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Need a Dream for Your Life? Here are a Few Steps to Discover One.

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Have you ever had a dream for your life? Some people don't have dreams. It is not uncommon to follow the well-worn path of going to college, then career, then marriage, then children, then what?

Some people come to terms with that "then what" in their fifties. Cue mid-life crisis.

Some people think about that "then what" earlier on in their life, and if they have a dream, they proceed into life with enthusiasm and excitement. If they don't, cue a quarter-life crisis.

Life without dreams can be marked by hopelessness, feelings of being lost, confusion, boredom, melancholy, insecurity, and/or apathy. Does this sound like you? Can you relate to those feelings all too well? Would you like a dream?

If you felt your heart say a big "YES", how do you discover these dreams that elude you?

I would like to suggest a path to follow that might wake something up within you. Something that you might not even be aware of, yet it is ready to make itself known.

Step One: Exploration

This step is all about exposure. You have heard the saying, "If you do what you have always done, then you will get what you have always got." Similarly, if you only read what you have always read, watch what you have always watched, or talk to those you have always talked to, then your life will stay on the same path it always has.

The exposure step is meant to snatch you out of all of this sameness to be primed for change. During this step, your goal is to read new things, watch new things, try new things, visit new places, and talk to new people. It is crucial that you go into this stage open-minded. Assumptions about what you may or may not like could be the reason you miss out on something truly great. Avoid only what you already know you don't like. You must be certain. If there is any room for doubt then you must not eliminate it. If you have not tried something, you cannot possibly know you don't like it, unless it goes against a previously held preference. For example, doing a tomato eating contest is off the table for me because I don't like tomatoes. Although I do not like running, I have done a Tough Mudder, so you must choose your battles.

You should put a time limit on this step. You can say you will try new things for thirty days, and that is how you know you're finished. It is helpful to have some kind of parameter around this step, so you know when to move onto the next one.

Step Two: Explore Your Curiosity

During this step, it is essential to be self-aware. You will consider all of the new ideas, experiences, and places from the exploration step, and see what stirs you, provokes you, moves you, or incites your curiosity. It doesn't have to be much, it can be just a little. All you have to know about it is you felt something.

Sit with that feeling for a minute. What did it stir in you? Anger? Excitement? Follow that emotion all the way through, and see what it wants to say to you about who you are and what you value. Do not cut this step short. It is important that you do not shut down a curiosity with a simple answer. What I mean is, you may notice that you like fashion and traveling, but you do not take the time explore them because you shut down your curiosity with a quick answer rather than a thoughtful one. You may ask yourself, "Why do I like fashion and travel?", only to say, "Because I am a young woman, and every young woman likes these things." Instead if you choose to be thoughtful, you may discover that you deeply care about the other cultures of the world, and you could possibly use fashion as a way to communicate that. You will never know all the nuances of the things you like if you do not take a sufficient amount of time to explore them.

Here is a practical tip to consider during this step: keep a journal of what is being stirred within you. Write down the emotion you believe you felt and why. What could it possibly mean? It can be very easy to forget how you felt during this exercise if you wait until the end, half the time we forget what we did last week, let alone what we did and felt for a whole 30 days. Keeping a journal will help you internalize your different curiosities, interests, and values.

Step Three: Take Some Action

This step is where your curiosity meets short-term commitment. Clarity comes through action. Whether or not you truly enjoy something becomes apparent as you begin to engage with it. I have fantasized over many activities and dreams that I thought I would truly like, but it wasn't until I engaged them that I felt convinced, in fact, that I did really like them. Some things I did not like nearly as much as I thought I would, while others were solidified during this step.

The point of this step is to eventually remove what is not for you, and deepen your commitment to what is. This is where goals and dreams don't solely exist in the mind, but rather in reality. This causes them to lose their charm. See, certain jobs or goals can look amazing in your mind because a movie or other people made them look that way, but it may not be a good fit for YOU. Once you are finished with this step, you should reassess and ask yourself what is for you and what needs to go. I feel that when you take this step it launches you into the life you desire, instead of a the life others want for you.

To finish this step, decide what you will leave behind and what you will move forward with.

Step Four: Connect With a Vision

This step is what distinguishes meaningless actions from dreams. See, I could have become a life coach because I just enjoyed talking to people. Talking would have been the action. I enjoy talking, but the reason I became a life coach is because of what it did for my own mental health and confidence. The vision my coaching now serves is to bring women clarity, confidence, and purpose. When I was struggling with my own confusion, insecurity, and purpose, I wished someone would have walked alongside me like a coach does.

A vision is where we can place our anchor time and time again when our dreams get difficult, because they will. Dreams will ask you to make sacrifices. It will ask for your time, money, and mind. If the activity alone is the motivator, it may not withstand difficulties.

For your vision, you may want to consider your own personal pain points in your life. Is there something you have overcome? Is there a way to connect it to the new activity you have come to enjoy?

Now, I do want to note that not every vision needs to be deep. It could be the vision of a beautiful couch you want in your house, but if you do not have a compelling vision, this sister is still going to want to eat out rather than pack her lunch while her new-couch budget slips down the drain.

Here are some practical ideas/tips for this step: Consider a vision board. Essentially a vision board a physical representation of your dream that you can place somewhere so you can see it everyday. Usually they are made of quotes, pictures, stickers, cardboard, or poster-board, but how fancy you get with them is totally up to you. If you are not the crafty type then talking about your vision regularly with a friend may be all the help you need to stay connected to your dream and your why. Talk. Craft. Journal. Do what it takes to make space in this world for your dream or to breath life into it.

Step Five: Take Massive Action

The difference between this step and step three, Take Some Action, is the amount of action you take. You are no longer dabbling in a new idea during this step. You now have a full out conviction, and are resolved to see something new happen in your life. You know you will like it because you have tested it. You have connected it to a deeper purpose or vision. You are ready for the challenges.

During this step you need to take action on your dream frequently. Talk about your dream. Master the skills needed for your dream. Do something with it. It is not only an idea anymore, but rather, it is time to make it a reality.

I truly believe this is the lifespan of a dream, it starts with new information that peaks our curiosity. Upon action, we truly discover it resonates with who we are, and having a vision for it. We will be dying to make it happen. Finally, we do just that, make it happen.

I hope you find this blog to be helpful on this journey. Feel free to revisit this blog many times over and over again as you make your way through each and every dream. If you could use some extra support, consider a life coach, or taking a class, or an accountability partner. I hope your dreams really do come true.

Take a moment to comment below. What are your dreams? How are you pursuing them?

Rooting for you.

A note about dreams:

I want to take this moment to say a few things about dreams, so that you do not have unnecessary discouragement or confusion.

1. The dream does not have to last forever.

This means you can reassess and change your mind. You are a dynamic and changing person. Stay connected with yourself to see if there has been a shift. Maybe it is time for another dream. Also, you may accomplish your dream. If you accomplish your dream, you will need a new vision for that same dream or a new dream altogether. If you don't, you find yourself hanging out with that all-too-familiar boredom, melancholy, or apathy once again.

2. Dreams are not easy or always fun.

It is easy to look at passionate people and think that all they ever feel is motivation and enthusiasm. This is not true. Everyone experiences times when their dreams don't feel like one. That is why it is so essential to remember this: You are not the only one. You are among a group of fellow dream-chasers. The things that are most worthwhile in life are usually on the other side of hard. Press through. You got this.

3. Dreams become more clear as you pursue them.

It may be hard to move forward on dreams because you do not have the slightest clue how to get there. In these cases, I find that the wisdom in, "just do the next right thing," will be sufficient to get us moving toward them. Plus, if worst comes to worst, Google always exists.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or need clarity on anything, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Rooting for you always.

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