This is what I tell myself every day. My dreams will come true one day. Not like Buster and his cat naps. I’m talking dreams like becoming a writer, or whatever it is you had hoped to become when you grew up. These are possible.
Of course, these dreams don’t randomly happen. They have to be practiced and nurtured. Freakonomics Radio did a great show on “How to Become Great at Just About Anything.”
However, there are some days when this feels impossible, even with practice. Sometimes it’s about time. Who has time to practice and cultivate? Or when I think about dreams that are a bit far fetched, like winning the lottery or buying a big house. So what I’ve learned is to dissect the dream.
Is this really what I want?
The first part of dissecting is to ask, is this really what I want? Let’s look at my dream of having a big, gorgeous house. Yes, I’d kinda like that. But when I take the time to focus on the positives of my current house, like the tranquility of my surroundings (I live in the woods), I realize I like my house. Then I take a few moments to think about the negatives, the biggest of which, is that I don’t have enough space for everything. This leads me to realize, my real issue is that I need to clean out all the items stuffed into the closets.
Finding what you really want to do is key. Because the time issue is also solved with this. We somehow find time to do what we what to do.
What is the real problem?
The second part is to figure out if there is an underlying issue that your dream fixes. Maybe that’s the part you need to work on first. Like winning the lottery. I would like to win the lottery so that I could pay off all of my bills, put money into savings for my daughter’s college fund, and not necessarily live like rich people, but more so, in order not to worry about things. When I buy clothes, sometimes I feel guilty like I shouldn’t have spent the money.
My issue here is really that I need to give up the worrying. (I’m a bit of a worry wort). Many nights I pray my worries into God’s hands. Most are either worries that will never come true or ones I have no control over anyway.
In both of these instances, my dreams do end up coming true, just not in the way I originally thought.
The same goes for writing. As a kid, I thought all I had to do was quickly write something and everyone would love it. I was sure I’d be a famous author one day. I’ve since learned that most writing is crap. It’s the editing that molds and polishes a piece into something worth reading. This is where the practice and cultivation part comes into play.
My second realization is that there are a lot of authors, and only a fraction of them become famous. Which when I think about it, dissect it, I don’t want to be famous. I want to write and be read and have those readers enjoy my work, whether that is my friends and family or a large audience doesn’t matter.
Dreams don’t happen right away.
Dreams take work, perseverance, and patience. They aren’t wishes granted to us by genies.
I’m making an intentional effort to work on my dreams by writing and planning. I’m moving forward even if it’s just a step at at time, doing a little every day.
Are you working on your dreams too? If not, maybe you should dissect them, refocus, and get to work. Good luck. I know you can do it.