How many of us had a dream of living a better life, but just couldn’t seem to get there?
It just seemed so far away, out of reach, or impossible, because of all the reasons or excuses you could think of that would justify not even trying to a achieve your highest and best. By now, you might have given up on the dream or erased it altogether, just so you wouldn’t be bothered by it any more. Maybe it’s time to remember your dream and make it come true.
That’s right; I said it, “Maybe it’s time to remember your dream and make it come true.”
That’s part of what I do and have been doing pretty much my whole life, in my ministry of helping others achieve their highest and best. There are many paths that lead to realizing your dreams but before you can start your journey to making your dream come true, you must know where you’re going.
Since most of us have forgotten our dream, or have had it beat out of us by family, friends, teachers, other societal influencers and/or naysayers, you must start at the beginning by remembering and recapturing the vision of your dream, which is a projection of what you really want out of life, and you know in your heart that this represents your highest and best.
Try to get a grasp of what your dream was, and if you can’t remember it (which is very possible if you lost track of it very early in life) you retain a sense of it, a longing to be or do something significant, which does not seem possible from your current vantage point, this is your dream.
Your dream may not be complete, but it is there. Like you might know that you’d like to write a song, or a book, but don’t know what type, style or subject matter might be. But you know that creating something using language is in the right direction.
Find a way to give meaning and life to your dream, attach a strong sense of purpose or benefit for you, your friends, family, the community, or the world at large. Make your declaration of the significance so great that it gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment for following through. Answer the question, “Why do I want to do this?” And answer it with meaningful benefits. Attach as much emotional energy to the achievement of your dream, that this sense of purpose will be able to fuel and carry you through those times, when the journey to your dream gets tough. Create a journey-to-my-dream journal, and put your list of whys on the first page. We all hit rough spots in our journey to our dreams; the meaningfulness of the outcome can help you to keep moving toward it and making progress, even if you’re not feeling it.
While keeping your eye on the dream, create mile markers from where you are now that will lead you in the direction of your dream. For instance, if you wanted to be a songwriter, or author, your first mile marker might be something like, “Writing 100 to 400 words every day.” It doesn’t really matter what the content is at this first mile marker. After you’ve accomplished this for a while, you might think about the next mile marker which might mean reading a book about songwriting or writing a book. Keep going, creating new mile markers or goals that lead to your dream, each one getting you closer and closer to realizing your dream.
Make a map, numbering as many sequential mile markers or goals as you can between where you are today and your destination, where your dream is waiting for you to arrive.
Make time to take action. A dream without taking action will never be realized. You need to do the work of taking action, every day. It needn’t be a huge gain in your journey, but even if it’s only the slightest movement in the right direction, you can rest assured that you are closer to your dream than the day before, even if you’re a fraction of an inch closer, you have made progress again today.
If an entire day has gone by and you haven’t had time to contribute something to your journey, do not beat yourself up over it, quickly forgive yourself and be determined to make even more progress tomorrow. A little guilt over not taking any action yesterday might motivate you to do better today.
Be willing and ready to make sacrifices in making progress in the direction of your dream. There are things that you find fun or exciting that keep you from achieving the progress you would otherwise be making. It may be time to put some of these things that could be distractions on-hold, while you’re staying focused on moving toward your goal.
Be aware and willing to make the necessary sacrifices, which might feel like you’re actually giving up something you really like and might make you feel good. Good things like meeting with friends after work, valuable time at the gym. or hanging out with family (having to sacrifice family time in the short-term can be very hard if you have a tight-knit family). There’s nothing bad with these things (and you might miss some really significant life moments) or any other activities, unless they’re taking up time that you could be using to move closer to your dream.
Know that dreams take time to come true and documenting your progress in a journal can be exciting and rewarding. Your path to your dream journal can also come in handy when things are not progressing rapidly or easily. A quick review of your journal can remind you how far you’ve come. Even if it is not very far, you are still closer than when you started, and if you give up now, all your efforts will have been in vain, so rationalize and realize that continuing to forge forward is the only way to assure that you get there. Recall your whys (they should be on the first page of your journal).
Make your journey to your dream as exciting and fun as possible. Try to integrate joy in the process of reaching your mile markers, or goals. You may be surprised as you are reaching or have reached your dream, you might be entertaining the idea of charting a path to a new, even grander, dream. This is normal for dreamers who take action. Once you’ve achieved one, many others appear for you to enjoy, and it’s always easier, once you have one conquered. So, by all means, keep dreaming.