I remember as a child spending hours dreaming and pretending. In fact, a lot of our time as children was spent dreaming and pretending. Growing up in a poor mining community in the 60’s and 70’s meant that most of our games together with my brothers and sister involved a lot of pretending and make-believe. During those years I could be whatever I wanted to be: a fireman, a policeman, a famous singer, a shop keeper; the list was endless.
As I work with many folk in my business today, I still see a lot of dreaming and pretending going on. (Note to self: NEVER EVER give up dreaming! Dreaming is what moulds vision!!) But, the constant challenge I find in the majority of people’s living is that very few ever seem able to translate their dreams into reality.
One of the greatest ‘dream-killers’ about today is our entire education and societal system. As our children grow up, they are constantly (and rather effectively) taught to ‘fit in’, to ‘toe the line’, to become ‘part of society’. Our schooling system does exactly the same. The only thing that this kind of thinking achieves is to kill creativity and free thinking in our children, and produce robot-like people who simply exist, but never actually live!
I have found that there is an easy 3-step process involved in achieving your life dreams.
First – DREAM! Never give up dreaming. Make time each week to be alone, quiet, and then DREAM. What is it that you want out of your life? What do you want to achieve? It doesn’t matter how big the dream is. It also doesn’t matter how young or old you are. NEVER give up dreaming. Get a small journal and write your dreams down. Make sure to include time EACH WEEK to just sit quietly and dream.
Second – PLAN. This is the step that most people don’t complete. Take your dream, and then devise a plan of action to accomplish that dream. In 2008, my family went on a Mediterranean cruise on a luxury liner. Did we simply get on the ship and cruise? Absolutely NOT! That cruise (and a 2 week holiday in London and Paris) began as a dream five years before we stepped on the luxury liner. Our 5 year goal was a 3 week European holiday, including the 7 night cruise. Our 3 year goal was to have everything booked (yes, we did in fact have all of our accommodation, flights and cruise booked 2 years in advance!) As we Reverse Planned back from actually standing on the cruise liner to where we stood 5 years earlier with not one penny to put toward our dream holiday, the family set 5 year, 4 year, 3 year, 2 year, and 1 year goals.
Third – ACT. As the family kept each of the yearly goals in mind, we continually dreamed and pictured ourselves standing on the deck of the cruise ship. Over those 5 years of planning, we regularly sat together and became part of our dreams. I would ask my eldest daughter what she had done during that particular day on the ship in her dreams (this was 3 years before we actually went on the cruise!) My wife asked our younger daughter what city she had visited today. Our dream became so much a part of us that each day and week we all asked each other what we had done that week to make our dream become a reality. And so, with each passing week and month, our plan was put into action: a great dream that was extremely costly, broken down into 5 years of weekly and monthly tasks that were easily attainable!
Finally – ACHIEVE. Finally the day arrived. For five years we had dreamed, planned and put into action all of those plans. We arrived at the airport, boarded the plane, and woke up LIVING OUR DREAM!! You can do this, too. Never stop dreaming. Remember, also, never stop planning and acting on those plans!
Oh, yes, I almost forgot. That European holiday and cruise was absolutely AWESOME!!