How to turn “Once upon a time” into “Here and now”

When a story begins with the words “once upon a time…”, we expect to hear a fairy tale.  One of those stories where everything is extraordinary and the ending has everyone living “happily ever after”. But those stories also taught us a few character lessons when we first heard them as children.  They taught us courage, perseverance and doing the right thing.  We also learned that happy endings often come at a price, that there is sacrifice as well.

Over the course of time, we stopped remembering the middle of the story.  All we remembered was “once upon a time” and “happily ever after” and so we stopped believing in the fairy tale.

But what if once upon a time could be here and now?  What if happily ever after was not just for children’s stories?  What if we could lay claim to that?  I believe we can.  But we have to put the middle of the story back in.  We have to develop our story, we have to make the sacrifices, we have to slay our dragons.  In other words, we have to do the work.

For many years, any time I was asked to name my top five goals in life one thing on my list was always to write a book.  It was my “once upon a time” story.  And it was definitely staying in fairy tale land for me.  Why?  Because I wasn’t doing the work.  I had the desire but not the commitment.  I wasn’t willing to make the sacrifices I needed to make.  And then I was.

I started to do the work.  I signed up for some writer’s workshops, I participated in writer’s retreats and I started looking for mentors that would be able to guide me down the path of my dream to write that book.  I can’t really tell you exactly when it shifted for me but the shift did happen.  I went from talking about a book to actually working on my book.  I am writing everyday and working with an extraordinary editor and publisher.  It will finish in 2014!

But what really changed?  It wasn’t the desire.  It wasn’t even the skill although that is definitely being aggressively (and enthusiastically!) honed.  What changed is that I started to work.  I picked up that sword from the fairy tale and started slaying the dragons blocking my path.  And I made the sacrifices. My schedule had to make room for this.  That meant something had to go. The investments had to be made in time and money to make the “happily ever after” my “here and now”.

What is it that you want for your life that has been in that secret place or not so secret place of your mind that is your fairy tale?  What first step can you take to begin your work?  Here are four points to ask yourself to help get you from “once upon a time” to here and now”:

1)  You must believe it is possible

2)  You must believe it is possible for YOU

3)  You must be willing to do the WORK

4)  You must be willing to make the necessary SACRIFICES

I remember clearly one of the early lessons I learned from mentor Jim Rohn:  “When the promise is clear, the price becomes easy.”  What we have to remember is that the price remains.

To wrap this up, I’m going to borrow a quote from Sherri Shepard I will never forget as she was departing from the Dancing With The Stars competition about to start up a new season:

“And, I wanna say, to every person out there — that thing that scares you the most, that makes you say, ‘I don’t know if I can do it, I’m scared,’ run towards it because it’s so amazing on the other side.”

I agree.  There is nothing like being on the other side of once upon a time… here and now is unbelievably wonderful!