Many years ago, my husband and I decided to divorce. We listed our house for sale. At the time it was a downward market, and houses were not selling.

Patiently, I waited. While the house was listed, I began a search for a new home, but we were losing equity in our home every day. Our house was listed for less than what we paid for it, and we had decreased the listing price twice. I had no money to buy a new home.

But I was dead set on my goal—I clearly described my dream home on a goal card that I carried with me. My goal statement was as follows: “I, Peggy McColl, am enjoying living in my gorgeous, four-bedroom home, beautifully decorated, fully furnished, double-car garage, in a modern subdivision on a nice lot, in a neighborhood with lots of trails and parks for Michel and I to go cycling.”

Michel is my son, and at the time he was two and a half years old. It was important for me to have a nice home for my son and to raise him in an area where there were other small children and where we were surrounded by nature.

While I was in the process of looking for a home, I heard of an interesting lottery in our city. It was called the “Dream of a Lifetime.” In exchange for a $100 ticket, you had the opportunity to win the grand prize: a large, four-bedroom home, completely furnished, professionally decorated, professionally landscaped, complete with two new cars, groceries for a year, all legal costs included, and moving expenses and cleaning services paid.

This was a great solution to my problem.
The Dream Home, as they called it, was open for visiting during the day. I drove out to the home, passing several parks and nature trails, and arrived at a home fitting perfectly the description on my goal card.

I walked in the front door and fell in love with the house. I immediately started to visualize living there as I sat in all the rooms. Upstairs, I decided which bedroom would be Michel’s. I visualized sleeping on the bed in the master bedroom. I got in the extra large bathtub and imagined what it would be like to have a wonderful, warm bubble bath in the great tub.

I visited the house several times after that as it remained open right up until the day of the draw. When I visited the house, I would go for walks around the neighborhood. I would drive to the house and imagine I was driving home from work. I also changed my goal card to include the address of the home along with the description I had already written on it.

On December 7 the Dream of a Lifetime draw was held. A local doctor won the house. What did I do? I changed my goal card and simply removed the address. I did not lose sight of my goal.

Several months passed. The home Charles and I owned together was still not sold. I asked my husband if he would be willing to keep the house if I left and took nothing. He agreed. We determined an appropriate shared custody schedule for Michel and set a date for when we would part ways as husband and wife.

I decided to take a drive past the Dream of a Lifetime home. As I drove up to the house, I noticed a “For Sale” sign. I figured it was a “sign” for me. I called the real estate agent and said, “I want to make an offer on that house.”

Within 30 minutes the agent had arrived. We sat at the dining room table (the doctor was selling the house along with all the furniture). I wrote up an offer that allowed me to move into the home and occupy it for a period of time and close at a later date. This idea just came to me. When I called the agent, I had no idea how I would pay for it, but I knew I would find a way. I do know that when we are committed, there is always a way.

Two months later, Michel and I moved into our new home. We loved it! It was absolutely perfect.

At the time we moved in I was an “occupant,” with an agreement to purchase and a firm close date. Then I had to come up with the money. Honestly, in my heart I knew I would do it, but I did not know how. I had to believe it before I could see it and believe with all my heart.

Interestingly enough, I worked for a company that was about to go public. The IPO (initial public offering) was set. I had saved some money for the close of my house, and I put every dollar on the IPO and bought shares—a very risky move. The IPO was set for November 26, and my house was to close on December 1. All the money that I had raised was now tied up in a stock, and I had no idea which direction the stock would go.

Was I nervous? You bet. But I refused to give up. I maintained my high level of certainty, continued to believe in the outcome of my desire, and replaced negative thoughts with positive and supportive ones. I had clearly defined my goal, and I was focused on making it happen. I developed an unwavering faith.

On November 26 the company went public, and the stock shot up like a rocket. I sold the shares immediately, and on December 1, I closed the deal on my home. I owned the Dream of a Lifetime home and lived there with my son for eight years, until we sold it for a very healthy profit and bought another home.

Buying that house impacted me in more ways than I had realized at the time.

I realized that we need to remind ourselves of some valuable lessons because it is highly unlikely anyone else will. Sometimes we need to be our own strongest supporters. The most empowering beliefs that strengthened me during this period were:

even though there is no evidence of the desired outcome becoming a reality, you must remain connected to the feeling (joy, happiness, elation, gratitude) of already having it (the “act as if” philosophy)
if others (your friends, family, coworkers, colleagues) will not support you, keep your thoughts, ideas, and goals to yourself
you do not have to know how the goal will materialize—just believe it will, and it will
pursuing a goal does not mean that you will be without fear, but when the fear comes, be ready to deal with it—combat it and break it down with unwavering faith. Faith is the only solution to fear.
It is my desire that my own experience of pursuing a dream will inspire you in some way to go for yours. And as much as we know all this, it is sometimes a little more challenging to follow through, but I have found that when I follow through, the rewards are enormous.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways2.html.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McColl is an internationally recognized expert in the area of goal achievement, inspiring individuals to realize their goals and reach their maximum potential for the past 25 years. She is President and Founder of Dynamic Destinies, Inc., an organization that trains authors, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and employees in some of the most compelling and strategic goal-setting technologies of our time. She is the author of numerous books, including a Hay House Publication (to be released May 2007) called Your Destiny Switch: Master Your Four Keys Emotions and Attract the Life of Your Dreams! Visit http://www.destinies.com, or e-mail Peggy at peggy@destinies.com.