Four Ways to Keep Your Dreams Alive

I’m a simple guy. I enjoy the simple things in life. I’m pretty easy to content.

I’ll tell you something. Although I can easily relax and be thankful for what I have, I still have drive.

Do you know why? It is because I have dreams. BIG DREAMS. I know I can achieve them. I’ll keep pushing to achieve them and I’ll enjoy the ride as I go.

Now, I KNOW you’ve had dreams. Big ones. Are they still in you? Do you still believe you can achieve them?

One of the biggest dream killers is to be resigned to the difficulties of your life. Raising that white flag in defeat. Giving up on the way you used to imagine your life would be.

The biggest problem with this defeatism is that you convince yourself that dreaming is naïve and unrealistic. You believe that your dreams are unattainable.

As a kid, my biggest dream was to be just like Michael Jordan. My dad was 6”6’ so I knew I had height on my side. Check. I practiced my moves and stuck out my tongue, MJ style. Check.  Wore the Bulls jersey, #23. Check. Imagined my winning final shot, over and over again. Check.

My focus changed as I grew older: golf. Ohhh man, it’s an understatement to say that I lived, breathed and dreamed of golf. From playing on the high school team, to meeting the pros and dressing the part, I was a bonified golf enthusiast. This dream got pretty real. I put golf ahead of everything in my life and focused on the PGA tour like nobody else.

So, what happened to those dreams? Did I let them go in defeat?

As I grew and evolved, my dreams grew, morphed and evolved over time. I never became the next MJ, obviously.  I didn’t join the PGA tour either. As I look back though, I see how those dreams propelled me towards who I am today.  They’ve shaped and helped come into existence the dreams of my mature adulthood.

So, why do we dream? Dreams give us hope for a bright and exciting future. They drive us forward with direction and purpose.

I know you can relate to having childhood dreams.  I also know you can relate to the pressures of life. As you get older, life can kick you in the butt. You feel beaten down. Burdens. Pressures. Monotony.  Many times, forgetting what it feels like to dream. “Survival” becomes the word of the day.

Look at your life now. What reality resonates with you? Is it a reality of surviving through each day? Or a reality of living for the dream?

What life would you prefer? Believing in and walking towards a dream? Or getting stuck in the muck of directionless, everyday existence?

I know what I want.  I’m pretty sure I know what you’d prefer, too.

Let me tell you how to do it.

Start dreaming. Don’t hold back. Dig deep. Figure out what would truly fulfill you and make you a better person because of it. Then, hold on for the ride and don’t take your eyes off the goal.

Sound easy? Well, you need a plan to stick to it. You want to keep your eye on the ball, while keeping your dreams from becoming an air ball. Here’s how to do it.

How to Dream

1. Be around the dream as often as you can. Doing this will give you the spark and motivation to move towards it. Is your dream to build an orphanage? In the meantime, volunteer with children often. Is your dream to sail around the world? Take walks through the local yacht club when you can. The dream is sparked in an aspiring musician every time they go to a concert. Being around the dream fires you up and gives you more steam to keep dreaming!

2. Keep photos as reminders. Just as an aspiring gymnast may keep a poster of Gabby Douglas above her bed or how I had one of baseball hall of famer, Don Mattingly, hung up in my room for 15 years, daily visual reminders help  focus on your goals. (Yes, not only did I think I could be like MJ, I also believed I’d be part of the Majors!)

3. Visit the future in your mind as you wish to see it. Don’t be afraid to have a positive mindset of what you can achieve with the culmination of your years of hard work and good habits.

4. Confess the goal. Speaking your dreams aloud makes it all the more real. You become accountable to your dreams by sharing them with others.  (When sharing your intentions, you never know who you’ll run into who can help you achieve them.)
Do yourself a favor and take up dreaming again! Don’t let it be a thing of the past, or a thing belonging only to children. You can only get to where you want to go by setting your sight on the goal. Dreams give us direction, purpose, hope and joy. Believe in your dreams, today!

Go and Grow!

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