Delicious Outcomes

Steve Pavlina:

To this day I still have the habit of obsessively thinking about what I want. It’s like the opposite of depression. If I’m standing in line or driving in my car, my mind will just start roaming through all kinds of positive scenarios, envisioning one delicious outcome after another. If I want to consider what might go wrong, I have to sit down and think about that consciously, and even then it’s hard because my mind will habitually return to obsessing over how great everything will be.


How do you establish the habit of thinking about what you want? First, do your best to catch yourself thinking about what you don’t want, and consciously stop and replace those thoughts with positive alternatives. It doesn’t matter if the alternatives are realistic or not. This is your imagination we’re talking about, so you’re free to dream up whatever crazy scenarios you like. All that matters is that you enjoy thinking about them. You don’t need to write them down or tell anyone about them. Just enjoy basking in their glow.

Secondly, set aside a few minutes each day to consciously think about positive outcomes. Allow yourself to dream. Imagine how your life could become even better. Do this when you’re driving — put a sticky note in your car with the word “Dream” to remind yourself. Do it when you’re standing in line. Do it when you’re lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. Eventually this will become a habit, and you’ll dream about what you want whenever you have a spare moment. Again, it doesn’t matter if you think these outcomes are possible or not. Just enjoy the positive energy you get from thinking about what you want, and also notice that you can apply that energy to improve your current practical results right here, right now.


It doesn’t matter how much time and energy you’ve invested in this habit already, how many times you’ve tried to change and failed, or how adept you are at making excuses. You can still begin to pay attention to your thoughts and rechannel them in a more positive direction. You’re always free to dream. It may take weeks, months, or even years to reach the point of feeling consistently good about your life, but the time is going to pass anyway, so you may as well get started today.

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