Often the most simple of questions can not only unleash the greatest impact in our lives but it can also be the most difficult to answer.
Often when you ask a person “What are your dreams?” you receive little more than a blank stare. It’s almost as if you just short circuited their brain. I know that for many of you if you ask yourself the question, you will begin to feel a tightening in your chest, or a lump in your throat, you wont even know where to begin.
This is a far cry from the response you get when you ask a child the same question. A child will give you a wide smile and then excitedly share with you all their dreams and aspirations. We were like that too at one point, but somewhere along the way after being told numerous times “Stop dreaming and be realistic”, “Dreaming is for children”, “That not for you”, we shut off the dream switch and never looked back.
I’m doing fine without dreaming. Why do I need to start dreaming now?
Answer this question.
If you had all the money, resources and time in the world, would you be doing exactly what your are doing now?
For most people the answer is a resounding “NO”.
For others who have been constantly setting life goals (another word for dreams), the answer
might be more along the lines of “Yes. But”.
You are not where you want to be, you don’t know where you want to be, and you don’t even know how to get there.
It’s time to start dreaming again.
Einstein dreamed of riding a beam of light and came up with the theory of relativity.
Thomas Edison dreamed of harnessing the power of the lightening bolt and invented the incandescent light bulb.
Alexander Graham Bell dreamed of sending messages over long distance and invented the telephone.
Mankind dreamed of traveling in space and Armstrong walked on the moon.
Airplanes, computers, Internet, cars, solar power.
All these things came about because people had dreams.
These dreams to overwhelming?
Being a better parent.
Improving your relationships.
Growing your business.
Buying a home.
learn a language
Buy a new car.
Pay of your debt.
Learn to play an instrument.
Hike through the Rockies.
Help your community.
Become a better role model.
These are also things to dream of and achieve.
There is no such thing as standing still in life, you are either moving forward or falling back. If you don’t have dreams/goals you are going to continually slip into a life of mediocrity and boredom.
So how do we begin to dream again?
Follow a system, start small and be SMART.
1. Write a list of 50 – 100 dreams. – Set aside an hour and begin to write your dreams/goals.
If you are having a hard time starting use the following categories as idea starters.
Mental - Things you want to learn about, think about, improve in your character.
Physical – Health, exercise, adventure, travel, financial, material.
Spiritual - Meditation, philosophy, state of mind.
Sit until you have come up with at least 50 dreams.
2. Reflect – Spend the next week looking over your list 2-3 times a day. Think about your dreams. In your minds eye see your dreams fulfilled. Add new dreams that come to mind. Take out dreams that aren’t what you really want.
3. The first three. – Pick three dreams that can be achieved in the next 3 – 6 months. Picking dreams that can be easily attained helps to work your dream/goal muscles.
4. Time to get S.M.A.R.T.
S – Get really Specific about your dream. The clearer your dream the more likely you will achieve it. Don’t say “I want a new car”, say “I want a 2008, porsche 911, red, manual transmission etc…”
M – Method and Measurable. What do you have to do to reach your dream and how will you know when you have achieve it? With the car example, the ‘Method’ might be, check out cars, cut out pictures, speak to a financial planner. The ‘Measurable’ would be car in the driveway.
A – Attainable. Set up your approach in a well structured manner. Make sure you can reach your goal in the time allotted.
R – Realistic. Know yourself and approach your goal accordingly. If you know you are bad at saving and you always blow your paycheck with nothing at the end to save, then make sure you take your savings off first. Maybe even put it in an account that is joint and you can’t take out money unless you have a co-signer.
T – Time. Set the time frame. Whatever time you give yourself add two weeks.
Once you have achieved your first three dreams go onto the next three. Review your dreams regularly. You will see that over time your dreams will change and grow, your dreams will be bigger and more creative, and what you once thought impossible will start to be easily attainable.
Somewhere along the way you fell off the path of realizing your dreams, but know the hunger is returning, you need to dream again.
Though the summit of success may be off in the distant it is only by taking those small steps that you can start to climb out of mediocrity and eventually reach the exhilarating peak of your true self.
Feel free to share some of your dreams in the comments section. You just might find someone who can help you fulfill one of your dreams .