Why a Dream Map is not magical!
Published: Monday 1st February 2021.
I created my first Dream Map in 2014, in the middle of a harsh winter in Poland. I was working for General Electric and day after day I was becoming more and more unhappy. I did not like my job anymore and I did not have a clue of who I wanted to be, what I wanted to achieve. I was barely surviving until the weekend.
My friend Kate bought me a ticket for a “Design your Dream Map” workshop organised by Eva Foley. To be honest I did not really believe that it would change anything but since I had nothing to lose, I attended. I created my first map.
I came back home and put the map away and forgot about it for about 9 months until my friend called me to ask if I had checked my map recently. I told her that I had not looked at it since the workshop, so she asked me to check I right away!
I could not believe it. Without noticing it, my dreams had come true. Everything on the map was part of my reality, Kate was right. On my map I had put the dream of becoming a public speaker and 3 months after the workshop took place, I gave a speech to hundreds of people at a conference. I had also put the dream of opening my Psychology Office and I did. I also wanted to speak fluently English and whilst it did not happen for over 12 months later, it happened.
All the dreams from my map became real. Would you like to try?
Now, check who is on your mind? Who is the guardian of your mind? Okay, who do you have in your head? And I am not thinking here about unfulfilled love from school years, but a “creature” called RAS or Reticular Activating System.
For as long as I can remember, I was interested in the brain. How wonderful it is to have such a complex system that can process a huge amount of data in real-time (and more).
Now the question about organising this data. How to organise it in the "boxes" of our mind. And this is where RAS plays a huge role!
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of neurons in the brainstem that filters all unnecessary information so that everything important to us can get inside. It is like you learn a new word and suddenly you hear it everywhere, or you buy an Opel car and the next day you look around and they are all around you.
Do an exercise with me. Close your eyes and open them again after a short while and try to find all the red things around you. As many as you can. Then close your eyes again and look for all the green things around you. You see this is how RAS works. It catches from the reality what is important for you!
Or consider the "cocktail party" effect. You are at a party, drinking prosecco with a crowd of people around. You are talking to a long-lost friend, and suddenly ... you hear your name from across the room. That is someone saying something about you and your RAS caught it. Despite the fact that earlier it was absolutely impossible to hear what other people were discussing the other side of the room.
Not bad right?
So, your RAS selects what is important to you and filters the rest of the information, processing only what is important from your point of view. Of course, you are not consciously influencing it at the moment. Then follows this lead and imagine that in the same way the RAS picks up from reality everything that is important to your beliefs. It filters the world around you according to the beliefs you hold.
If you think "I want to become a writer," your RAS will find plenty of evidence that this is the case, this is the truth, and you have chances to become the best writer! If you think "I am great and I can achieve my goals" again your RAS will find what to look for.
The system is looking for what is important to the boss. As probably know you are the boss. It is like a security guard who lets people into the party and must catch all those who sneaked in. Objectivity is not important. Absolutely not. It is all about WHAT YOU THINK AND WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND WHAT YOU DREAM ABOUT.
We can go further and see what happens when you know where you are going. You have a clear goal and suddenly you meet people who help you, you get a book that broadens your perspective, suddenly it turns out that Jack knows Louise and can talk to her about the commission for you. RAS is working again. It knows what is important to you, so it filters everything so that you get what is most valuable.
Here is how a future dream is built and here is why you need to have a clear vision of who you want to be in one year, five and ten years. You can focus on negative things and the RAS will help you spot them. You can focus on the positive, and it will help you too. That is why it is so important to cultivate gratitude, every day with the stubbornness of a maniac, because you will notice more and more things that are wonderful in your life today, and consequently, you will continue to catch all the fantastic things that will be around you.
Remember that life works for you, not against and in your hands (and in your mind) you have the strength and power to have the life you have always dreamed of! You can start building yourself and your life with us during the Dream Map workshops. Check our Courses & Events on the website for more details.
As you know I am a Psychologist and I want to tell you about Margaret’s story. Margaret used to work with me, she came to the UK from Spain and was a beautiful and intelligent person. She worked in a factory at night, but she hated this job very much. When she came to me, very quickly we built a plan and we based it on the DESIGN YOURSELF LIST. A tool that I created many years ago when I tried to figure out who I wanted to become. On her list, Margaret wrote down all skills, knowledge, experience, personality traits she wanted to develop. Her dream was to be brave, assertive, and to live in harmony. One day she experienced a difficult situation at work, and she reacted very assertively despite being afraid. When I asked her how she found the strength, she told me that she “saw” the list. She knew that if she wanted to become an assertive person, she needed to be brave. She did it. Then we created the database of all the companies around the city where she lived who wanted to hire people with language skills. Margaret spoke 3 languages: Spanish, Italian, and English. She sent 10 CVs and she received an invitation for an interview. When she went there, she told me that her first impression was that she did not belong there. A beautiful modern building with red carpet etc. I thought and said to her, Margaret you are the ideal match for them. You are good enough and you fit there! What is really positive and important here is that you don’t have to see all your journey ahead. You can see the few first steps. When you are driving from Birmingham to London in the night, you can switch on the lights, and even if you can only see few meters ahead you will still reach your destination. The same situation happens with your dreams. If you can only see a few steps ahead it is enough, and we can work on it during our workshops.
The last thing I want to mention is the top five regrets when dying. An Australian nurse has recorded the most common regrets people had about when they will die, and among the top ones was 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. The question for you is: What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day to live? Bronnie Ware spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations in a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
Today I want to focus on the first and most popular regret: I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Bronnie Ware wrote: "This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they did make, or did not make.” This is the moment of truth. This is your freedom to choose, choose wisely, who would like to become and how you can make your dream come true.