What is your dream? Do you know?
Is it some nebulous cloud of ideas floating around somewhere out there, foggy, undefined?
Or do you know exactly what it is that you hope to do? You’ve spent hours thinking about it, defining and refining it until you know exactly what your dream looks like?
It is quite normal to not know exactly what your dream and passion are – our society tells us we need to put our dreams aside and be “responsible.” I feel we can be perfectly responsible and live our dream at the same time.
Clearly defining your dream is the very first step toward making it happen. As one friend of mine put it, “How will you know you’re there, if you don’t know what ‘there’ looks like?”
A dream is very different from a hobby, though they have many of the same characteristics. Your dream is that which you are meant to do; it becomes your purpose in life. It’s an all-consuming passion. It is that one thing you are meant to do and do it well. Defining your dream is one of the initial steps to bringing it to life.
Once you find out what you really want, you are half way there.
Here are some steps that can help you realize what your dream really is.
Take a good, long look at yourself
Sometimes you have to look a little bit deeper within yourself to actually realize what your passions are. It might require you to take a trip down Memory Lane to realize what made you the happiest from the beginning. Think of what you do that makes you most fulfilled in life. What is it that you find yourself doing when you manage to get a few extra minutes? What do you daydream of when you allow your mind to “go there?” Go into meditation mode if need be. If you look deep enough, you will start to put your finger on it.
Make a list of your strengths
Chances are strong that your dream will involve something you are already good at. Add items to your list randomly. Anything and everything you’re good at gets jotted down. Are you a people person? Write it down. Have a natural talent for conflict resolution? Numbers speak to you? Have a scientific mind? Write it down.
When you think you have everything down, start prioritizing them. Also consider the satisfaction you derive from each of them. Rewrite them afresh in their order of priority as you consider each one. Is it something you’re good at, but not passionate about it? Then move it lower on the list. Your passions will most likely reside right at the top of the list.
Pinpoint the dream
What is it that you will dedicate the next portion of your life to? Define your dream. Be specific. For us, the dream was To Pedal From Alaska to Argentina. We knew our starting point. We knew when we would be there.
What about you? What is your dream?
Define it succinctly and clearly in five words or less. That will help you know what success will look like.
Here are the other posts in this series:
Day 1: Define your dream
Day 2: Believe in yourself
Day 3: Believe in your dream
Day 4: Break out of the rut
Day 5: Go public with your idea
Day 6: Don’t fear failure
Day 7: Change your mindset
Day 8: Commit to your dream