I have been blessed by personally meeting and following Barbara Sher, who is the author of many books, including Wishcraft, How to Get What You Really Want. She wrote it 30 years ago and the publisher is issuing a 30th Anniversary version on March 24, 2009.
Too often, we don't even know exactly what it is that we really want. For me, it was to get out of the corporate environment and accomplish something. But what? As Fate would have it, I got laid off from IBM about 18 months ago. My first reaction was to be scared to death. After more than 30 years in data processing, all of a sudden I lost my identity as well as my income.
Fortunately, I dug out Barbara's Wishcraft and immediately started deciding what I wanted and how to get there. Once I identified my repressed goal of becoming a writer, the rest was (almost!) easy. For me, the chapter on creating a backward flowchart was a lifesaver. It helped me figure out exactly how to get the credentials I needed, first by taking writing classes at the University of Chicago, then by blogging and building a web presence, and finally by writing a book.
Could I have done the same things without Wishcraft? Probably. But it would have taken much longer and it would have been much more difficult. Thank Goodness for Barbara Sher and Wishcraft. Happy Anniversary!