Have you ever sat up one morning and thought about your past, about the things you had hoped to achieve, about the dreams you had of a different life, about the person you were going to become, about the family that you were going to be so much a part of?
Were you a dreamer, or were you just like us. We were told not to dream, we were advised that we would only be disappointed. We were told it was materialistic and “those” kind of people who chased a better life were not happy. Dreaming after all was foolish and something only kids do. We were encouraged to be content with our lot, to be grateful for the little we had.
Now, grateful is one of my favorite words and I believe grateful keeps you humble, grateful provides you with inner peace, but grateful people also love what they have while in pursuit of what they want.
I am also so acutely aware that dreams with out action are mere daydreams. The one thing that prompted me to tackle this topic was the fact that we know so many people trying to make life happen without having any clear direction of what it is they are really looking for.
Dreams don’t need to be about money, dreams can be about giving to charity, dreams can be about working with disabled children, dreams can relate to your love for animals. You may however want a nicer car, or a bigger house, you may even want a different career. Bottom line, you need to establish what drives you, your dream should be personal. Your dream often leads back to your life’s purpose.
It is impossible to have dreams for other people, like wishing Mary would find happiness. Only Mary can make Mary happy but your dream could be to provide Mary with the necessary support to help her get on her own two feet.
You could dream of having your child become an elite sportsperson but that very rarely happens unless the child buys into the dream and takes ownership. You cannot live your lost dreams through a child, it simply isn’t fair.
So let’s just look at where to start, we can tackle the how at another time. I am going to give you some of the exercises we have done, that enabled us to realise our dreams and create memories that we will cherish forever.
Commit to taking time out, commit to finding a quite place where you can think and then just let your mind wander. What would you do if you had more money? What would you do if you had more time? How would you spend your days if you didn’t have the responsibility of running a family? Who would you spend your days with? What does a perfect day look like? What countries would you like to visit? What would you like to see or experience in those countries? Our initial 100 dreams consisted of what we thought was a huge dream at the time and that was to visit 26 countries before we died, one for each letter of the alphabet. Now there is not a country for each letter of the alphabet but that is irrelevant. To date we have been to 48 countries some of them as many as fourteen times just because we were willing to take the time out to think about what really drives us.
Don’t hold back on what it is your really want. Be bold, be courageous, think big, think what if. Your initial dreams may start out small but why not add to them. Life changes, circumstances change, don’t limit your dreams to what you think is possible, don’t tie your dreams into your current finances, be willing to be outrageous.
We have swum with the dolphins, flown first class, been to the top of Aspen mountain, spoken to audiences in excess of 10 000 people, stayed in five star hotels, been transported in a limousine numerous times, all because we were willing to commit to the dream and to work our buts off to make it happen.
Now take your dreams to a whole new level, take a large piece of board that you are willing to display somewhere and put pictures on it from old magazines that support your dream. Have you ever wanted to ride camels in Egypt or eat cheesecake in New York? Do you see yourself funding a college education for someone less fortunate? Again this board will be different for everyone but the idea is that visualisation is crucial in order for dreams to be realised. You cannot achieve, what you cannot see.
To make it more personal, I wanted to give you two examples of how effective a vision board is. Some years back, while on holiday in Bali, we visited an amphitheatre as part of a day tour. On arrival I said to my hubby, “I really feel like I have been here before, everything is so familiar.” In fact it was rather spooky. I could not explain my feelings but I just knew where everything was, the entrance, the green trees that surrounded the area, the shade of the stepping stones, the size or the area, the wooden benches, the question was how? It was not until we returned home that the mystery was solved. On our vision board, as large as life was a picture of the exact same area, with the exact same detail. Strange but true.
I also created a vision board for a goal that we had in a business venture. It was filled with lifestyle pictures and it had headings that described the end result of our efforts. This was placed in a very prominent place in our home and we literally read the statements twice a day for an entire year. Guess what, the goal was achieved and then some. To be very honest, it did take work but we were always motivated by the end result, the vision of a different life.
Now all this talk about dreams can be a little scary for some and very intimidating for others so let’s examine an easier route. If you were told you had six months to live what are five things you would absolutely want to make sure you did before you died? What don’t you want to regret not having done?
While examining your dreams may seem futile to some, it is evident that those who do not take this step often live a life devoid of passion. Sometimes our dreams seem so far out there that they almost seem impossible but what we have learnt is that if someone else can live the life we aspire to, why not us?
So why not commit to a 100 dreams or create a vision board and if all of that seems a bit much just think about a few things you could put onto a bucket list. Once this is all done and you have found your why, the how almost always follows. Your new found dream will give you energy and conviction and you will find a way. Make sure that your dreams are always bigger than your memories, life is meant for living.