Seriously, we’ve all heard the clichés about following your dreams. Here are a few:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. Oprah Winfrey
I dream of painting, and then I paint my dream. Vincent Van Gogh
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do. Sarah Ban Breathnach
Nothing happens unless we first dream. Carl Sandburg
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. Henry David Thoreau
And I bet you’ve been a bit skeptical throughout your life when considering any of the above quotes. Who has time to dream, or act on them anyway, when we’re holding down a full time job, raising kids, and trying to make a decent life for ourselves and our families?
I hear you loud and clear. And yet……
I am completely blown away when I work with my clients on this very topic. What I hear before any description of a dream comes out of their mouth is the excitement, the joy, the passion and energy they have for whatever dreams they hold.
So here’s the thing. If something excites you to the point that you’re energized just by thinking about it, why wouldn’t you pursue it? I get it, like I mention above, life kind of gets in the way.
I’d like to offer you an idea, or thought on how to create more of that passion or excitement in your life. Take that dream, whatever it is, and begin by boiling it down to something doable.
Julia Cameron, the author of “The Artist’s Way” suggests several tools to use to tap into your creativity. I’d like to think you can use those same tools to discover your dreams and make them come true.
The first tool she recommends is something she calls “The Morning Pages” which is a practice of writing every morning three pages into a journal with the intention of sharing it with NO ONE. The idea is to write whatever comes to your mind, and often that will include your dreams or pieces of them at least. (FACT – this is one of my daily practices.)
The other tool is to take yourself on what she calls “Artists Dates”. These are weekly, up to two hour excursions, by yourself, to explore and play in whatever interests you. Most importantly, these are not working excursions or trips to the grocery store, instead they are focused on the things your dreams may be made of.
Let’s say you love to garden. One artist date could be to Home Depot to see what products are out there for big and small projects. Another could be a visit to a public garden or walk around your neighborhood to identify the plants and flowers displayed in the yards or lawns there. The idea is to be inspired and to give yourself space to dream.
Something happens to us when we dare to dream. While our brain will find a million excuses NOT to go in the direction of our dreams, daring to think about them, daring to immerse yourself in them creates an energy and enthusiasm unlike anything else and may just help you get closer to realizing your dreams. Give it a try, and let me know what happens when you do.