On a run the other day, for some reason, Martin Luther’s famous speech “I have a dream” popped into my head. As I ran along, I kept thinking of how powerful it is to have a dream – a vision. How by doing so, we can accomplish anything in life because if we are clear about what it is we want – consciously and unconsciously we can create it. I do believe that. I have done this unconsciously at first and then later in life with purpose.
I love to help my clients not just to dream – but to achieve their hopes and dreams.
“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The challenge is that too often, I – and my clients – are in a state of overwhelm. You know the one – where we are whirling in a vortex of indecision – rethinking, re-evaluating every choice—going around and around mental rabbit holes until we dizzily don’t know how to stop.
Many clients come to me in this state and want help to get unstuck.
We can easily get into this state – especially lately. The world in which we live – so many things to think about – so many issues and challenges we face as a society, culture, and world – big issues whirling around and around that don’t seem to have a clear solution.
We can get caught in fear and uncertainty, which isn’t exactly conducive to having a dream.
Yet, the reality is that this is exactly the time when having a dream, a wish, or a goal can help.
One question I often ask my clients when they are in this state is simple yet often feels too big to answer – “what do I want?” Too often, the answer is: “ I don’t know. I have no idea.”
It’s no surprise that we are stuck if we don’t even know what we want in our life.
Dreams give us hope. Having a dream can be the difference between sinking and swimming when facing a challenge. Our dreams are life preservers that help keep us afloat when life feels too heavy and we feel like we are sinking.
When we believe in our dreams, we have a path – a goal to strive for. This gives us optimism – something positive to reach for. Our dreams offer us a light at the end of the tunnel. So when we experience a challenge, we can more easily pick ourselves up and find a way forward toward the light.
When we have hopes, dreams, and goals – when life is hard – we are more resilient and don’t get stuck in seeing every obstacle as permanent – we can see that our situation can be changed – that the situation is transient and we will get through it.
When we have clarity about what we want – what our hopes and dreams are – we are more easily able to prioritize the actions and behaviors that will get us there.
I remember when my mom was terminally ill. Doctors told many times that the fact she was still alive was a bit of a miracle as her body truly shouldn’t have been functioning in the state is was in.
I believe my mom lived longer because she had small little dreams – goals – that kept her alive. At first, it was that my sister was pregnant with what would be my mom’s first grandson. That gave her hope, and amazingly she rallied. Then I became engaged – and she wanted to be there for my wedding. Mom defied the medical experts’ opinions about her life expectancy. She was in intensive care a week before I was to be married, yet, day by day – as we got closer to the wedding day – she got stronger and stronger and eventually was allowed out of the hospital to attend the wedding. It was her dream, and mine, to see her beaming face as I walked down the aisle.
It’s not enough just to dream, though – you have to put some actions behind it – or it will just stay a dream.
This is where the rubber meets the road, so-to-speak.
How often have you known someone who has had a dream or hope but never gets close to attaining it?
There are many things that can block us from our dreams. Societal or family pressures, lack of motivation, or fear of what might happen if / when we achieve our goals. We may really want our goal, but there may be a belief – in society, our family, or inside of us – that prevents us from believing we deserve it or can actually do it.
I shared my thoughts on this with a friend and she mentioned how physics is at work when we are clear about what we want – especially without being firm on specifics.
She said that it works because there is a law of physics that tension seeks equilibrium. And when people are clear and in touch with the reality of what they want and aware of where they are in relation to what they want. This establishes structural tension. So the tension pulls them toward what they want.
She also added that people who do this well know it’s not about having the perfect plan, but holding the tension, taking action and making adjustments along the way.
We don’t need specifics to make it happen. With a little help with the laws of physics we CAN move closer to our dreams.
Do you have a dream? A vision for what is next for you? What is in the way of you claiming that?
Here are some steps that might help you have – and own – your dream:
1.Vision = Clarity
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
Often we are too focused on what we don’t want.
When we can be clear about what we want or where we are going, it makes it easier for us to get there! Without this clarity, it’s too easy to focus on our fears or the challenges we may face in reaching for our dream or goal. This can result in us feeling stuck and unable to make decisions. This is not a fun place to be – you may feel you are going in 100 different directions but going nowhere. This can lead to burnout, depression, anxiety, and a feeling that life just isn’t going your way ever.
Dreams give us the hope and trust we need to stop this pattern. One of the first steps is to clarify one thing you’d like to change – it doesn’t have to be the biggest or the most important thing. Just pick one thing you’d like to have happen in your life or something you want to obtain. Go ahead and risk that you may not get it. You can always change your mind – or refine it – but by simply moving in a forward direction brings the next step closer and clearer.
“The things that bring you the greatest joy are in alignment with your purpose.” ~ Jack Canfield
You may think it’s woo-woo – but I – and many clients – have found that once we get even a little bit clearer on what we want – life puts circumstances in front of us to support moving toward this goal! It’s magical and crazy sometimes how this can happen.
I had a client that had attained a corporate job that had taken her years to achieve, yet, once she was there, she found that she wasn’t happy. She was confused and felt stuck but didn’t know what she wanted instead.
Instead of fixating on figuring out what the exact next job would look like – we focused on what she wanted to feel in her ‘new job” –knowing she was being valued for who she was and her skills at her new company. We visualized how she would feel joy just by going into to work every day because she felt she was making a difference. We imagined that how she would be energized by meeting and working with like-minded people who shared a similar passion. We focused on the feelings she wanted to have instead of what the exact job or company would be.
Within a month, she met someone that introduced her to someone who was starting a company and needed her skills. She ended up being very happy and having a major role in growing the company working with people who were passionate and focused on doing good in the world.
When we are clear about what we want – life aligns and supports us in moving toward that goal without us even knowing it.
“Follow your dreams, they know the way.” Kobe Yamada
I fell in love with coaching because, as a coach, I support and encourage my clients to look forward – to the future and to create what it is they want in their life. We focus on forward motion, especially when they feel stuck and have no idea how to move forward. While we do sometimes look to the past for clues as to what may be preventing us from moving toward a goal or vision, we mostly focus on activities, behaviors, and thoughts that support moving forward.
This creates momentum, which keeps us moving forward even if something gets in our way. With our eye on the prize, we can find a way around obstacles with the belief that we will get there.
Create an Intention
Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” – Albert Einstein
When we pay attention to our intentions, we can more easily take a step toward our future – especially moving toward something we want. By bringing our intention toward something larger than ourselves, we open up to possibilities we may not have imagined…
Think of our intentions as guidelines that we can use to make choices that support and help us reach our goals, dreams, and visions for our life. Our intentions draw the experiences and people into our life that will help us get what we want.
Sometimes we don’t even need a detailed plan. IF we focus on our larger universal intention – the specifics will fall into place. We just need to trust in our intentions and keep our focus on our clean, clear intention.
There have been many times in my life when the future is unclear. So I focus on the larger goal – the larger intention –, and that gives me courage to take the first step – any step – toward it.
I have a dream. Do you?
My dream is to finish my memoir JunkYard Girl and become a published author. I hope that what I write here is interesting to others and inspires them. I also want to build my b.u. coaching practice so I can support others to live authentic lives.
What is your dream? Your goal? Risk sharing it with us – and perhaps you can also add a step you can take toward it.