September 2003 Issue --> Success Article
The Scientific Process Behind Making Wishes Come True
By: Mark Victor Hansen


I’ve told people thousands of times that they’ve just go to ask for what they want.And I find that most people only have one problem with this directive . . . They don’t KNOW what they want!
You can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is! In this exercise, I’m going to start you on a wonderful path of painting your dreams into reality. I’m going to teach you the secrets behind setting – and achieving – your greatest ambitions.
Before we set off on this path together, let me make one thing very clear: The word “goals” can be intimidating – it can feel so overbearing that it keeps people from even beginning the process. So, let’s instead think of goals as a “To Do List With Deadlines.”
Do the deadlines have to be tomorrow? Next week? Of course not. This is your To Do List for the rest of your life. Goals can be added to, subtracted from and – most importantly – scratched off the list – as you move through your life.
Here’s a checklist to ensure you’re using a successful framework to set your To Do List:
  • Your most important goals must be yours. Not your spouse’s. Not your child’s. Not your employer’s. Yours. When you let other people determine your definition of success, you’re sabotaging your own future.
  • Your goals must mean something to you. When you write your goals, you must ask yourself, “What’s really important to me?” “What am I prepared to give up to make this happen?” Your reasons for charting a new course of action give you the drive and energy to get up every morning.
  • Your goals must be specific and measurable. Vague generalizations and wishy-washy statements aren’t good enough. Be very specific!
  • Your goals must be flexible. A flexible plan keeps you from feeling suffocated and allows you to take advantage of genuine opportunities that walk in your future door.
  • Your goals must be challenging, exciting. Force yourself to jump out of your comfort zone to acquire that energy and edge.
  • Your goals must be in alignment with your values. Pay attention to your intuition, your gut. When you set a goal that contradicts your values, something inside will twinge. Pay attention.
  • Your goals must be well-balanced. Make sure you include areas that allow time to relax, have fun and enjoy people in your closest circle.
  • Your goals must be realistic. Be expansive but don’t be ridiculous. If you’re four feet tall, you will probably never play in the NBA. Also, be sure to allow yourself time to get there.
  • Your goals must include contribution. Unfortunately, many people get so wrapped up in pursuing their goals that they don’t have time in their lives to give something back to society. Build this into your goals program.
  • Your goals need to be supported. Either selectivity share a few of your dreams with a number of people, or share all of your dreams with a select few people. In either case, you’re creating a web of support and accountability for yourself.
Go For the Gusto – 101 Goals!
It’s time to get started on your master plan. Give yourself some quiet time, put on some relaxing music . . . and write down 101 goals.
Open your mind to ALL the possibilities. Start each goal with “I am” or “I will.” Don’t even THINK about restricting yourself! To help you with this process, here are some key questions to ask yourself:
What do I want to do?
What do I want to have?
Where do I want to go?
What contribution do I want to make?
What do I want to learn?
Who do I want to meet and spend my time with?
How much do I want to earn, save and invest?
What will I do for fun and optimum health?
This process may take two hours. It may take two weeks. Don’t stop until you have 101 goals. Remember, you’re building your better life here – it’s the only life you have.
To learn more about goal setting, see, The Aladdin Factor in either book or tape form our ever-popular Living Your Dreams program, or check out our latest book, The Power of Focus for a more step-by-step walk-through of setting your goals.
We want to hear from you! Do you have a story of setting a goal and seeing it come to fruition more easily and in timelier manner than you ever expected? Please share it with us right now:

Mark Victor Hansen
The Ambassador of Possibility
Awakening the Possibility in Every Soul!
Mark Victor Hansen is the co-author of the wildly successful Chicken Soup for the Soul series and his new book, The One Minute Millionaire. He is sought-after keynote speaker, highly esteemed author, entrepreneur, and humanitarian. To learn more about Mark, visit
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