People say and ask some funny things about dreams and dream lists. Their misunderstanding of the power and importance of dreams and dream lists are revealed in their comments. They say things like:
“I don’t have time to waste daydreaming”
“Dreams are fine for kids, but I live in the real world”
“Isn’t a dream list just a wish list of things that are never going to happen?”
“I don’t have time for dream lists. I need to know what works”
Perhaps you can identify with some of these. Each one of these contains within it the idea that both dreams and dream lists are meaningless, powerless and a waste of time. That’s simply not the case. People who have been successful in life consistently point out that they had some very specific dreams. There were some things they wanted to do, accomplish, experience or become. You can find people who talk about the power of their dreams in athletics, business, finance, relationships and in virtually every other area of life. It’s not at all unusual to meet a person who is successful in one or more area of life who says “I always wanted to be a ____” or “From the time I was very young I knew I was going to ___” or something similar. They not only had dreams, they held onto them.
Here’s what dreams do for us. They let us imagine and believe in a future that’s different and better than our current reality. During this time around the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream” speech, it’s good to look at the power of his dream. His dream was not just something that he had as a far off, distant and unachievable wish. It wasn’t merely something he thought idly about to pass the time. During a time of prejudice, discrimination and oppression that most of us cannot even imagine, he dared to believe that things could be different and better and that it was within his grasp to help make it so. Granted, there are still things that need to improve. That’s not the point of this article. The point is that he made such a huge difference in the most powerful nation on earth because he dared to believe in his dreams. It was the power of that belief that led him to act. It’s silly to suggest he endured all that he did simply because of a passing fancy. He did what he did because of the power of his dream. Likewise, though you may never have a cause as large or grand as his, your dreams will pull you forward through hard and difficult times…if they’re clear and powerful enough. Powered by your imagination, your dreams will help you keep going, even when you want to quit.
How do you get started harassing the power of your dreams? It’s really pretty simple. First, make a dream list. When you make it, you’ll probably find things popping into your head that seem unattainable or unrealistic. If you just can’t bring yourself to put them on paper, that’s okay. Put down what you can. Second, take that list and tear it up. Throw it away. Third, stop pre-judging your dreams. Sit back down and make a second list. Regardless of what pops into your head that you’d like to achieve, do, become or experience put it on the list! Fourth, look at your list periodically. Looking at it will help you keep in mind the things you want. Fifth, make a dream board about some of those things. Whether you use magazine clippings tacked to a bulletin board or pictures on your cellphone/pad/computer screen, let yourself see them frequently so they further fire your imagination and inspire more and greater action. Sixth, when you achieve one of your dreams, mark it off the list and have a mini-celebration (or a big one depending on the dream)! Seventh, update your list on a regular basis, say once a year. As you grow and change, so will your dreams. Make sure your dream list reflects who you are not just now, but down the road.
Your dreams are powerful tools for changing your life. Don’t neglect them. Feed them. Let them grow and inspire you to do and become more than you are now. Finally, don’t just dream. Dream huge!