Every night, before I go to bed, I lay down and do through a mental checklist that combines things I am thankful for with things I aspire to. Some of these aspirations are material, but they are less important than those that are spiritual and emotional.
The key is to make statements rather than ask for things, as in prayer, or state hopefuls like “someday I will…”. Instead, combine what you already feel gratitude for with what you hope you will bring into your life. I like to say stuff like,
“I live a healthy, happy life. People are drawn to me. I have a healthy, happy, loving, beautiful family. I have healthy, happy, loving, talented, beautiful friends. I have a comfortable home. I live on my own terms. I am in control of my own life…” etc. At first, if you believe deep down that your life is a shambles, these statements will feel forced and contrived. But slowly, you will come to adjust your subconscious ever-so-slightly to accommodate these positive, thoughtful statements. I’ve been telling myself pretty much the same things before bed for 3 or 4 years, and I find that most of them have become true and continue to grow in both significance and magnitude.
This exercise isn’t meant to be goal-oriented, or to get you attached to unrealistic goals. When I first started doing it, my statements were a bit over-the-top, to anxious effect. The key is to remain humble, positive, and true to yourself. Over time, you’ll adjust not to want new things, but to make small adjustments to your current life to accommodate positive thoughts about qualities that you already have.
Basically, you’ll realize all of the dreams that you are currently living. And you can then spend your night sleep and your next day enjoying them rather than thirsting for something new. It feels deeply satisfying and humbling to be grateful. If you like this idea, I hope you’ll pass it along to loved ones who may be feeling overly negative or lost in their ways.