Thoughts

Achieving your dreams can be easy

Have you ever wondered why you don’t seem to be able to turn your dreams into reality? Is it just you? or is there some special trick involved?

We all have dreams which we’d be over the moon about if they came true – you know the ones that go something like ‘one day I’ll find a job that I love’ or ‘wouldn’t it be lovely to have a job which is flexible so I can spend more time ……’ or even ones like ‘if only I could lose 10 pounds I’d be able to wear whatever I wanted.’

You may even have set off to achieve these but then it just hasn’t worked out and you end up convincing yourself well it just wasn’t meant to be.

Well, in a way there is some kind of special trick involved in turning your dreams into reality – although that’s probably not the best way of phrasing it. Basically, to achieve your dreams, apart from any specific experience or essential qualifications, you need:

  • To be absolutely clear that it really is your dream that is you want to do this for you, you’re are not doing it because some other important person in your life thinks you should do it.
  • Your dream need to be in line with your core values (such as satisfaction, security, love). These are the values that will drive you to take (or not as the case may be) action you need to achieve that dream (not those you’ve picked off a list of values you found on the internet because they seem to be right for you)
  • An understanding of the beliefs that you unknowingly have at the back of your mind which work against you getting what you want (you know that irritating voice you have in your head which tells you things like ‘you don’t want to do that!’; ‘you’ll never be any good at that’; what makes you think you can do that when you can’t even….’

If you’re not convinced you can turn your dream into reality, or you’re trying to do so but not making any headway, or it’s all too hard yet you have the essential skills, qualifications, experience and knowledge to be able to do what you want to do then it’s time to take a closer look at your dream.

Asking yourself simple questions can really help you get under the skin of why things are not happening as you want. Try these and ask them of yourself repeatedly writing down your answers as you go

  • ‘How much do I really want to do this on a scale of 1 to 10?’ If it’s not already a 9 or a 10 you might want to ask yourself ‘what needs to happen to get this from x to y?’
  • ‘Have I got a detailed action plan?’ Any gaps in your plan will be filled in by your subconscious, your subconscious will always follow its familiar patterns because your subconscious is there to make navigating life easy for you not help you achieve challenging goals.
  • ‘Where on this action plan am I stuck?’ and if there is any part or parts you are stuck on ask yourself ‘what is it that is stopping me from doing this?’

Doing this is not always the easiest thing to do and you may find it easier with the help of a coach, however the exercise can be really illuminating and what you uncover can explain why you are struggling, lead to Aha moments and result in major breakthroughs and move you much further towards achieving your dreams

By the way if you don’t have the essential skills etc to be able to progress your dream you don’t necessarily need to give on it, consider how you can get what you need to move forward and if you can realistically do this set this as your new dream, build a detailed action plan and take that first step towards your dream

A goal is just a dream with a date

I came across this phrase recently and it immediately struck a chord. But then I got to thinking – is it really true? cos we all know that some dreams are just dreams, or are they?

If we really explore those seemingly unattainable dreams, we might find a way to achieve our true desires. Maybe we just need to be flexible in our thinking about what exactly what it is we really and truly want?

Let’s take a common dream ‘I want to win the lottery!’ Well don’t we all? I hear you say – but the chances of doing so are millions to one, so you really do need a lot of luck to win it (and you also need to be in it to win it which knocks me out most weeks of the year for a start!)

However, if we were to explore what it is we really want to do if we were to win a good sum on the lottery, how we would actually spend our time (once the novelty of being able to have or do anything we want has worn off) and who we would spend it with, we will likely find out what our true dreams are.

It’s these underlying dreams that we can put dates on, so turning them into goals. Once we have the goal then we can work out action plans to turn the underlying dream into reality and achieve the same feelings as a lottery winner.

So what did you enjoy doing when you were a kid?

I can remember spending hours climbing tree’s, being inspired by the 1972 Olympics, practising my handstands, forward rolls and flick flacks etc. I built camps in haystacks and hedgerows, picked bluebells and primroses.

When you’re looking to change careers, and are not sure what the future could look like you might be asked, ‘what did you enjoy doing when you were a kid?’ This is a question which is supposed to help provide ideas as to what you might be drawn to now. I have tried this question on myself and found it about as useful as the one which asks ‘if money were no object what would you do? Answer – more of the same!’.

I can remember spending hours climbing tree’s, being inspired by the 1972 Olympics, practising my handstands, forward rolls and flick flacks etc. I built camps in haystacks and hedgerows, picked bluebells and primroses. I coloured in, I drew a bit. I recollect lots of walking, skipping and running and I also learned to cook, knit and sew.

But most of all I remember being bored a lot of the time – I lived in the country with few friends nearby to play with. To combat the boredom, I developed a love of reading. When I wasn’t outside, I read my way through any amount of fiction, ‘faction’ and nonfiction. I read everything from encyclopaedias (oh yes, I found these fascinating) to Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree and 5 go to Kirrin Island. I graduated from these to Georgette Heyer, Jean Plaidy, Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Dennis Wheatley, Alistair Maclean, the list goes on and on and on….

I still do all these things (well not the gymnastics obviously! Although I do walk quite a lot with my dog). Taken on their own, these hobbies and pastimes are not terribly useful indicators of possible career options. For me to be able to gain anything really useful from this exercise I will need to dig deeper and consider what internal ‘needs’ these hobbies satisfy within me both in the past and currently. What was/is it about cooking, sewing, knitting that makes me want to do them? Why do I still read so much (Kindle Unlimited is a god send for me as I can easily get through 3 or 4 books per week)?

In truth, the reading list is still eclectic, it still includes the labels on sauce bottles and the like when I’m eating alone, however generally the choice of genre is dependent on my mood – fiction provides an escape from virtually everything; nonfiction fulfils the desire to learn more (intellectual curiosity). Making food and wearable garments fulfils two needs in me ‘creativity’ and ‘caring for self and others.’ But what about the tree climbing, camp building, handstands? Well that’s about needing to be ‘physically active’. The other common theme running through these activities is the need to practise so that I can ‘be the best I can be’ at whatever it is I am doing.

To be truly satisfied in any aspect of your life your deepest needs must be met. So, whilst my hobbies don’t in themselves indicate an obvious career choice this question has very quickly produced a short list of needs which must be met and a job or career which meets some or all of these will be much more rewarding than one that doesn’t.

If money was no object…

We’ve all been asked this at some time (or asked it of ourselves) ‘if money were no object what would you do?’ In fact, I asked my significant other this question at the weekend in an attempt to generate some ideas for a wet windy bank holiday in Yorkshire – the answer was very much along the lines of ’well as money is an issue that’s a pointless question – however if it wasn’t I’d go abroad to somewhere warm and sunny and admire the view.’ So, no further forward as to how to spend a wet bank holiday weekend in Yorkshire.

Despite this, this question is often used as a prompt for those who know they want to make a change but who are not at all sure that they know what that change really looks like. However, its and almost impossible question to answer on our own as when it comes down to it we don’t really know and can’t easily imagine stuff outside of our personal experience.

After we’ve spoken about buying the dream house, visiting everywhere on our bucket list spending more time with significant others and other important people in our lives, the nitty gritty of exactly how we would spend our days, those days when we’re not on holiday, eludes us.

Would we work? Well we wouldn’t need to, would we? After all money is no object, is it?  Would we shop? Well surely there really are only so many things you can buy before it becomes boring? Would we go out to lunch? How many lunches can you really eat before you crave something normal like beans on toast? Would we exercise? Would we do the housework? May be not – maybe we’d get a cleaner in to do that!

In fact, the answer to this question if you don’t have already have a genuine burning heartfelt desire to do something in p[articular is pretty much likely to be much the same as what we already do with a few extra bells on, to reflect the fact that ‘now money is no object’.

So whilst this question works for some, it most definitely does not work for everyone even with the help and support of a coach. There must be another solution, the question is what is it? I’m hoping that this series of blogs will lead me to an alternative solution for finding out how I want to spend my time and what I have to do to achieve this.