From dreams to actions … Part 1

By Benjamin Aggrey 5 years ago66 Comments
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At dinner last night, we started talking about “The Law of Attraction” and whether anyone of us had ever actually tried it.

Law of Attraction: You attract into your life whatever you think about most.

My answer at the dinner table was “Nope, never really tried it”. And then I realised I was quite wrong.

The way I handle my horizons of focus – which contains my wishlist for my best life – is very much in line with the law of attraction.

So I retracted my earlier statement and told my dinner companions exactly what I’m about to tell you.


Deciding to dream 

About 3 or 4 years ago I started feeling very uninspired and stuck in a complete rut.

I felt like I was going through the motions each day but none of those actions were getting me anywhere.

And furthermore, I didn’t know where I would even want to go.

I realised I was dreaming of nowhere, and moving to nowhere.

So …. I decided to change that. If I was going to work hard, I might as well hard towards something.

I pulled up my goals list, did a fresh brainstorm and created a mindmap of what I thought that direction could be.

At the end of that session, I had a mindmap with 47 nodes.

I’ll share with you the highest level of that mindmap.

Some of the nodes in that map included:

  • Take a summer vacation every year
  • Exercise regularly
  • Laugh every day
  • Build one good habit at a time

All good things. Not particularly actionable. But it was a start.

Keeping the dream going

Once I put these into a mindmap it freed me up from thinking in terms of a list. I could do many more things with this life vision.

  • I could cross-link items,
  • I could drill-down further and really elaborate on what each node meant,
  • I could add pictures or quotes or website links for inspiration,
  • I could start tagging what was in progress or done,
  • and more importantly, I could link to my runway (projects and next actions) that was housed in my list manager.

And once I started that linking, it freed up my thinking. I no longer felt constrained by my day to day task list.

I reviewed my mindmap during my weekly review – adding ideas and wishes from my inbox to my mindmap, comparing it to my action lists in case there was a project I wanted to create – and bit by bit my mindmap grew.

My dream today

Today, it looks very different.

I organise my horizons of focus now by 10 categories.

My mindmap now has 756 nodes, and it keeps growing.

And… it’s a dream in action.

I have marked 153 of them as complete. That’s almost 3 times as many as I started with!

The keys is that each node is wirtten and marked in such a way that my entire mindmap, is actionable.

So no matter how fuzzy the inbox item is that gets into this mindmap, I just process it like I would an item that ends up on my list manager. Each inbox item becomes or is decomposed into an area of responsibility, an area of focus, a project, a next action, or a habit. And everyone of those types, I know how to action.

And that has been clearly demonstrated in the last 3.5 years. I have moved from have a random list of vision items to a clearly defined vision of 756 well-written items and 153 of those marked as completed.

And that feeling of being stuck in a rut is no more. I feel well aligned to what I want in life… and I’ve attracted at least 153 of those things into my life. 😉


In the next parts of this blog series, I describe how I created my initial mindmap, how I evolved it over time, how I process my mindmap to generate projects & next actions, and how I keep my vision connected to my runway. So do share what you’d like to learn or contribute to the series, and do stay tuned.

Next series post: From dreams to actions … Part 2: Create your vision

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  • Scott Gabel says:

    Hi Enyo,

    Wow, can I relate to this “Law of Attraction”. You have made me think of a common quote that I’ve heard over the years, the quote is “We become what we think about”. That is so true. One of my problems is I need to make sure I’m thinking of the right things that line up with my visions & dreams. From your post it looks like you have it figured out really well which is great! I really appreciate you showing me your setup from a higher level. That rut you mentioned you were in 3-4 years ago is exactly the rut that I feel like I’m in today. I’m really excited to start planning out my own horizons of focus. It’s interesting because I have no problem completing a lot of my actions at the runway level everyday, the problem is picking the right ones. 🙂

    You’re higher level mindmap of the horizons of focus looks really great. Now I can’t wait to start my own. I have tried to start it before but I wound up with too many categories and after looking at yours I now realize that it’s ok to have sub-categories at each level. The way I then vision it is projects, routines, habits can then fall under any category or sub-category.

    Another light bulb that went off for me as I was reading your post was that i kept trying to get this type of view that you have for the horizons with me linear list manager. Boy, that doesn’t work at all. I use OmniFocus and trying to get a higher level view with that tool doesn’t work at all. I do have different lists of goals, etc. but there is no easy way to connect it all with a linear list manager. This has been a big problem for me. I look forward to the way that you have done it and you also made me realize that the mind map i make will really be the control center of my life, dreams, visions, goals, etc. and that I can also review this mind map once a week or however much I need to.

    Thank you for sharing your higher levels!

    • enyonam says:

      Good to hear from you Scott! It’s absolutely true that we do become what we think about. So we might as well think a phenomenal us right?

      I hear you on picking the right ones and I’ll be blogging more about that on the series. The key though, I’ve found, is the weekly review. It’s a wonderful opportunity to sync back up with your higher horizons.

      And look forward to hearing more about how your mindmapping goes! It’s really fun once you give yourself permission to go crazy 😉

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