfilled wish would look and feel like. Hey, it works and worked for a lot of people like baseball a Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn!
Wish as you fall asleep, but in order to make a real wish come true, you need to take actions and be focused.
Write Down Your Wishes
Physically writing down your wish helps focus your intentions. Dedicate a small notebook or journal specifically for your wishes. Even try writing as if you have already accomplished and made your wish a reality!
For instance, write “I just received $2,000!” or “I’m getting married to the love of my life!” Make your wishes direct and simple. You don’t have to elaborate in great detail. Just write down your wishes every day. The power is in focus and repetition.
In a way, it’s like having a mantra, repeating over and over in your mind and actions the thoughts of success and keeping you focused. To me, it’s a real way to get on your road to success not just about money, but in your life’s entirety.
Take Action to Make Your Wishes Come True
If you’ve focused on your wishes, and made sure they’re the ones you truly want, then it’s time to take action. In your journal, write down what steps you can take to make those wishes a reality.
If you want to receive $2,000, then maybe it’s time to start that side hustle you’ve been thinking about. If you want to find the love of your life and get married, then decide what efforts you could make to meet them, such as joining a dating app or finding some meet-ups where you could find someone with a shared interest.
After you’ve brainstormed the next steps, it’s time to put them into action. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but if that’s what it takes to make your wishes come true, then do it!
Last year I wrote: “During the hustle and bustle of the season, and throughout the whole year, we must take care of ourselves in order to be able to really feel the gratitude and give kindness”.
When we’re stressed and frazzled, it’s more difficult to focus on anything and actually see that compared to others in the world, we still have so much. So get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, and take a break when you need one. Stay focused and actually do the things that can help make your wishes come true!
Never hustle so hard that you don’t have time for yourself and the ones you love. If you think in this way, you are giving a great gift to yourself and everyone around you without even realizing it. That’s my wish for you this holiday season.