I once heard a quote by Oscar Hammerstein that stayed with me, “If you don’t have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true?”. Over the past few years, I’ve begun to ask people what they would want in life if they could have, be or do anything. It continues to amaze me how many people don’t have an answer to that question, nor have even thought much about it. Maybe it’s because we’ve believed the things we’ve been told about who we are and what’s possible for us. Maybe it’s because we’ve been scared of failure and have avoided disappointment at all costs. Or maybe it’s because we never found something we were passionate enough about to pursue, risks and all.
Today I challenge you to authentically ask yourself what you want. Even for those who already have everything they could desire for themselves, this is a question that can also be applied to others, the environment or even your community. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Be willing to let go any constraints related to what has or hasn’t been possible in the past and any limitations others or you have put on yourself.
2. Don’t base what you want on what you think you should want, society or cultural expectations, or what others have told you they want for you.
3. Spend some quiet time reflecting on what’s important to you. Look for something or a list of things that would really light you up and inspire you to jump out of bed in the morning to make them happen.
4. If you’re struggling, consider making a list of the areas of your life and then determine individually what you want in each area . Clarify each of your desires by listing what they must have, preferably have, preferably do not have and must not have.
5. Be careful not to rationalize what you want too much. If there are skills and knowledge needed to achieve your dreams, you can find a way to obtain them. However, if you kill your dream before giving it a chance, you won’t have the opportunity to realize your full potential.
Once you’ve identified what you want, it’s very important to not only write down your dreams, but to remind yourself of them daily. Create affirmations as if you’ve already achieved them. Ask a friend or family member to hold you accountable and check in with you to make sure that you are taking the actions necessary to make your dreams happen. Talk to people who have already achieved what you want and ask for their support and guidance. The main thing to remember is that passion will motivate you. If you aren’t feeling excited about the path itself, most likely you haven’t chosen something that you truly want and it’s best to look again.
Lastly, have fun pursuing and achieving your dreams! The journey can be just as rewarding as the success. It’s also valuable to remain open to the unexpected and not to get overly attached to a particular outcome. Sometimes we think that what we want looks a certain way, but later discover that it can look an entirely different way. As long as you stay true to yourself and are willing to play the game, the rewards are endless.
Published On: January 06, 2010