Common Hours

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) the transcendental American philosopher wrote:
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Let’s ‘unpack’ this statement made nearly 200 years ago
Of course Thoreau wasn’t the first to expound this principle, it appears in Greek and Biblical philosophy as well and also in many Eastern philosophies.
The thing is, it’s very important for you and I to understand how this works and that it does work.
The first word is ‘If’. In order for anything at all to happen or any success to be achieved, you and I must first decide to ‘advance confidently’. If we don’t then nothing happens.
The statement requires you and I to do two things; the first being to ‘advance confidently in the direction of our dreams’.
I’m using the American definition of ‘dream’ – something tangible that can be achieved – not the ‘fantasy’ of English usage.
This means that you and I must have confidence and belief in whatever it is we want to achieve, and we must know the direction in which to go to achieve it.
And then you and I must take action to ‘advance’. Just having confidence, believing or ‘thinking about it’ won’t work.
The next thing you and I have to do is to ‘endeavour to live the life we are imagining’.
Now . . .
What is meant by ‘imagining’?
In this context this doesn’t mean some sort of passing fancy or ‘day-dream’. The ‘life we are imagining’ has to be described in as much detail as possible. It will consist of many individual goals covering all areas of our lives.
This is after all a LIFE we are looking to transcend to not just a new car or a new house or a new job . . .
The best way for you and I to ‘imagine’ the life we would love to live is to write it all down in full detail – by hand, on paper.
Writing it out on paper helps our subconscious mind latch on to what we want in a way that has not yet been achieved by other technology.
Once again ‘endeavour’ means ‘work’. Knowing what we are ‘imagining’ you and I do what we can with what we have in order to move towards the life we want.
As you and I carry out this endeavour two things happen.
We discover that we have way more than we think we have to help us on our way and we pass an invisible boundary inside us.
These two things cause you and I to ‘meet with a success unexpected in common hours’.
Things happen ‘out of the blue’. Things happen often in an unexpected way. You and I achieve our goals, or parts of them, in ways that we didn’t expect, and sometimes in ways that you or I don’t understand – “How did that happen?”
You and I meet with the things or situations we want outside ‘common hours’ or in other words outside our ‘normal paradigms’ or ‘outside the box’.
You see
Thoreau’s statement doesn’t ‘fit’ with how you and I and most other people have been programmed in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
It doesn’t fit with delay thinking (“I don’t have the time”), scarcity thinking (“I don’t have the money”), victim thinking (“What will others think?”) and all the other constrictions that have been imposed on the way we live our lives.
All those redundant paradigms you and I are carrying around with us have to go.
IF you and I want to live the lives we would love.
Thoreau also wrote:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined”
Go on then . . .