Hard Work - No Results: Ways to break through?

Hello, all!

I am new to this forum, and glad that i see so many (young and not) people that are interested in such a marvelous - yet still relatively unknown - aspect of human nature. I felt the need to create this topic for two reasons. First, to introduce myself, and second (but more important) to share with you some thoughts on the subject that I feel are essential, especialy for the frustrated and dissapointed people that try hard and get little results, if any at all. Please bear with my -a little lengthy- personal LD history. You may find some similarities in your own, being able to try a different approach and have better results as I did, if you so desire.

My first contact with LD subject was a decade ago (reading Castaneda’s books) and I found the whole idea so mind blowing that had my first LD at the same night. This gave me the motivation (and a very important positive association) to go on and give my best to achieve lucid dreaming at will. So these were the good news. The bad news were that from this point and for the next 5-6 months i had NO other lucid dreams, no matter how hard i tried. Needless to say that after this my motivation faded away, leading me into dropping every effort and stupidly decide that this thing was not in my reach. Now here comes an interesting - but not coincidental - occurence. A little after dropping it (a couple of weeks i think) I had another spontaneous LD, with more clarity and control than the first, and longer! Again, being so ignorant, i had regained my motivation and restarted my tries with the same devotion. No results! After months i dropped it again. And, guess what, a third LD… Believe it or not, i am so stupid that i could not see the obvious pattern here. I was blaming the techs, switching from MILD to WILD to RC and back again. Folowing them to the letter, giving my best. Some other times mixing them or doing all of them when possible. Nothing, just dissapointment. Sound any familiar to you?
Anyway, I mindlessly repeated this vicious circle for 2-3 years with sporadic LDs to appear in times i was off. Then one night, after having yet another spontaneous LD, i decided not to start again, but instead to try figuring why this was happening. I reviewed in my mind what i was doing all these months when trying to LD and what was my mindset during my tries at day and night. Not being very bright, it took me months to realise the following statement:

    [b]The mindset is sometimes more important factor than hard work[/b]

or better…

The mindset is always more important factor than hard work

Maybe this sound like a cliche, but if you are like me, do yourself a favour and read it again. Now i feel i have to explain what i mean more accurately. Lets try by my example. What was i feeling/thinking/expecting when i was trying to LD at nights? Or during the day when i did RCs and checking/writting my DJ? Well, I can now tell you that I had placed a great deal of expectations and stress to myself, causing my unconcious mind to actually resist the change i was trying to force upon it (ie change the ND to LD).

If you are like me, you are surely feeling a little sad every morning (especially after a WBTB) you find out that your efforts were not successful. Well, in fact, if you really are like me, you must not expect or assume success at all: do the work with a feeling of abandon, if possible set your mind to only notice successful efforts. Do the RC’s because of the fun it is to question reality! Feel lucid, its really rewarding on its own, you really grasp the moment. But not expect this to be your magic lucid spell. It is you that needs to become lucid, and the dream will follow. Use concertration on your MILD’s, not heaviness. I believe the tech is not important, unless it is stressfull - then its important to discard. Do what’s appealing to do, what comes with a small amount of joy. This way you work along with your unconcious and not against it. Remember, LD’ing walks on it’s territory, respect it. It is the only mindset that you can have if you have an unconcious like mine that it has a mind of its own. By giving me LD’s when i was not trying to have one, it was telling me to stop pushing and let the adjustment come naturally. It is quite an adjustment, dreaming with your critical faculty suddently struggling to stay awake, having it used to sleep all these years. Same as your body: if you workout and try to benchpress 150Kg the first time you will probably damage the muscles and need much more time to be able to benchpress again…

Needless to say that when i realised my faulty mindset, i decided to correct it. I adopted a distant, abandoned attitude. I did the work lighthearted, with no (well, just as little as possible) expectations, especialy emotional, and voila, with much less effort i started having better and better results with less work involved. I can have LDs when i feel like it now and i feel like it alot :smile:, but not obsessively. While progressing i was amazed with the fact that sometimes our unconcious minds communicate so directly with us, all we have to do is pay a little attention.

So may these ideas be my small contribution, with hope that some people will benefit from them, but - and this is my little disclaimer - not all people are like me, so it is better for everyone to use their own judgement and find out if these ideas are helpfull or not. It comes to another cliche: know yourself, furthermore act upon that knowledge. Following instructions and techniques blindly will not get you very far. Make the groundwork to discover what you really need, because this is freedom: to know what you need and the way and means to reach it.

Thanks to all people that share their ideas and sorry for my english & the length of this post, i know i overdid it :smile: All comments/thoughts/flames appreciated.


You and I might be quite similar, Dimitris.

The harder I try, and the more I want it, the further away it seems to be.

When I first learned of LDs, I was so excited that I had one the very first night. That gave me much motivation too, since I now knew that the whole idea was real.

Now I am on a tremendous dry spell, that all the effort in the world can’t cure. I feel like giving up, just like you did. But perhaps I will instead, just stop trying so hard.

I have one question for you though:

Do you still keep a dream journal, or did you abandon that as well? I feel the dream journal is a little stressful for me, but rewarding at the same time.

Hey Myrmior,

I keep a dream journal but instead of recording all dreams, i record dreams feeling interesting (usually make one entry every couple of days). As a habit though i try to mentaly recall everything in the morning.


well i havent been trying for so long now to say something smart but i would just like to say thanks, this post was exactly what i needed!

Good luck Chip9munk!

Don’t give up. You’ll get one eventually!

I’ve never had a lucid dream, and have been trying for 4 + months now…

Hopefully your tips will help me get lucid!

Li10: Thanks for reminding me to RC in your signature! :smile:

Li10 and chip9munk and Myrmior: Do you use BrainWave generator? I used it yesterday and I also thanked myself all day for the LD I knew I will have at the night - and it worked like a charm. just do self hypnosis and RC’s.

I have tried BWGen. None of the effects that are described for the scripts ever occur in me. I don’t think that I am very susceptible to it…

Have you tried anything with BWGen that is supposed to have recognizable results? Did it work?


I wonder how many LDs you get after ten years of trying. You said you can get it pretty much whenever you want, but, could you give some ball-park figures about your weekly, monthly or so LDs. :wink:

P.S. And since I’m onto it, maybe a link to this should go to my site too.

some people are less susceptible to hypnosis than others.

@ myrmior: no problem!

This may just save me a lot of trouble! Your beginning sounds like my current experience.

The first day/night I really started looking into lucid dreaming, I was so interested in it I had one that ngiht! It was a truly exhillerating experience, and will probably stick with me for the rest of my life. I kept trying, and for a week or so had none. Then the other night, after deciding to give WILD a rest and rolling over, trying a VILD but not putting too much effort or expectation into it, I had a lucid dream! This one only lasted a few seconds after the rc, but it still got the message across. I believe you that when you try too hard you are likely to fail, rather than me jsut getting lucky.

Welcome to the forum!

Good motivational text. It surely was worth reading. :smile:

Hmm, I would rather say:

Hard work is hardly of any use without the right mindset.

I am glad that I had my first lucid dream (a lucid moment, rather) only 4 days after I first heard about lucid dreaming. Knowing for sure it is possible certainly adds to the motivation. I spent the day thinking and reading about lucid dreaming, started keeping a DJ, tried really hard doing WILD at night and did not get much sleep at all. But the LDs came. :happy:

I have not really discovered a pattern in what I do during the phases when I have lots of LDs. :eh: Of course I want to have them. But I do not work too hard. On the other hand, not doing anything (forgetting about RCs, not keeping my DJ, not doing autosuggestion, not doing WBTB…) doesn’t seem to help either. :wink:

I also find you have made an interesting point of becoming “lucid” in waking life… it is interesting: :smile:

I continue to be confused when people talk about becoming lucid in waking life. What is this trying to describe?

If becoming lucid in a dream brings our perception up to par with what is truly taking place, then what does attaining lucidity in WL accomplish?

thinice, wonderful post. I think that should apply for everyone, even those who manage to get LD’s through lots of hard work, as I feel that trying too hard blocks the part of lucid dreaming that should be allowed to flow naturally. I consider myself a hard worker, at least a few months ago when I was really really trying to get them, and I did get them, mostly via RC’s, but I think I could’ve achieved better results if I just relaxed a little bit more.


I have at least one LD every time i put some effort to it (ie do WBTB and MILD), and without any other effort i have at least one every week more or less. But i have to say that questioning (well, more correct word would be examining i think) reality, observing sensory input and emotional state, has become kind of a ‘routine’ in my waking life (ironically, routine is just the opposite word to describe it, just trying to make a point :smile:) . Sorry i dont get more specific with numbers, i do not actualy count LD’s.


Just try a different approach, see where this will get you. Believe it or not, you only need not to give up totaly to succeed. I understand that without at least the 1st one, you are very discouraged, but, as everyone here will tell you, you WILL have one eventualy. Remember, there IS NO FAILURE in LD, just negative feedback. Something does not work for you, change it with something else and (maybe more importantly for some people) give it a relaxed timeframe and mental state.


Well i personally dislike any external devices for helping me in this. I always have. Some years ago i tried my own version of light cuing device i built, never had a single result. I also tried a PDA with a custom software programmed to play voice recordings in REM estimated intervals. Its only use was to have it waking me up :smile:. Now i believe that those things are less than helpful, but then again, it is just me. YOU may be a different story, since we are all for sure different, yet still alike in some little aspects.


Check it again and if you see that ‘force’ gets you nowhere, lay back a while and try slower. As i said may give you better results than you expect (that is, if you have a similar stubborn unconcious :smile:).


Thanks! Now i think you are right, your definition is more accurate from a more general point of view. For the work part, i don’t mean for someone to stop all effors, rather to choose what is really not stressing, and to stick with it but having a ‘relaxed’ or ‘detached’ approach. I dont say it as a rule, just a way to test if someone has no other ways to test.

Ionflux & Myrmior,

Lucidity in waking life is maybe a more difficult part than it may appear at first read. It is easier to achieve for short periods of time, at first less rewarding to motivate you towards it. But i totaly agree that this is a very interesting idea. You will also find this to be the ‘core’ achievement of the most of various esoteric schools (not that i am a follower, just a curious person :smile:).
The way i use the term lucid in waking life is - to put it simply and without extra spice - to live the day being constantly aware of:
a) your sensory input
b) your current thought processes
c) your current emotional state
d) the effects of a) to b) and c) and finaly (but more importanly)
e) yourself as the center of awareness

In other words, you will stop living ‘mechanically’. This idea is very old and reoccuring (some thousand years, from yoga to later gurdjief/uspensky) but basically all schools of thought have this ‘awakening’ to them. Also discussed in some extent in Stephen LaBerge’s books.

Felipe Gall,

Thanks, all those comments are helpfull for the people that are discouraged. And i think that the most discouraged people are the ones that give too much effort. The more the effort the more the dissapointment.