As a child you dreamed about changing the world. Nothing could hurt you or stop you. You had the strength of Superman and the heart of King Kong. When did you stop being that child? To do really worthwhile things in life, you have to dream like you will live forever.
We gain many things as we grow up, but we lose some as well. And the saddest of our losses is the courage to dream. We learn to settle, to compromise, to make do. Life becomes a drag, a burden of responsibilities, a shadow of what we had wanted it to be.
1. Dare to dream
“Nothing happens unless first a dream.” – Carl Sandburg.
If you have no dreams today, your life one year later will be no different than now. Except that you’ll be one year older, and have one year less to chase your dreams. That’s if you finally find the courage to dare to dream again.
We become what we think about everyday. Our thoughts lead to our actions, which lead to our outcomes. Our life is the sum of all those outcomes. That’s how thoughts become reality.
If you’re careless, you will be thinking of problems instead of dreams. You will spend your life solving problems instead of chasing dreams. So choose your thoughts carefully. Choose to dream.
2. Have a dream book
I once wrote down a hundred things I wanted to do before I died. By chance I came across that page again till many years later. And I was amazed to see how many of those had already come true.
This was just from writing it once, and not even thinking about it regularly. But the act of writing had imprinted those dreams in my mind. Imagine how much more I could have achieved if I had been more deliberate about focusing on those things.
You can buy customised dream books with spaces for pasting pictures and writing descriptions and target dates. That’s what I did. Or you can use a simple scrapbook, but do include pictures in it. Images make your dreams more real to your subconscious mind. This will help it to focus on those pictures and finding ways to make them happen.
4. Focus on one dream at a time
Here’s the catch. You have to work on your dreams if you want them to come true. It’s about having your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground. Dreams help you reach for the stars. But you need to do some legwork to get there.
Choose one dream to focus on this year. Set a specific and realistic goal to achieve by the end of the year. If you want to write a book, perhaps you could enrol in and complete a writing course. Or aim to write ten pages a day to have a first draft by Christmas. If you want to start your own business, you could aim to raise a certain amount of venture capital by the end of the year.
5. Trust your brain
Once you are committed to your goals, your entire reticular activating system (RAS) kicks into action. Your brain is designed to achieve what you focus on. This awesome RAS mechanism is like a big ship. It may take time to get moving, but once it does the momentum is unstoppable. Your job is to keep the rudder pointed in the direction you want it to go. You do this by continually looking at your dream book to remind your brain what it’s supposed to be working on.
Your job is to pursue any opportunities that your RAS points out to you. Things happen only when you take action. Try to do something about it everyday, and track your progress on a weekly and monthly basis. Keep your ship on course.
Dream like you will live forever…
Don’t be discouraged if things don’t happen as quickly as you want. We give up when we think something is not achievable because we are running out of time. But if we had eternity to keep trying, there’s no more time pressure. We would continue chipping away at a little bit everyday, because we know that eventually we will get there.
So dream like you will live forever, and keep working on those dreams everyday. Of course you won’t live forever, but oh boy… if you just manage to do one thing a year, imagine what you will achieve in your lifetime!