It’s easy to get bogged down in everyday reasons for why we don’t live our dreams. The economy’s a mess, we’re too busy, too many bills, we’ve got no one special — there’s never a shortage of excuses!
But the saddest reason of all, and one that’s all too common, is that people forget to dream beyond the mundane like financial security or home ownership. There’s nothing wrong with being responsible, but if you had only a few more tomorrows left, how would you feel about the way you’re spending your life today? You’d probably change your top priorities pretty quickly, right?
Here’s a step-by-step process to help you make healthy dream choices that will work better with your “real life” goals and responsibilities, including improving relationships, bringing more joy into your life, or even starting your own business.
Step 1: Dream!
Sometimes you have to go all the way back to childhood to rediscover some of your most important dreams, buried under “grown up” goals you adopted with the belief that achieving those goals would help you realize your dream.
And maybe, once you find them, you’ll realize that the old dreams really don’t suit you anymore, and it’s time to dream up some new ones.
But whether you’re rediscovering or creating them, vivid, detailed dreaming is a vital step in infusing your day-to-day existence with freshness, vitality and hope.
Step 2: Start the Energy Moving
Plant seeds — perhaps you want more love in your life; and we’re talking love here, not just romance. You could start by planting the seeds of love yourself and nourishing them. Tell your family and friends that you love them, or if the L-word gives you lockjaw, why not show them. Volunteer for an organization that provides compassionate support for others. Or spend time every week sending healing energy to disaster zones, political hot spots or environmentally threatened areas around the globe.
Another way to start is by taking baby steps. Let’s say you’ve always wanted to travel and experience different cultures and environments, but you never seem to get far enough ahead to do it. Why wait? You can go on weekend driving trips, or relax for a night or weekend in a luxury B & B, or read travel books and magazines. In other words, give yourself something to dream about!
Research and planning will also help make your dreams a reality. Let’s say you’ve already got a good job, but you’ve always really, really wanted to own a small pastry shop so you can spend your life creating mouthwatering sweets. As important as the dream itself, your first step is to learn more about the realities of your dream business, scouting the ideal location, choosing the décor, pricing kitchen equipment, not to mention imagining one-of-a-kind pastries; you might investigate internet sales for pastries and cakes. Dreams are wonderful, but it’s wise to do some planning that’ll prevent turning your fantasy project into a nightmare. It doesn’t cost anything to be well-informed.
Step 3: Find the Time, Money or Opportunity
Once you’ve got your dream scoped out, the next step is to generate the means, just like the old saying, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
If a cruise is your ultimate dream, you can create a budget that allows you to put a specific amount into a special travel budget with every paycheck. Or you could start a side business and earmark the entire profit for your travel budget. You might enlist friends and family to help you brainstorm ways to fund your fantasy trip.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to act. You’ve pictured yourself on stage, seen the audience applauding wildly. What’s next? Start trying out for community theatre. Get a portfolio together and send it to agents. Why not form your own acting troupe, which is how most of today’s movie stars started out.
Step 4: Flow with the Results
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it now,” the German novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said. “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
In other words, just do it! And when tomorrow comes, you can look back and smile, because you didn’t waste your precious life minutes putting off what brings you joy.