With the start of a new year there’s lot of talk about resolutions, setting goals and dreaming of the future.
I think that it’s important to dream, explore the possibilities, and imagine what could happen. We need something to aim for, inspire us, and to help us work out which way to go and what choices to make. But sometimes our dreams can feel a little too big, almost impossible. Some may tell you to give up on your ‘fantasy’, or to translate it into something more realistic and manageable.
I say ‘ Dream big, step small.’ We need to stretch ourselves and our possibilities And we can’t do that if we’re staying small and in the realm of tangible fact and our current day reality. So, go for it! Dream big, step small.
So you might think that the rest of this blog might be about how to work backwards from your big dream and chunk it down into smaller steps that you can slowly work through towards your dream. And that’s a totally valid and sensible way of going about it. However, I’m going to talk about how to go even smaller, and to think about what you can do today: how are you going to live your big dream today?
This may seem a little crazy or unrealistic, but it is possible. Let me talk through an example.
Sheryl recently rediscovered her passion for riding horses. She vividly remembers the thrill she felt as a little girl going for horse trail rides when on family holidays. Her dream now is to have a horse of her very own that she rides several times a week in the open countryside. It seems like such a pipe dream when she considers her current reality of living in a shoebox apartment in the city with no signs of other lifeforms, unless you count the wilting tomato plant sitting on her window sill. So how can Sheryl live the dream of riding a horse today?
The obvious answer would be for Sheryl to organise a horse ride somewhere out of town. And if she had the time and money for that, then great, she could do that. Perhaps this is an option every other weekend or every few months. But at this point in time Sheryl just doesn’t have that much time and she’s a little strapped for cash. So I suggest going even smaller.
What is it about your dream that gets your heart racing?
In the case of Sheryl’s horse riding dream, is it coming into contact with the magnificent creatures themselves? Is it the freedom and exhilaration of galloping full speed? Is it the bond and sense of partnership she feels? Or the peace and quiet of being out in the fresh country air?
You need to unpack what it is about your dream that makes it feel so wonderful. At its essence, what is this dream about? Understanding your dream in this way will give you the clues to how you can live your dream today.
So getting back to Sheryl: on reflection, she realises that it’s something about the horse itself that she keeps getting drawn to. So perhaps reading books or magazines about horses might help recreate the wonder she feels? Or maybe watching a YouTube clip? Perhaps a visit to the RSPCA, or once in a while an urban farm or racetrack (depending on her ethical viewpoint)?
As you start living your dream keep exploring what it is about the experience that resonates with you.
Over time Sheryl realises that it’s the love she feels when she’s around horses. Pictures and movie clips just don’t cut it. She needs some physical interaction. She finds herself offering to volunteer more and more time at a small stable. And while it might not be exactly the same thing, Sheryl also starts to notice that she feels this same sense of joy and unconditional love when she spends time at her friend’s place who has a dog. So perhaps Sheryl should start visiting her friends with animals more often? Or get a puppy of her own? Or maybe she’s just really craving the strong attachment of spending time with someone she truly loves and who loves her back? Whatever Sheryl chooses to do, the important thing is for her to regularly check into how she is feeling and cross check it against how her dream makes her feel. Treating this all like a bit of an experiment will help her hone in on what she really wants.
So keep looking to do what you can in some small way to recreate that feeling of your dream. Try new things. Experiment and explore. See how it feels.
Now I’m not saying to give up working towards your dream and to replace it with something small or seemingly unconnected. Keep your eyes on your dream and keep chipping away to make the big dream real. But do not wait until you reach your dream or goal before you start living it.
So Sheryl still needs to keep saving her money, build up her riding experience and horse knowledge, while also investigating how she can move her job. Then one day she can make the move towards living in the country with her very own horse. But it’s all the little things along the way that help keep her motivated and enjoying her life as it is.
When pursuing your dreams why deny yourself all the joy that you could be feeling in the meantime?
It’s like slogging away at the gym and counting calories in the pursuit of a magical dress size number, when in the meantime, you could still feel that same sense of confidence by slapping on some lipstick before you leave the house in the morning.
So dream big, step small.
Work towards making your dream happen, but try to live the feeling every day. And if you never quite get there or you change your mind along the way then at least you have enjoyed the journey.
So how are you going to live your big dream today?Pin It