Everyone has dreams; things they desire for their life, goals they would love to complete, and achievements they wish they could have. But most people do nothing about them. Most people consider dreams to be unattainable. They see them as figments of the imagination, a flight of fancy, and nothing more than something to distract them from their current dreary lives. This is simply not true.
Dreams are nothing more than big goals and every goal is achievable through dedication and perseverance. I believe that deep down everyone realises this but they are simply too afraid to change. They are afraid of their own dreams, afraid of failing to complete them, and afraid of losing their just-better-than-average life that they have been struggling to achieve thus far.
This is how our society has been conditioned. We believe that the only "safe" way through life is to do what everyone else is doing and strive to get just a little bit better than our peers. We've been conditioned (or brainwashed) to believe that chasing our dreams will put everything we have worked towards at risk. It is this fear that causes people to get stuck in a rut, never able to fulfill their dreams and never able to fully enjoy their lives.
But now we have created a stigma in our society around dreams. People that quit their high paying professional jobs to become a painter, or start their own cake shop, or trek around the world for a year are often frowned upon by the majority. This is because we have created a culture of being embarrassed about our dreams.
Dreams are not things to be embarrassed about. What should embarrass you is the thought of going through your entire life without following them - living the same old life as the people next door, and the people next to them and the people next to them, and...you get the picture.
Having a dream is not a crime, in fact it is a healthy and natural thing. And so is fulfilling them. Why do you think the self-help industry is so big and why so many people have a mid-life crisis? Because we have a deep urge within us; a need to fulfill our dreams.
And I'm going to start you off...
5 Simple Steps to Start Fulfilling Your Dreams
I recommend doing the rest of this article with a partner - someone who is like-minded, positive, and also looking to start down the path of dream fulfillment. You can do it alone, in front of the mirror, but I think it works best when done with a partner, or better yet an entire group of friends.
1. Write down all your dreams
If money was not a problem, if you had all the knowledge, contacts and experience needed, what would you do in your life? What do you wish you were doing right now? What would make you 100% happy?
It can be 3, 30, or 300 things. They can be as crazy and absurd as you like (walking on the moon perhaps?) but just make sure your list captures everything you dream of doing.
Go on, write them down now. I'll wait...
2. Verbalise them with your friends and family
Here is where the group aspect of this activity kicks in. Get together with your partner/group and take turns reading out every single one of your dreams (if you are doing this solo then get in front of the mirror and read them aloud). Even if you are embarrassed, you must read them out for everyone to hear.
When reading out your dreams start each one with a phrase like "I want to..." or "My dream is to..." Give as much or as little information as you want, so long as you succinctly explain what your dream is. You do not have to justify any of them, but if you want to share the reasoning with your friends then by all means go ahead.
The listeners are not expected to say or do anything except be positive, but it is good practice to make a mental note of the dreams being stated because you are going to help them be fulfilled!
I don't think I need to say this here but I will anyway. It is highly important that there is no challenging or ridiculing someone for their dreams. They have taken a courageous step to stand up and verbalise their dreams, and to shoot them down is simply not on. If you are this kind of person then do not participate in this activity. If you know one of your friends is like this then do not invite them. This is for positive people only - people who want to see their dreams, and the dreams of others, fulfilled.
3. Start working towards your own dreams
Now that you have finally written your dreams down, and had the courage to stand up and tell people, you can start working towards making them actually happen. You have made them real, not just an idea in your mind, and if something is real it is achievable.
Treat your goals like you would any other task or project in your life. Break it down into small tasks because small tasks get done more often. That way your dream will not seem unattainable and you can tick things off regularly and see the progress. Just make sure you give yourself tight deadlines - don't let it stagnate!
I personally recommend that you aim to do at least one action towards one of your dreams every single day. Even if the action is just spending half an hour researching on the internet, it is wise to get into the habit of using your spare time to work towards your dreams. This will create the mindset that your life is all about following your dreams rather than just "getting by".
4. Help others with their dreams
Now that you know the dreams of those close to you, you can start to help them as well. You can motivate and remind them to follow their dreams, you can support them when they need encouragement, and you can help identify opportunities for them.
By sharing dreams you have made each other accountable. Make sure that the others are working towards their dreams because this will also help motivate you to fulfill your own dreams. Success breeds success and when you are there to witness a friend achieve their dream it will reinforce that dreams can become reality. All of a sudden your dreams will seem so much more attainable.
Not to mention the joy and happiness you will feel when you help someone achieve one of their life long dreams. ;)
5. Tell everyone you can
Now that you have told someone your dreams you should have realised that it is not so scary, and definitely not embarrassing. So get out there and tell as many people as you can!
It might feel strange being so open, exposing your dreams to the world, but sometimes it is the only way that you are going to find the help you need to achieve all your dreams. You never know, you might just meet someone who has a friend with a rich cousin who was looking for a buddy to start a circus act with...how else would you find out about that without telling people?
Tell everyone you meet about your dreams and I guarantee that most of them will be happy for you. If you are met with any negativity just smile and remind yourself that those people are just afraid - they are scared to follow their own dreams and they don't like to see other people achieving success. The best thing you can do is to keep striving for your dreams and hope that you will inspire them to take a chance of their own.
Don't hold back. This is your life and they are your dreams. Make them happen! Image: Stuart Miles