Learning to Live Your DreamMarch 18, 2018
This was first published in Affinity magazine but I still get lots of people saying they want to live their dream – so I thought it might be helpful for people to add this as a blog post.
‘Live the dream’ is a phrase we’ve all heard, many of us may have used and some of us will actively wish for – though what we actually mean by it may vary from individual to individual.
Before we start to consider what ‘live the dream’ would mean for you let’s think for a minute about ‘dreaming’.
For many people the very word dreaming implies that it is something far removed from reality – something wistful and far away but the idea of ‘living the dream’ gives the impression that those fantastical ideas can be incorporated somehow into life.
As humans we spend a lot of time thinking ahead, planning working towards things, saving and perhaps training, effectively working towards our dreams of a bigger home, more travel, a better job, a balanced life, greater financial freedom, good health and fulfilling relationships.
So in fact dreaming is important – it is often what spurs us on to make an effort – sometimes enduring a bit of hardship in the hope of achievement later on.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes” Walt Disney
Dreaming is Good
The first step is allowing yourself to dream. Think quite purposefully about what it is you want in your life and when you do this try not to be too held down by your concepts of reality – in many ways everything that is real has started as a dream for someone.
I heard recently that the designer of the Sydney opera house, one of the most iconic buildings of the world submitted his design (at the time little more than a sketch) without having worked out the engineering of the building at all. Quite simply he had a dream and was not afraid to take it forward and submit a design for the competition – even though he hadn’t ever been to Australia to see the proposed site and didn’t even know how the building he ‘dreamed could be constructed. What we know is that his design was chosen and despite years of technical and financial challenge his dream did come to fruition and is a lasting legacy for the world.
Hold that Dream
Often when we share our dreams people can be very quick to pour proverbial cold water on them. It is so easy to do that and sometimes that negativity may stem from concern but some people seem to find it too easy to rubbish peoples dreams. Surely as friends or family we should be supportive – it’s okay to address some challenges that be inherent in the plan but if someone has a dream then it is worth chasing it and true friends would be supportive.
Deal with your own Inner Doubts
But just like others may be inclined to be negative about our dreams we can often fall into that trap ourselves. That little voice that may say ‘you’ll never do it’ – or ‘what makes you so special’. But the world is full of people who have tales to tell about believing something was possible, facing many obstacles but winning through in the end – if you need some inspiration try reading the stories of The Wright brothers, Amy Tan or Steven Spielberg to mention just a few – it certainly isn’t that successful people get there because they don’t face obstacles, they get there because they don’t let the obstacles stop them. So you have to start by dealing with your own doubts, silencing that inner voice that is very quick to spread self-doubt. And making a conscious decision NOT to let fear stop you pursuing the things you really want.
Work Towards Your Dream
But of course having a dream is just the start if you want to ‘live your dream’ it will take effort and determination to make it a reality. If we actively start pursuing the dream you want to live then that re-enforces your belief rather than diminishes it and you will find it easier to take each successive
step as it approaches. It doesn’t even matter how small the first step may be simply doing something to pursue your dream will be an encouragement and often the next step isn’t apparent until you have actually started moving forward.
So if you have a dream, what should you do? The first step is to acknowledge it – actually try saying out loud to yourself or someone else or even writing it down. It is a powerful way of making it more real and in some ways it puts you on the line – if that is what you want then what are you going to do about it?
Try to let go of the fears – sure there will be challenges but reaching for something is far better than staying right where you are with a dream burning inside you, never knowing if you could have lived that dream.
Do something practical towards it – that might be just finding out what you need to do for the first step but doing something is important. Remember to keep inspired by reading about folk who have chased their dream and keep visualising what it is you want.