The Magic of Making Lists

by Dennis Perry on September 19, 2011

 I have a very firm core philosophy and belief: each and every one of us can create and live the life of our dreams.  We have been given the God-like power to create and the type of life we live is, ultimately, up to us.

The first big step is to decide what you want.  Get clear about what you want your life to be like.  See it, feel it, taste it, and touch it!  And as you brainstorm and dream, write it down.

My wife and I have been dreamers almost from the moment we met and fell in love over 34 years ago.  When we met she was a high school teacher in her first year or so of teaching and I was a student.

When we married in 1980 I was still a student with no income: zero, zilch, nada!  She was still teaching and trying to support us both.  For us at that time, a rare but real treat was a trip to McDonald’s.  We would pick up a job here and there as a server (we called them waiters and waitresses back then) or a bartender to help make ends meet.

What we were really good at, though, was dreaming about what our future would look like.  We would dream about places we wanted to visit, where we wanted to live, what our house would look like, how much money we would have.  You name it and we probably dreamed about it.

And we dreamed BIG!  We weren’t sure what the future might hold but we didn’t want our sparse living conditions to influence us.  So, as the old saying goes, we let it all hang out.  We dreamed of a big house with a great hot tub.  Homes near water, homes near mountains, exotic places to visit.  We really had fun with it.  We let our imaginations run wild with the possibilities of the future.

Not only did we dream, we took the time to write it down and to have fun with it.  I can remember many quiet “together” moments where we would dream about the future over a glass of cheap wine or a cold beer and really laugh and enjoy the process.  It always ended with a pen and paper writing down our thoughts.

In the last year or so we decided that it was time to begin to de-clutter over 30 years of accumulation of “stuff”.  We started with a file cabinet that was so full of “stuff” that it was bulging at the seams.  We couldn’t squeeze another piece of paper in there if our lives depended on it.

As we were going through the files, we discovered a file marked “Wish Lists”.  Even though neither of us remembered keeping them, we had saved all of those lists from our earliest days together.

Our work for that evening was done because we had to sit back down and go through them again.  As we read those words written so long ago we laughed at the enthusiasm of our youth, we cried about some of the “wishes” that didn’t come true (we wanted 5 children but I guess God had other plans for us) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves over a glass of much more expensive wine this time.  I started to say much nicer wine but that would not be true.  More expensive, yes.  Better quality, yes absolutely.  But nicer, I’m not so sure about that.

The lesson from the story above is what we discovered.  If you were to guess, what do you think we found?

We found that with almost scary accuracy, most of what we had written had come true.  We had the nice home, a couple of them in fact.  One of them is on a lake with great views of the mountains in southeast Tennessee.  We were only able to have one child but what a great person he has turned out to be (don’t all parents think that of their kids?).  We have visited many beautiful and exotic places.

Even though we had forgotten about dreaming and writing them down, the exercise alone, done with fun and excitement and genuine belief in ourselves, created enough energy in the universe that, over time, we were able to manifest it in our lives.

I suspect that many of you reading this have seen the movie The Secret about the Law of Attraction.  Dreaming and writing your dreams down is one great way to activate this law.

There is another great movie (at least in my opinion) called The Bucket List.  In this movie, the two characters played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are approaching the ends of their lives due to terminal illnesses.

They are two very different people who are thrown together as a result of their diseases. Ultimately they develop a list of things they want to do before they “kick the bucket” and then set about to do everything on that list.

Ever since I saw that movie my lists have taken on a whole new significance.  I now carry with me a bound journal called My Book of Lists.  I write down everything I dream about or think about.

I have a list of future articles that I will write for this blog.  I have a list of places I still want to see. Charities I want to give to.  Experiences I want to have.  People I want to meet.  I also review these lists periodically.

I urge you to think and dream big.  Have fun with it.  Don’t let your conscious mind or your ego-self invade the process and give you all the reasons you can’t do something.  Let you mind go free and dream and write from your heart.  No dream is too big.

Remember, thoughts are things.  The more energy you give to your thoughts, the more the Universe will work to help you manifest it.  Let your energy rise to a nice high as you do this.

Enjoy the process! Open a bottle of good wine (or cheap wine if you prefer) or whatever beverage you like and let the creative juices flow.

Till next time…Make it a great day and truly rich life!



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Andrew Miner September 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Great article. It’s a great experience to read through your old notes and journals. It can be very motivating and sentimental.
A good leather journal is a smart move for keeping your thoughts on paper. You are actually “creating” something by writing it down…

Andrew Miner

John Moulder September 20, 2011 at 7:27 am

I must give it a go . I used to write things down on scraps of paper and then promptly lost them . Maybe that’s telling me something .

The Body Language site September 20, 2011 at 2:38 am

It is always good to have a list of things to acheive in your life and things that you want.
Scott Sylvan Bell
The Body Language site
Now go implement!

Michael D Walker September 20, 2011 at 2:34 am

I’m really enjoying this blog and your story is a heart warming one. I loved your line about the wine this time being of higher quality but not necessarily “nicer”.

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Dating Expert LA Singles September 20, 2011 at 1:47 am

Hi Wealth Doctor Dennis,

That is such a marvelous story about the importance of writing down life accomplishments lists.

I first heard of something like that when I read the first, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” on my way back from yes, a special seminar held at Auschwitz II (Birkenau) on the (40th? 50?) anniversary of the liberation of the camp. I found the list a few years later. Yup. I’d accomplished quite a number of them. Or found another way to EXPERIENCE the experience. Including the age I was when I got married!

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell
Finding Love After 50 Dating

Jennifer Battaglino September 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm

What a beautiful love story. You aligned yourself with your dreams and worked to make them come true without completely being conscious of it.
The mind is a powerful that we could use more efficiently.

Jennifer Battaglino
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Neil Dhawan September 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm

What a beautiful and inspiring story. I loved the Bucket List … maybe it’s time to watch that one again … nah, I’ll just look forward to and wait for your next article 🙂

Stay Extraordinary and Do Great Things, Neil

Michael Paulse September 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I have been stubborn. I heard that stuff about writting things down years ago. But it sound way too simple, so I did not do it. For years I resisted inspite of reading about the technique in many self-help books. Finally, I gave in, I wrote down three things. Crazy things for me to even consider at the time.

Damn if not all three things happened. Absolutely not possible made real. Now I believe, and I write things down.

Cherie Miranda September 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

As always, I LOVE your articles. Your words are inspiring and really resonate with me. I love the list idea and am planning to implement it right away. Thank you, and please keep up the good work!

Cherie Miranda

Holistic Health Expert

The Knowledge Stylist September 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Your words are so true. Right after I graduated from college (a long time ago now) I went to an Anthony Robbins seminar. Back when he didn’t have 1,000’s of people attending so you actually got to talk to him a little. Anyway, he encouraged us to write everything we wanted down, and like you, I also have made most of that list come true through hard work and planning. Great advice!


Kevin Bettencourt September 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Sometimes lists are unavoidable. Other times they can inspire to do things you would regret not doing.

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Annie September 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I love the Movie – The Bucket List…

I love your story more! It’s True!

The reality of a dream!

Covert Hypnosis September 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm

This is one of those things I have read about, however, have not yet taken the time to do so. Reading this has nudged me closer to taking the time to start writing down my ideas and dreams so that one day I may go through my file cabinet and find the stuff I wanted when I was younger.

Always looking forward to more

~Mark Hogan

Rob Malone September 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Brain great blog post today. I had read something from Brian Tracy years ago about writing out goals. So I started doing it and many times I would right them out and forget about them only to come across them years later. I found that I was achieving about 60% of all those goals I had written down even if I was consciously working on them.

Rachel Robinson September 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I love the reminder that dreams don’t need to be practical…in fact they shouldn’t be!
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Eva Palmer September 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I don’t know the Bucket list. If it’s your recommendation it’s sure that it’s worth it!
I did a list a few years ago and after a while most of those things became true.
I haven’t written a list for a while. Maybe it’s time…

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Clare Delaney September 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I’m a firm believer in making lists.
Dreaming is great. Huge fun, with a purpose.
Next comes the hard work to achieve your dreams.
And if your plans are good enough, it doesn’t seem like hard work.

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Sonya Lenzo September 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm

The exact same thing happened to me!!! The subconcious mind is an amazing thing!
Sonya Lenzo

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