Have you ever stopped to think about what it feels like to fulfill your dreams? Usually it’s exciting. I usually have this image of myself strutting up NYC’s Fifth Avenue in a pair of Jimmy Choo heels. I feel like I am on top of the world. Everyone is nodding at me saying “Yeah girl- You did it!” That feeling of accomplishing my dreams is totally joyous and completely satisfying.
And…what about all the work you have to put in to accomplishing your dream? How does that feel? Well that feeling is often forgotten in a flash. I mean… “What work?” You make it look easy.
But the truth is that anything worth achieving comes with effort and love, no matter what size your dream is. Whether it’s making a delicious meal for your husband, planning a baby shower for your sister or getting your Master’s Degree -- good old fashion effort is an important ingredient.
Sometimes, our dreams take longer to fulfill than we would like. Some of us are paralyzed by risk, afraid of the unknown or always taking measured steps based on our past experiences. Others work towards their dreams so hard and fast that they burn out. And sometimes we have other obligations like children or ailing parents that prevent us from having our dreams satisfied immediately.
Once we consider how long it will take to fulfill our dreams, many of us consider giving up. Turning Back. And in that moment, when you think all is lost, we should consider this:
What will happen if I don’t fulfill this dream? If it is your greatest desire and gives you purpose why give it up? Whether it takes you 20 minutes-20 weeks or 20 years you should take any and all incremental steps towards your dream. Here’s a story to put it in perspective.
Last year I heard the story of a poor single working mom who wanted to see the world. She had four small children and was committed to putting them on the path to success. She wondered how she would do it. She didn’t make much money but she kept a jar at home and put 5 dollars in every week. Some weeks she couldn’t put any money away and other times her children faced great illness and she had to dip into her jar to cover expenses when there wasn’t enough to eat. When the fourth child was grown and out of the house, she pulled out hundreds of jars, counted it and went to talk to the travel agent. When the travel agent heard of her story, she helped her book the most fabulous trip around the world. When she told her children they were shocked. They had no idea she had this dream. When she arrived at the airport, her flight receptionist handed her a first class ticket. Her travel agent had upgraded her! Can’t you just see her now?! Tears of joy.
This woman waited 30 years to fulfill her dream. She certainly had moments of failure and doubt. Who knows how many times she had to stop and start to save. Most importantly, she never gave up or stopped trying to fulfill her dreams. In fact by committing to put five dollars away in her jar every week for 30 years, she grew the love and excitement of being able to fulfill her dream which made it so much more meaningful than what she could have imagined.
If you have a dream and it’s too big or can’t happen immediately, don’t give up. Instead consider this:
Find ways to sustain focus. If you want to travel and you can’t do it now because you have small children or an ailing parent, then find activities that will encourage your dream. Look at travel books of the places you want to go, start a savings account and commit to putting a little bit of money away each week. Who knows – maybe you’ll end up flying first class!
Be honest with yourself. What’s really stopping you from fulfilling your dream? Are you afraid to take a chance because you don’t know what’s waiting for you on the other side? If you don’t try for something or do things differently, you’re actively preventing yourself from receiving love and fulfilling your dreams. Take a chance! Accept the love coming your way.
Expand your happiness now. Having a big dream doesn’t mean our happiness is on pause. Find ways of being happy now. The happier you are the more likely you are to attract the things and the people that will help you fulfill your dream. If you can’t travel, right now, find things that will stimulate your happiness now - learn a new language, go see a foreign film, attend a cultural event or whatever your pleasure. Happiness helps us shine our best selves.
Your turn: If there was a headline in the paper about your dream being accomplished, what do you want that headline to read? What would it say about you and your dream?
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