WISHCRAFT: HOW TO GET WHAT YOU *REALLY* WANT

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Postby BarbaraSher » Sat Feb 08, 2003 12:27 pm

1/23/03 No question. Just a very big thankyou. Many years ago I read 'Wishcraft 'and your blend of compassion, common sense and a call to adult resposibility helped me make big changes then. I have just fininshed reading 'I could do anything.... and it has had a similar impact. I find your encouragement to both dream and keep taking small steps fits perfectly for me. I hope you are enjoying your life - you are an inspiration for mine. KS
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Postby BarbaraSher » Sat Feb 08, 2003 12:30 pm

1/23/03 Barbara, you've changed my life twice: once when I lived in Canada and decided that "the gifts had been given > and it was time to move on". I married a Swiss pilot and moved to Switzerland > where I lived for 9 years. > > The second time you made a major impact on my life was shortly after I'd moved > to Switzerland in 1990. I re read "Wishcraft", established a buddy system and > started to write. I even got published!
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 25, 2003 12:16 am

> > Barbara, I have spend the last 8 years going thru [very big and difficult changes] I went back to college > mostly as therapy with no direction, and took what felt good (little > knowing that the subjects were indeed right for me). I have none of > the who, what, where as a base, and have been asking for advide to > define my predicament-direction in this my almost golden years. I have > been pointed a few times in the direction of "The Parachute Book" but > found it to be not the tools of analysis I needed. Verbalization of thought > to be the core of my necessity. Then I found a reference to you in the > back of this book, and realized I had your book 'Wishcraft" in my secondary > library-----Your exercises, about color, a different family (whose > characteristics I found I also possesed) were the skills I needed, without > overanalysis and desperation, to clarify my temperament, skills, wants, and > needs. I can't thank you enough. As I work my way thru your book, I have > confidence that I have finally stumbled upon the technique I need to help > myself into the life I must have. Thank You, SC
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Postby dial » Sun Oct 26, 2003 1:19 am

i just pulled out this book yet again this evening to help me get over a tough spot i was having deciding something. so helpful and so timeless. Image this is a great book to buy for yourself or for a friend who is stuck and doesn't know how to attain a goal. everytime i read it, i find something new i missed before. i am sure i have been through this book ten times over the years. definitely one of my all time favorite books!
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:25 am

Name: Christine T. Permission: Ok to publish Date: Thursday, February 26, 2004 Time: 08:22 PM Question: Dear Barbara, I just wanted you to know that two years ago, I was: 1. Contemplating divorce 2. Contemplating bankruptcy 3. Contemplating my horrible commute and the time I spent away from my young child I knew it could and should be different. I combined your Wishcraft with Peter Bowerman's The Well-Fed Copywriter and went to work on my dreams. I got the divorce -- and my ex and I are \friends again, something we couldn't manage in the pressure cooker of an unhappy marriage. I got the bankruptcy -- it was rough but the only answer to that situation, and I two years later am buying a house again. I am home with my child -- I "wish-crafted" my way into full-time telecommunting last year, and went full-time into my own copywriting business just this last December. It is going very well. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your encouragement and the practical system from Wishcraft. Thank you, thank you. Warmly, Christine
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Postby BarbaraSher » Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:49 pm

Andrew Peacock (Glasgow, UK) Over the years, I've read many a book on goal-setting and achievement. I started many years ago with the obligatory `Think and Grow Rich', avoided Anthony Robbin's `Unlimited Power' because it looked `too American', floundered around some more in the Positive Mental Attitude books, and came back to Anthony Robbins in desperation. I was seeking something practical and effective, to help me manage my life, as I was having problems due to giving up a well-paid job to study full-time. At that point, I was hooked on NLP.

However, if I had read Wishcraft, I might have bypassed Anthony Robbins altogether, and would not be where I am today (such at it is :-) ) Why? Because this book provides everything I was looking for in a book at that time.

It is split into two broad sections: the first helps you to answer the question \"What are my goals?\"; the second, \"How do I achieve them?\". The first section contains a number of fairly standard exercises to help you brainstorm your goals. If you are new to the idea of goal-setting, this is a great place to start; however, if you have done many exercises in goal-setting, then most of these exercises will be familiar. However, I suspect that most people will find something of use here, no matter how well- read they are.

The second section is where the book comes into its own. The author outlines a number of tools and methods to help you be successful once you know what your goals are. Some of them are to do with planning, some to do with emotions and managing your state, some are to do with getting the help of others.

The planning model is the best I've come across, and I've done some formal training on planning in a corporate environment. It doesn't cover complex ideas like GANT charts, critical-path analysis, and so on, but it does provide a simple, workable, and effective method of setting out what you'll actually need to do to reach your goal. And it all boils down to two simple questions ..... Can I do this tomorrow? If not, what do I need to do first?

Keep going through those two questions, and you'll end up with a plan consisting of achievable steps that you can do in a day, rather than huge steps which take days or weeks to accomplish. One of the difficulties that many people experience with tasks of this size is due to lack of specificity; breaking the task down into smaller ones helps to make it more `real' and hence easier to get started on and to acccomplish.

However, in any planning model, particularly where you are venturing out into uncharted territory, there will be some points in your plan where you simply do not know what steps are required - if you are familiar with the idea of unconscious incompetence, then you'll know what I mean. (If not, take a quick look at the article below). Again, using one simple idea, the author helps you to overcome those problems, based on the idea that if you can't do something, then you know someone who can, or you know someone who knows someone who can, or you know someone who knows someone who...

They call the idea `barnraising', from the idea in certain communities where each person helps the others build their barn, and then receive help from each person in building their own barn. They suggest getting all your friends, family, and colleagues together; tell them EXPLICITLY what you want; and see how they can help. At the same time, help them with their goals or plans. Whilst not a new idea, the authors go out of their way to tell you that you don't have to do everything by yourself, and then give you a framework in which to work with others to achieve your mutual goals. Anyone familiar with Stephen Covey's Seven Habits will immediately recognize the win/win situation.

Where this ties in nicely with NLP is the `explicit' part: the meta-model is the ideal tool here for: A) defining what you need B) clarifying exactly what help others can provide C) helping others define what they need.

The author also provides two questions that will help if you encounter a problem in the form of `I can't do/have X until I have/do Y' The two questions are:
How can I get X without having/doing Y? How can I get/do Y?

Later, the book covers some basic time management skills, and some general strategies for dealing with fear, including one called `Lower Your Standards - at First'. The latter goes against many positive thinking-type books by saying if your goals are too far beyond your current beliefs about what you can do, you will most likely be afraid. The way to reduce your fear is to aim to do things badly, then there is no problem if you do actually do them badly. Then, when you've got some experience under your belt, you will be in a position to set realistic, challenging, and achievable goals.

The comments I've written here sound fairly mundane - I'm not one to rant and rave over a book. One of the biggest complements that I can give a book is to say that I will never throw it away, and I will read it at least once per year without fail. I've had this book for about 4 years now, and I've read it 5-6 times, and I will never throw it away (at least, I might, but only to replace it with a less dog-eared copy). Its simplicity, elegance, and plain- talking, combined with sold, practical advice, make it one of my favourite books.


Kelly L. Norman I truly love this little book. I was originally introduced to it years ago when I was not sure I wanted to stay in mental health, and a mentor suggested I check it out. I found the exercises a blast and very original. My favorite: the one in which Sher suggests you play a spy in your own house or apartment, taking notes on what \"the occupant\" wears, how they decorate, etc.,in order to find out more about them. These tasks were just as good at increasing my own self awareness as finding career direction. They also reminded me of things I loved or wanted that I hadn't had the chance to do or missed doing....such as living in the town I wanted, getting a particular degree, community theatre, and musical performance.

Interestingly, I remained in mental health, but with a higher degree, working in a different area, and with changes in other things in my life that were important to me. The book was a big factor, though not the only one, in that choice. I'm still glad I made it.

One very practical suggestion in the book is, if you can't have all of what you want right away, get as much of what you want as you can. If you can't afford a trip to Paris yet, put a picture of the Eiffel tower up in the living room and play Edith Piaf music and keep saving. In my case, I wanted to move to a town 100 miles away; so I started spending weekends there, or even taking day trips to shop there or attend seminars at the university.

Sher includes a fairly elaborate time management system. It consists of flow charts,to-do lists, a bulletin board, and pictures of sort of a cheerleading family she encourages you to formulate from characters you admire and believe would understand and be supportive of you (this can be anyone, dead or alive...Einstein & Paul McCartney adorned my board! Hokey, I know, but I found it helpful).

And this is my one complaint. Barbara never upgraded. I kept on hoping to see an edition which incorporated Outlook or Palm Pilot or something like that, or even its own software, but that hasn't happened. She does have a webpage, but the only thing of interest there is a message board in which members share their experiences and she announces appearances. Since I now organize online, it's hard when I want a \"review\" of some of these exercises...or even when I want to go back to my original plans....to get excited about tacking up paper on a bulletin board.

Nevertheless, I do go back and do the odd exercise now & again, not because I'm dissatisfied with my life, but because there are other plans that have popped up, such as new hobbies and relationships. I also have had to purchase a new copy once in a while because I'm frequently giving mine away to younger relatives or clients. I would recommend the book...not to stake your life on, but as an amusing & user friendly means of self-discovery, and a way to either confirm your life choices, or to help you get the gumption to put on the brakes if you need to.
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Postby webmaestro » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:17 pm

Thank you Barbara for posting these reviews! :D I am going to get a copy very soon ! My Brother-in-law has always believed \"wish full \" thinking, as he puts it. But, I am going to pursue this \"wish craft\" Wish me luck!
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:08 pm

You can start right away, for free, at http://www.wishcraft.com I thought the whole book was there, but last time I looked something had changed and I haven't had a chance to check up on it. But you should be able to get a head start, anyway.
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Postby dani » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:44 pm

Well I'll be! Here I've just started reviewing Wishcraft againand these posts turn up! :lol: Maybe I'll download it so I can work through the steps while I'm on my computer, which is most of the time. Furthermore, this bit of serendipity was a badly needed mood lifter after a difficult day. Thanks. dani :)
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:38 pm

Sorry about that bad day, dani. Upward and onward. You've got a lot of good stuff in you. You'll sail back into the sunshine, wait and see.
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Postby webmaestro » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:53 am

OH BOY !!! :D I just opened the site. (wish craft) I wanted to take this moment to thank you Barbara for making a big difference in my life already !!
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Re: WISHCRAFT: HOW TO GET WHAT YOU *REALLY* WANT

Postby avrum68 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:21 am

It all comes back to Wishcraft, doesn't it? And while I'm trained as an individual/family therapist, with an interest in psychodynamic psychotherapy, when it's time for my clients to "do something" I always suggest Wishcraft. And I do this regardless of gender, race, religion...the concepts are wise, down-to-earth and effective.
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Re: WISHCRAFT: HOW TO GET WHAT YOU *REALLY* WANT

Postby BarbaraSher » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:48 am

MORE REVIEWS ON AMAZON.COM I got a notice that someone had posted here, so, out of curiosity, I headed over to the amazon reviews and saw more lovely reviews (and a couple of lousy ones, which I'm not going to post here because this forum is called 'Rave Reviews' :wink:

The book that launched a thousand books, November 10, 2007 By Kelly O'neill (Vancouver, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
This was Barbara Sher's first book, but until now I'd only read (and loved) her follow-up books. I've read alot of other books on positive affirmations and projecting to the Universe what you want and was stunned to see that this "oldie, but goody" was really one of the most simple and straight-forward approaches to that concept.

Even if you've read lots of other self-help books, this classic is still one everyone should read. life-changing!,


November 10, 2007 By dolcevita777 - See all my reviews I got the 1979 copy of this book about 4 years ago on a recommendation from a therapist who saw that I was drifting along with no real goals. I had tried college twice before (by this time I was in my late 30's) and each time quit because I didn't know what I wanted to do or to be. The "college career center" was no help whatsoever. The test I took there had me taking courses for industrial engineering, which I had zero interest in, but I figured maybe the test saw some hidden talent that I didn't know I had. Wrong. I started reading this book and doing the exercises and slowly discovered what it was that I wanted to be....an interior designer! I would have never thought of it in a million years without this book changing my way of thinking. I felt like it was a huge revelation!

It was a relief to finally know, at the age of 38, what it was that I wanted to do! I started college again and had to quit after a year and a half due to a pay cut at my job. The old me, the pre-Wishcraft-reading me, would have just given up right then. Actually, I DID freak out for about a week. But the new me sat down and brainstormed like in the book and thought long and hard about what needed to be done to be able to stay in school and follow my dream. I'm happy to say that I only took a year off of school and am actually now in a better school. I've also been so inspired by the other reviews for this book. I have recommended this book to friends and will always keep my copy no matter where I go in life.

This is a Great Book!, October 25, 2007 By L. Cherian "book lover" (Western WA, USA) - See all my reviews
Wishcraft is divided into 2 parts: the wishing part and the 'crafting' part. The premise of the book is that you cannot get what you want unless you have done the wishing you need. So the first part of the book takes you through a series of exercises designed to get you to dream your wildest dreams about your life and what it could be. It is both powerful and freeing to do this.

Barbara Sher also gives you ways to distinguish between 'real' dreams (the ones you really truly want) and fantasies (things you just think you want).

Once you have some clear ideas about what your dreams are, the second part of the book gives you great approaches to achieving them. One of the most fantastic aspects of this section is the focus on the problems list. barbara says that your list of problems are like gold. in the beginning i did not realize what she meant but once you have clearly articulated what problems you have then you can start attacking them one at a time. So the problems lead you to the dream.

Don't get me wrong, this book will require you to work hard but the exercises are great and her writing is fantastic. Having a dream (or 20 perhaps) is something I had forgotten about as I make my way through a busy and complex life. Now I feel like I am taking control of where I am going with the aid of her wisdom and direction.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to make life changes, career shifts, or just wants more from their lives.

This Book Changed My Life!, October 16, 2007 By Karen Lyu "globaljazz" (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews

Growing up Asian without knowing I was an ADD scanner, I really struggled with "why am I so different?!" Reading Wishcraft in college was my first and best ray of hope towards creating a life I love, finding ways to learn and live that really work for me, and also coming to appreciate all of who I am.

In 8th grade, I thought that I had No Talent whatsoever and had no idea "what to do with my life", now I'm amazed at all the talents that keep showing up now that I know how to find what works for me! I currently love teaching voice lessons 5 days a week, performing with my Global Jazz band, and I'm creating my first full 2-hour musical theater production with a Persian Iranian jazz singer friend of mine called "Memories & Media Myths of Iran & North Korea" -- for which we received a Minnesota State Arts Board / National Endowment for the Arts grant! THANK YOU BARBARA!

Dream life for 14 years and counting !!, March 17, 2007 By Paul Hanks (Riorges, France) - See all my reviews

I bought Wishcraft 17 years ago after finding myself divorced and living alone in a studio apartment overlooking a Safeway parking lot. I worked in factories as a temp and drove a beat-up Renault--not much better than Lt. Columbo's. I was down, disgusted and needed to do something real with my life. Maybe even go for my life's dream. . .

Ever since college I had a crazy dream about one day living in France. I'd fallen in love with the people and the country during my junior year abroad in 1979. But as the years rolled on, "real life" took over and the dream faded into the background. I kept up my French as best I could with books, movies and music, but that was about it.

When my divorce hit, I was free to go anywhere, but I was broke and demoralized. I don't remember where I got a copy of Wishcraft, but I did and immediately devoured it. Did all the exercises and studied the book as if my life depended on it--I believe it did.

To make a long story short, I'd planned to be permanently living and working in France in 5 years, at the time. Even on paper, it seemed crazy. But I shut up my inner critic and got down to working with Wishcraft. I started making tiny, baby steps of progress. Then worked some more. More progress. It wasn't always fun or easy, but I kept inching forward.

And I did eventually reach my goal, but not in the 5 years I'd planned. I made it 3 ! It wasn't because I was super multi-tasking genius person, either. I ain't. I think there's a snowball effect from taking small steps and actions, especially the way Wishcraft teaches. I stumbled across resources, opportunities and contacts I could have hardly imagined when I first opened the book.

I've been living my dream life for 14 years now, and it's getting better all the time. To say I highly recommend this book is an understatement. You might as well ask me if I recommend breathing. This book is that important if you want more out of life. I've read many, many self-help books, but Wishcraft is the only one that gave me the practical tools to not only help me get what I wanted, but show me that it was actually possible.
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Re: WISHCRAFT: HOW TO GET WHAT YOU *REALLY* WANT

Postby BarbaraSher » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:54 am

What happened to these people twenty years later? , September 21, 2006 By Penny - See all my reviews I came to Amazon to buy yet another Wishcraft to give to someone who is wondering, "What next?" While here, I read a skeptical review asking, "What happened to these people twenty years later?"

I can't tell you about the people in the book, but I can tell you what happened to one person who read it more than twenty years ago. I was a Kansas housewife and mother when I read Wishcraft. While working through the first half of the book, I decided I wanted to be a negotiator or mediator. The book makes no mention of any such thing; I knew no one who did this. The book's exercises gave me tools to imagine.

Sher's strategic question, "Can I do this tomorrow?" led me to decide that the first step was to go to the library to find a book about negotiation. I can still feel the knot in my stomach as I pulled that book half-way out from a top shelf -- then pushed it back, thinking, "Who do I think I am? I can't do this!" Then pulling it all the way out, thinking, "I've been checking books out of the library all my life, I CAN do THIS!"

With strategic tools and encouragement from Wishcraft, I found training, an internship, and supervision from some of the best in the field, and went on to head a state-wide farmer/creditor debt-restructuring mediation agency. As life went on, my goals have continued to grow, and the tools I learned from this book continue to help me achieve them. It helps that I eventually studied negotiation at Harvard and earned an MPA from the Kennedy School -- but I never would have even applied if this book hadn't give me the tools to imagine and to go after what I really want. Sometimes things imagined appear without work. I don't credit the book with those gifts; I credit the book with helping me recognize and savor them.

Recently a career coach and her client sat down next to me on a bench in Boston Common. After listening to her list career book recommendations, I couldn't help interrupting to ask what she thought of Wishcraft. Her tone was matter-of-fact: "Oh, it's still the best."



Helped Me Sell My Business, June 9, 2006 By Travelinggal "travelinggal" (Florida) - See all my reviews

Ten years ago I realized I needed to sell my business and move on but I felt stuck. But, using the techniques in this book, I formed a Wish Group with four friends who were also wanting some changes or to meet a goal. We supported each other over a year's time and what could have been an absolutely overwhelming experience became manageable. And, yes, I sold my business and found a totally new career! I can't say enough good things about this book, in fact, all of Barbara Sher's works. She's excellent!

Instruction Book for Living the Life of Your Dreams, October 19, 2004 By Larry L. Plummer "Seaside Interactive" (Fairhope, AL USA) - See all my reviews

I read this book when I was struggling with my job, but didn't know for sure what to do next. This was the first book I read that really helped me to break out of my limited way of thinking about my career. The first half of the book encourages you to suspend reality for a while, just like watching a great movie! You can dream as big as you like and get real excited about the possibilities of a life beyond the one you are in. Then the second half brings you gently back down to reality, but provides you with real tools for capturing the essence of your dream and finding a way to start moving toward it. For me, I've always dreamed of "making a difference" in the world. But I spent my time helping companies market their websites. This book helped me to see that if I could find some companies that are "making a difference" and help them with my interactive marketing skills, then I too would be "making a difference"!


The best book I've ever read on the subject, May 23, 2003 By Lidia (Las Vegas, NV) - See all my reviews This review is from: Wishcraft (Hardcover)

This book is a must read for everyone. The first part of the book takes you through deciding what your dreams are and what you want to accomplish in life and why. And the second part, my favorite, takes you step-by-step to accomplishing your goals. All those time management and organizational books out there cannot compare with her system. She takes you dreams and turns them into reality one action at a time.
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Re: WISHCRAFT: HOW TO GET WHAT YOU *REALLY* WANT

Postby Suzana » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:16 am

Hello :-)

I've came here as I'm reading Wishcraft, just finished chapter 2.

I presume myself as being lucky. But I had a really tough year 2009 and even 2010 so far was not being any better. And, at the moment I feel like I'm in the beginning again. I really managed to push myself further than my family ever imagined, but as it all crashed and after (finally) moving out of my parents house, I'm living here again, I feel like it's even worse than it has ever been.

I really needed something to wake me up. I'm in total pain at the moment, as I know for many years what I miss and just don't seem to get hold of... The worse part is that I was really really really close! Funny thing, my parents didn't support me and, somehow, that added to me being where I am now.

Ah ... As I can't give up, cause I personally do not believe in that, I'm fighting again.

The book Wishcraft is just what I need to help me get back on track. Simply because what's written there, is what I always believed in and lived by! Gotta get over my pain and just start living again ...

Thank you.

I've found your book just when I'm trying to put my life back on track. Gotta get the job I want, the appartment I can afford and move on from there...

While you're here - do wish me luck! :-)

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart!

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