I have friends whose dream was to build a custom home exactly the way they want. Most of them achieved that. Some are still working on it. I have other friends who dream to climb every significant mountain peak in their state, or to start a charity, or to run 100 marathons.
Those aren’t my dreams. And most or all of them are not your dreams. I don’t want a “perfect” house or to build a large company. My dream is to build a life that allows me to inspire success through a balance of serving myself and serving others.
To that end, I want my life to be filled with travel, reading, writing, teaching, speaking, and helping others to improve their lives.
That’s a very odd dream, I know. But it makes me happy. And it’s not easy or clear to many people. And that’s okay. It’s mine. And the only one who can ever achieve it or hold me accountable for it is ME.
What’s Your Dream?
Do you have one? Well, here’s the sad reality: If you don’t have a dream, it can’t come true.
I’m not talking about goals. Most people (about 97%) don’t have written goals. In fact, only about 14% have UNwritten goals.
You should have written goals!!!
But goals aren’t the same as dreams. Dreams are bigger, grander, and more engaging. A dream grabs you and pulls you into a better tomorrow. Dreams are also extremely personal. You can’t get them wrong. Your dream is your dream.
I suspect more people have what I would call a dream for their better life. They think about it from time to time. It’s always changing and always over the horizon. And the start-date for working on it? Well, that’s in the future as well.
Having a dream can bring focus and energy to your life. It can help you to improve many other aspects of your life. It can move everything in the right direction. When you have a dream, you can literally go back to it again and again. You can fill out the details and change it in any way you want.
I highly encourage you to spend at least 15-30 minutes per week just sitting in a chair and thinking about your dream. If you don’t have one, start there. Dream about your better tomorrow. Dream about what it will look like. Dream about the biggest, most visible aspects, and the smallest details.
Don’t worry about making it come true at first. Just dream about what you really, really want your life to be like. The very act of having a dream will change your life. You’ll start to unconsciously think about it at other times. And before you know it, you’ll start working on goals to make it come true.
As I always say: You get better at whatever you put your attention on. Once you start building a dream, and thinking about it, you will naturally start working to make it happen.
Now A Bit of Reality Check
Making your dream come true will take actual work. That comes later. Right now, just work on creating the dream. Later, you’ll have to start working on the goals that will make it happen.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1) Make it your dream. Don’t worry about what society thinks, what your spouse thinks, what your kids think, etc. Dream your dream. If it’s not personal, then it’s not your dream.
2) When you’re ready, write it down. You don’t have to show it to anyone, but you should write it down.
3) If it sounds stupid, that’s okay. Human beings flying through the air was stupid for a long time. Now we do it every day.
4) Escape to your dream from time to time. Dig in. Explore what it might actually look like. Enjoy working on it. The more you do this, the more real it will become.
5) Don’t worry about “reality” and the big challenges that will become obvious as you start thinking about the details. If you can imagine an obstacle, you will someday be able to imagine a fix for it.
6) Dream BIG. Again, your dream is not my dream. What BIG, awesome, amazing thing do you want to come true? Say it out loud. Make it part of who you are. Then start working on it.
7) Your dream will change over time. That’s totally ok. You don’t have to commit your entire life to it just because you dreamt it. There is no failure in dreaming. You just change to a new dream and make that come true!
I am in the middle of successfully fulfilling a massive dream. And in the beginning stages of working on the next one. Is my life perfect? No. Could it be improved? Of course. That’s the human condition.
Everyone dreams at some level. I challenge you to take your dreams seriously, formalize them, and make them come true.