Have you ever heard it said that if you “dream it” and “believe it” you can “achieve it”? What about statements like “follow your dreams” and “dream big” and blah, blah, blah? All meant to be great words of wisdom to be sure but how many people do you actually know who had all sorts of dreams but NOTHING came of them? How many people do you personally know who are LIVING THEIR DREAM? On this last I can bet this much…zero. Zilch. Nada. After all, once you do manage to achieve one of your dreams you immediately create more and the dream you had (the one achieved) no longer matters. The NEW dream has taken over your focus. It is a select few who can lay claim to “living the dream” and they can say that because it still matters to them.
Here’s the thing. Dreaming is all well and good but the problem with dreams is they are often so far in the distance (a far off future) that we often give up reaching for it. Not everyone of course, there’s always the exception, but I am not the exception. Now, I dreamed when I was a teenager of becoming an author. I did nothing about that dream until two years ago…THIRTY plus years out of my teens and I get serious about those dreams. (Sigh) But hey…I ACHIEVED it! Five books so far!! Yay!! And happy as I am about that…I already have new dreams to moon over.
The thing about dreams is the fact they are nothing more than fantasies unless you ACTIVELY do something to achieve them. We can imagine all sorts of grand things BUT if we just sit back and keep thinking about it, nothing…absolutely NOTHING…is going to come of them. I mean, the universe isn’t going to send someone to your door and say, “I heard you were dreaming about being an author? Well, let me make that happen for you!” Again, there could be an exception to this scenario but it didn’t happen to me and I’m willing to bet big that such a circumstance hasn’t happened to a majority of other people reading this blog either!
I’m reminded of the story about this man who wanted to win the lottery. He kept dreaming about it and dreaming about it and praying for it to happen. But time goes on and on and despite all his affirmations and believing and praying, he doesn’t win the lottery. He complains to his friend about it and this wise friend of his says, “Well, you have to first buy a lottery ticket before you can win the lottery.” Now, I know there are variations to this little story but this one is mine. So anyway…do you see the point of it? Dream achievement requires ACTIVE PARTICIPATION from the dreamer!
One thing we must accept when it comes to making dreams a reality is the fact that we DESERVE the obtaining of them. Each and every single one of us (with the exception of true scumbags and evil doers of course!) deserve to live the life we “dream” about. But here’s another thing…that dream will be nothing more than a FANTASY, a dream in your head, until you actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Making dreams come true requires EFFORT. You have to WORK for it. We are of an age where so many people don’t want to EARN a damn thing. They want it given to them with little effort (if any) on their part!
So, I was thinking about this and thinking about this and I decided that I needed to stop “dreaming” and start DOING. You know that NIKE slogan “Just do it”? Well, that should be our “obtaining of dreams” logo too! So when I say I’m “done with dreaming”, what I mean is I’ll keep fantasizing about having my book sales go crazy like they did with that “50 Shades of Gray” series but the fact is this…that is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN without any effort on my part! I need to PARTICIPATE in the realization of my dreams. I must DO SOMETHING or those dreams are going to stay right where they are…in my head enjoyed by only my thoughts.
I was reading somewhere that people start out the new year with all these well meaning, well intentioned resolutions and by February, they are done. Why is this do you think? Because we stop caring? Because it suddenly doesn’t matter? NO! Because the fact is, most of us have set ourselves up for failure. At the beginning of the year when we make these resolutions we somehow rally the troops of enthusiasm and zip out of the gate at a full gallop but when results don’t happen INSTANTLY, we become discouraged. And then more discouraged. And then our enthusiasm wanes. Just how long does it take to lose a measly 25 pounds anyway!!? Sheesh. Why the heck haven’t those bills disappeared yet and why in this crazy world is my house MORE unorganized than it was before I started out organizing it!? We are our own worst enemy. I’m sure you’ve heard that a time or two. But it’s true. We set ourselves up for failure because of those dang dreams. We want THAT and we want it NOW! (makes me think of that song by Queen … I want it all and I want it now! )
So, I’m going to stop DREAMING and start DOING. I’m going to take my life into my own capable hands (we are all capable of accomplishing whatever we put our minds to by the way!) and I’m going to set goals. Small ATTAINABLE ones that I can actually achieve by the end of the day! As the days pile up, all those achievements are going to lead to…yup, you guessed it…my DREAMS!
Now, I have three dreams right now. Okay four. Well, maybe five. One is to get organized. I’m tired of the mess around me and not finding stuff. Two, I want to rid my body of all this extra weight it put on during the past year. Three, I want to pay down my mountain of bills. Four, I want to connect more with spirit! And five, I want to get on the New York Times Best Seller List! Yes, I know, that last is a doozie but let me tell you, losing 25 pounds isn’t easy either! Nor is getting organized or paying off bills for that matter. As for connecting with spirit, well that one is actually pretty easy, I just need to set more time aside to do it!
So, day by day I am going to do things that will lead toward those dreams. For instance, I had a pile of receipts and bills and statements mounting at an alarming rate on my desk. One goal was to tackle them. DID IT! Goal achieved. Step one toward that dream of getting organized is done! Another goal was to cut out white sugar and flour from my diet. DID IT! Goal achieved. Step one toward losing those 25 pounds has been taken! Now granted, on that sugar and flour thing…that’s a DAILY…sometimes HOURLY achievement but each hour that goes by without the consumption of either is an achievement. Getting my blog updated regularly is something that goes along with my writing dream! My blog helps me to focus and exercise my writing skills…which is something I must do in order to get BETTER. The old adage “use it or lose it” totally applies here. Writing more books is another thing I need to do if I want to make that “best seller” dream of mine. So now my daily goal is to write, even if all I manage is a page or two or maybe even just a few paragraphs. Regardless how much I write, I MUST WRITE.
So, you see what I am doing? I am creating on a DAILY basis, small ATTAINABLE goals that all are tiny little ATTAINABLE steps towards those DREAMS of mine! And if on any given day I don’t reach a goal, no biggie. I just start again the next day…or RIGHT THEN for that matter. I haven’t failed in reaching my dream…I just missed a step. Steps are EASY PEASY to make up!!
Seven days ago I decided to eat healthier choices to shed some of this poundage and I’ve shed 3.6 pounds. It’s not a lot but guess what…seven days from now, if I keep that up, I’ll have lost over seven pounds! By the end of the month I could lose 15 pounds or so! Now, it’s not my DREAM to lose 15 pounds in a month. I know better than to set that goal. I’d be setting myself up for failure I’m sure. So I’m keeping to the DAILY goal of cutting out sugar and flour and making healthier choices. The weight will come off eventually. A day will come and I’ll be 25 pounds lighter and I’ll be jumping for joy for having achieved a dream! So you see? Though my dream is to lose 25 pounds, I am not focused on that. I am focused on getting through the day…hell, getting through each HOUR of the day…without consuming sugar and/or flour products. These goals I’m making are ATTAINABLE. I am not going to sabotage my dreams by setting unrealistic, hard-to-achieve-in-the-best-of-circumstances kinds of goals. I’m not reaching for “the dream”… I’m SUCCESSFULLY creeping my way toward it! Success breeds enthusiasm and enthusiasm breeds motivation and that, of course, it what is going to help me keep focus and make the little goals happen. By February, this little engine that could will be chugging right along…at a snail’s pace maybe, when comparing it to dream achievement, but rather speedily along when comparing it to goal achievement!
So, yeah I’m no longer focusing on “the dream”. I have broken it down into teeny, tiny baby steps of goal attainability. Dreams are the stuff of reality but it’s the WORK, the small goals we achieve, that bring reality into being. And you know what? I CAN DO THIS! So can you. Day by day, hour by hour, work toward your dreams but FOCUS on what you are doing RIGHT NOW. By living in the moment…dealing with NOW, all the little steps you take will lead you to those dreams. Just see if they don’t. I challenge you!
Okay, I’m done for now. You can be sure I’ll keep you posted on my progress. And I would love to hear your goals and achievements too! We’ll keep each other motivated. And to keep ME motivated…I look at one dream realization that took me over 30 years to accomplish…my books!