The most critical attribute for realizing our dreams is integrity. In a conversation about dreams, integrity is essential and can be summarized this way: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Honor your word and agreements and you will be living with integrity, where dreams really do come true.
Simple, yes, but not always easy. Vastly overscheduled, often the person it's most difficult to keep our commitments with, is yourself. As you practice upholding your values, you are given opportunities to show up or to sell out. When you are challenged, do you lose sight of what matters to you? Do you have an internal pulse, a set of conscious principles that you live your life by?
If you are committed to a life of joy and abundance, filled with love, generosity and contribution, integrity is a must. Integrity creates trust and accountability. Surrounded by crowds, you can feel lonely if you're not true to yourself. Without integrity, you can have great wealth and still feel worthless. And lacking integrity, you won't trust yourself or have faith in your dreams.
When we leave things unresolved or incomplete, we are out of integrity. You can recognize something as incomplete by how you feel about it. Is the matter settled? Do you worry about it? How is it impacting other areas of your life? When you are complete with something you don't even think about it. There is no agitation or energy wasted.
It's up to you to decide if something is incomplete or not, but it's difficult to focus on future dreams when you are consumed by your past. Incompletions can be notorious and contagious as one leads to another. Buried under burdensome annoyances we can feel lost, afraid or confused. Take Jake for instance. He didn't pay his taxes for two years. The IRS put a lien on his assets, so he was labelled a bad credit risk. He couldn't buy a house or rent an apartment. Eventually he lost his credit cards. He was caught in a downward spiral that also undermined his confidence and self esteem.
Linda let her parking tickets pile high and never got around to paying them. She became afraid to drive her car because she might get towed. Concerned about driving to work, she eventually lost her job. A small detail led to a bigger concern, which led to an even worse problem.
Carol had a room in her home that she called the "black hole," filled with incomplete items. Since she and her husband were trying to sell their house, she knew it was time to tackle that project. She came up with a list of over one hundred "items to do." They included returning things she had borrowed, writing letters, even mailing back an inexpensive bracelet she had stolen from her local drug store when she was a teenager. It took some time and effort, but with each item she handled, Carol felt lighter and freer. Within a few weeks of completing her list, they easily sold their house. Completion creates freedom.
This powerful process of exploring what's been left unsaid, undone or incomplete in your life is one of the most awesome things you can do to free yourself and have more access to your dreams. If undertaken to the best of your ability, this may be the most profound thing you have ever done.
Look at all these important areas and use this formula as a guide to scrutinize your life. The areas to explore (but are not limited to) include your body, mind, home, work, finance, and people (living and dead).
1. Write down what you feel incomplete about with anyone or anything.
2. List what you need to do to complete it.
3. Complete as many items as possible.
How do you complete something? You may need to write a letter or make a phone call. You may need to forgive someone or just declare "it's over." On some items, you might need to create a project plan or you might not even know yet. Just do your best to get rid of anything that is weighing you down.
Removing clutter will give you greater clarity and energy for the things that are important to you. As you complete what you can, feelings of pride, accomplishment, and peace of mind, can motivate you to take on even the tough things. Free to move forward, now you can tap into the flow of life. The more your life is in order, the faster and easier your ability to manifest dreams will become. It's just that simple.
Marcia Wieder is a best-selling author and speaker who is known as America's Dream Coach?. She's known for giving inspiring and moving talks to AT&T, The Gap and American Express. She appeared several times on Oprah and The Today Show. She's also a syndicated columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle. For more information, to receive a free audio e-book, "Jump Start Your Dream", or to join her community of Dreamers, visit http://www.dreamcoach.com. Come Experience a Powerful Weekend Designed to Help You Exceed Your Expectations & Achieve Your Dreams, visit http://www.dreamcoach.com/dream_weekend.htm to register for the event.