Today, on This American Life, I learned about the “I wish” song in movie and Broadway musicals. The main character sets the story in motion by singing about their fondest hope for themselves. 3 of my favorites are Somewhere over the Rainbow, in The Wizard of Oz; Wouldn’t it be Loverly, in My Fair Lady; Tomorrow, in Annie.
This reminded me of our own lives. How do we figure out what we really wish, and then how do we make it come true?
There is an interesting system with an easy shorthand, called WOOP, that stands for: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan.
I’ve been using it on a daily basis to get back into a writing schedule, revise my novels, and work on this blog. Here’s how it works:
WISH: I wish I could write a blog that helps get my novels published and launches my public speaking career.
OUTCOME: Here’s where I picture the end product. I’m sitting at my computer every day, blissfully tapping out brilliant tales. My novels are published, people stay up all night reading them, and I’m as beloved as Dobby, the house elf. I have more money to travel and meet fascinating people all over the world.
OBSTACLE: What is inside me that is standing in the way of doing what I wish? I’m afraid that people will never read what I write and if they do, they won’t like it. I’ll have wasted my time. If I try to sell my public speaking skills, people will say no to me. (I do speak frequently on my job and I know my audience enjoys me. It’s the selling of myself that I find so hard.)
PLAN: Here’s where I have a serious conversation with myself.
Candace (that’s the wise Mommy inside me): If no one reads your writing, you’re no worse off than you are now. You’ll feel much better if you tried and failed, rather than feeling defeated before you even start.
Candy (the flawed girl I am): What if people read it and are bored?
Candace: You’ll figure out a different way to do it. If you can’t get speaking engagements with what you’re doing, you’ll try something else. You always feel optimistic and full of life when you’re learning and attempting something new.
Candy: So the plan is to write every day, post, rewrite my books, make a brochure, take my show on the road. Remind myself that if I don’t try, I’ll definitely fail. If I do try and fail, I’ll discover what doesn’t work and take another path.
So make a wish with me and WOOP! And tell me about it.