Or, Why you need a dream, and why you need it now!
“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” Karen Ravn
I can’t tell you how much you need a dream.
If you haven’t got one, you need to get one now.
You think I’m over-stating it, don’t you?
It depends. It depends on how low you’ve sunk, how close to rock-bottom you are.
It depends how desperately you want to change your life.
Do you really need a dream?
If you haven’t hit a gut-wrenching low point in your life, you’d be forgiven for dismissing the power of dreams out of hand. I wouldn’t blame you.
But, if in your quest to build a better life, you’ve stumbled at almost every hurdle and wonder how you’ll be able to pick yourself up even one more time; if you’re emotionally battered and bruised through the strain the process puts on your most important relationships; if you’re reaching for the comfort food when you’re desperate to lose weight; if you feel physically sick at the thought of facing another painful and seemingly hopeless day, you may want to read on.
The people who really need a dream
Being a parent with full-time responsibility for the children, whilst also working from home is an unforgiving occupation.
Not only is it unforgiving but it’s also unrelenting.
Depending on what point in life your children have reached, the challenges can vary.
You might be sleep deprived because your baby needs feeding through the night. You might be emotionally drained dealing with a persistently petulant teen. You might be physically tired because you’ve spent a lot of time cleaning your home, cooking meals, running errands and all the other things that make up family life.
Sitting at your kitchen table working whilst also attending to the needs of your family can leave you feeling like you’re failing at both.
It’s tough and if you’re not careful the stress and pressure will drag you under –and that’s why you’ve got to have a dream.
So, this is for you if…
You’re hemmed in, frustrated, up to your eyeballs in hassle and unceasing demands on your time and energy.
Every setback, no matter how minor, sends you closer to the edge of insanity (or at least it feels that way).
You’re filled with rage when everywhere you turn someone is being rude, obnoxious or discourteous and taking giant liberties with your good nature.
You’re taking everything personally and wondering why life won’t give you a break.
You’ve lost your dream or you’ve lost the belief in your dream.
This is for you if you’ve lost your purpose in life.
What having a dream will do for you
When life gets crappy, and it certainly can get crappy, you need something to work towards – you need a dream to fulfil – a purpose in life – something to help you push through the fear and uncertainty.
A dream will insulate you against all the mayhem and get you doing the important things that take you closer to your goals.
It will help you to make better decisions about how you spend your time.
When you have a dream to achieve you don’t have to worry about the idiot driver who cut you up at the junction.
You don’t have to worry about the jerk who let the door slam shut in your face.
You’re able to do boring chores and menial tasks because you know that doing them plays to the greater goal.
You can deal with relationship dramas and get past a badly chosen word or two uttered by your partner in a bad tempered moment.
You can do all these things because you have a dream, because you have something worthwhile to do, something that’s bigger that all the trivial stuff that usually darkens your mood, diminishes your enthusiasm, dents your creativity and depletes your energy.
Does your dream to have to be realistic?
Your dream should be fantastic, exciting, meaningful, fulfilling and challenging.
It only needs to be ‘realistic’ that on some level you believe you can achieve it, even if that means securing skills and resources that are currently beyond your reach.
Bear in mind that you probably underestimate what you’re capable of, so don’t sell yourself short! Just because your ambition is ‘realistic’, doesn’t mean that it can’t be amazing and fantastic.
Your life’s dream can be whatever you want it to be and you’d certainly be encouraged to aim high and dream big, but if you don’t believe from the outset that you will ever achieve it, you won’t get invested in it. And when the time comes to call upon your dream to pull you through the tough times, it will be powerless because you know it’s just a fantasy.
Be a dreamer again
If you’ve forgotten your dream or lost your purpose in life, you need learn to dream again.
I’m not suggesting you should return to your childhood dreams, in fact for many people it would be better to let them go and create some new dreams more in keeping with their circumstances.
Many a midlife crisis arises when people try to rekindle childhood dreams and drop everything including (sadly) their families to make their dreams come true.
If you have to do that, it had better be worth it because the damage you do to your relationships will be irreversible and besides, achieving your ambitions will feel pretty hollow if you have no one to share it with.
Your dream (if you’re reading this site–HubbysHome.com) is most likely based around your family.
I imagine you want to enjoy a happy and fulfilling family life, spending as much time with your children as you can while they’re young. You want to do work that you love. You want to enjoy good health and fitness and you want to have a good level of financial security.
That alone is pretty fabulous as far as dreams go. Who wouldn’t want that?
If you’ve got that as a starting point, who knows where else it could lead? Within those few lines alone are some staggering possibilities for the dreamer of big dreams.
If you haven’t currently got a dream, your family life is a brilliant place to start creating one.
Guard your dreams
Nurture your hopes and dreams and keep them (mostly) to yourself.
Just get on and do what has to be done… quietly and confidently making it happen.
As soon as other people hear what your dream is they’ll tell you it’s not possible.
What they’re really saying is it’s possible for other people–obviously it is because other people live out their dreams—but it’s just not possible for you.
You can do without that kind of negativity so don’t leave yourself open to it, especially in the early days.
How to become a dreamer
- Don’t just dip your toe into this in a half-hearted way, get committed to making it happen.
- To find your dream, decide what it is that you want from your life and imagine how your ideal life looks.
- Writing it down is a good start because it makes it more tangible.
- Plotting out the obvious steps and deciding what has to happen to get to the next step will help you get invested in the process. You don’t need to know all the specifics right at the start, but you do need a broad idea how you’re going to make your dream come true.
- In order to use your dream to help you during the tough times, you have to be able to access it instantly. Doing so breaks a negative state of mind, behaviour or situation and allows you to focus on what really matters.
- Think about it at the start of the day and several points throughout until it becomes unusual for something not to trigger thoughts of your big dream. You don’t have to spend hours daydreaming, just 10 seconds here and there.
- You could carry your written dream with you and look at it. You could carry a physical object with you that reminds you or you could have picture board with images relating to your dream.
- Thinking about your dreams should make you feel happy, motivated, fired up, determined. Get excited and enthusiastic about achieving the dream.
Live your dreams but don’t waste your life chasing dreams
The truth is, that all you really have is the here and now. The future is a mental construct imagined in your head, it doesn’t exist and never will, it will always be the now.
You should embrace your dream but don’t forget that your life is happening right now this minute.
If what you’re doing in pursuit of your dream doesn’t add some benefit to the present moment by making you feel happy, proud, positive, motivated, stimulated or hopeful, then take another look and make adjustments.
You shouldn’t defer your happiness to some future point in time. The chances are that you have the basic elements of your dream in place already – like your health and your family. You could already be living your dreams and not even realise it.
It could take years to achieve your dreams, so you need to feel good about the process and the little victories along the way.
Make it your purpose in life to fulfil your dreams
Get it into your head that you have something important to achieve, that you have a mission to accomplish – and when the difficult moments occur you’ll be lifted above the trivial distractions by tapping into those dreams.
Develop an expectation that you will achieve your dreams, goals and ambitions if you continually do things to make them happen – and take joy from the process.
Decide what your dream is, believe in it and do whatever it takes to make sure your dream comes true.