Have you stopped wishing for big dreams you once had for your life?
If so, give those dreams another shot. You have nothing to lose.
Forsaken dreams can eat away at your happiness. Why? A part of yourself has been abandoned.
Maybe you visualized certain travel goals. Or did you picture having great relationships, a great career or writing a hit song one day?
Life can bog any of us down. We lose faith in ourselves, faith in society and faith in the dreams we wanted.
But people who reach their dreams must do the tough stuff. Maybe it’s been 10 years since you’ve picked up a guitar or taken a college class. If so, think about how you can make some magic happen.
The worst that can happen is you’ll get a little closer to your dream.
And who knows? You might actually realize your dream.
The pleasure is in the planning. It’s uplifting to fantasize about what could happen.
There tips can help you start dreaming again:
— Imagine you’ve made some progress. Picture the thrill of going on a date after five years of staying home alone. Or envision working on a beautiful old house you want to flip.
— Ask what you need to change about yourself. For example, would you need to stop participating in certain activities to gain personal time? Would you need to improve your credit rating to launch a small business?
— Figure out how to break big goals down into small steps. If you dream of finishing college, could you start by taking a single online class for one semester? Look at where you could simply begin.
“A 95-year-old lady in our town graduated college,” says an East Tennessee State University student we’ll call Deborah. “She is the oldest person to ever graduate ETSU. A billboard in our town displayed her photo in cap and gown. That lady inspired both my mother and grandmother to work on their degrees.”
A Nashville singer/songwriter who retired 10 years ago is back in the game. She’s made a plan to write 10 songs for a new album. “My kids are grown, I’ve got time on my hands, and I’ve got a writing partner who wrote songs for famous singers in the ’80s,” she points out. “We hope we make money, but we just want a publishing company to love our material.”
There’s nothing wrong with reaching a dream to please yourself. Whether it’s playing the piano, writing a book, starring in local theater or traveling to a foreign country, go for a dream that feels great to you.
“I’ve lost 20 pounds since March,” says a banker we’ll call Jill. “My dream has been to weigh 120 like I did in college. Now that I’m 50, I know I can reach my dream. I will wear a bathing suit again.”
Her husband, Justin, a building contractor, wants to finish his college degree. He’s made a good living, but it bothers him that he didn’t complete his bachelor’s degree in business.
“Jill and I are coaching each other to reach our dreams,” says Justin. “If you break a dream down into doable steps, you can make that dream come true.”
Giving up all your dreams takes a huge toll on your inner spirit. The excitement of moving forward can give you more personal energy.
“All of us must prepare to do some hard work, if we want our dreams to materialize,” says Justin. “But I just keep picturing myself walking the stage to get my business degree. Going after a dream is really something you strive for to honor yourself. The applause comes from within.”
(Judi Light Hopson is author of the stress management book, “Cooling Stress Tips.” She is also executive director of USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.org.)
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