If we want to do great things in life, we first have to be able to dream them.
Kids are masters when it comes to dreaming big. We're born with that ability, yet a lot of us lose it as the responsibilities of life start to pile up around us.
We owe it to ourselves and, to be dramatic but still totally accurate, the entire world to start dreaming big again. It's the only way we'll ever bring out our unique potential.
Do yourself this favor: set aside 30 minutes today and reflect on some of these points Ignite those big dreams again.
1. Get Inspired, Not Discouraged
When you read about someone else's great success, how does it make you feel?
If it feels bad, stop and evaluate what's happening: when you boil it down, you're telling yourself “success feels bad.” That's entirely untrue! But if that's the story you tell yourself, that's what you'll believe, and how can you find success when you believe it's bad? The more we celebrate someone else's success, the better practiced we are at celebrating and encouraging success for ourselves.
We all do things in our own time, and you can't do anything about the years behind you. Start fresh. Start today. Where do you go from here? Learn from the success of others, and use their lessons to jump start your own journey.
* Make a habit of saying, “Good for him!” and “I'm so happy for her!” every time you hear of someone's success.
* Smile when reading about someone's good work.
* Think of someone whose work you greatly admire. Say, “If he can do it, so can I.”
2. Start Writing
Write about everything you can imagine that would feel good to you. This is fun, it's imagination, so don't ask yourself questions like, “But where would I find time for this?” or “How would this be possible at my age?” The “how” is not your concern. Right now, you're playing, so don't hold back. If you want to live on a rocketship with a herd of unicorns, write it down. There are no rules.
* Start small. Those pressures that thwart our dreaming in the first place can make it difficult to commit those dreams to paper, so write things that make you only mildly uncomfortable with the hows and what ifs: the most delicious meal you can imagine, the most delightful walk through your neighborhood, the best day at work. Then work your way up to the greatest, highest goals you have for yourself.
* Nah, start big. Start with rocketships and unicorns and being the first president of your own island country. Write down the biggest, wildest, most ridiculous things you can imagine. Get them out of the way and get yourself comfortable with writing down big, wild things. Then set to work on the things you really want, no matter how great or small. They'll feel incredibly likely by comparison.
* Write in the present tense, as if what you're writing about is already happening for you.
3. Surround Yourself
Make these big dreams a part of your everyday life.
* Create a vision board of everything you want in life. Update it as your dreams grow.
* Tell the supportive people in your life about what you want. Ask them to talk to you about this dream as if it's already happening.
* Write about your dream every day: maybe add a few details about the bathroom decor in your dream house, about the people you meet along the way, or about the excitement and joy you feel while pursuing your goals. Post little reminders about your dream and your gratitude for it where you see them every day, like on the bathroom mirror, inside the refrigerator, or on your dashboard.
4. Keep Learning
The more skills you have, the more confident you feel, and the more within reach your dream becomes.
* Read every day. Choose novels and other “light” reading as well as personal development books and those related to your industry or interest.
* Meet new people. Never stop networking. You never know who will be able to help you reach your goals (or whom you might be able to help), and along the way you'll make a lot of new friends.
* Take classes, whether they're related to your goals or not. New subject matter can inspire creativity in all areas of life.
5. Don't Apologize
These dreams are yours. They are not out there for anyone else to judge, so if someone tries to, it's your job (however challenging) to disregard that person. Often (though not always) they have your best interest at heart, but that doesn't mean they truly know what's best for you.
Trust yourself and your judgment. You can make sound, practical choices without losing sight of what it is really really want to do in the world. Dreaming big does not inherently mean living recklessly, though some would have you believe it so.
* Seek out supportive people, even if you have to look outside your own family and core group of friends.
* Change your dream if and only if you feel called to do so, when and only when you decide you want something different.
* Set an example for others about what dreaming big can look like.
Is dreaming big a challenge for you? How do you practice dreaming bigger dreams?