What is your dream anyway?
April 24, 2016
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
~ Dolly Parton
“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.
~ Neil Gaiman
Vision – It’s the one thing you can see that no one else can. It’s unique to you. You can draw people in to share your vision. They can climb on board and help you achieve it. The dream begins in the deep recesses of your mind, and if you are brave enough to entertain it, the dream unfolds and takes flight. The dream is yours and yours alone. It is the key element to your success.
We all remember the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ and the phrase ‘if you build it, they will come’ from the movie. The same applies here.
If you dream it, it will live.
A vision is not day-dreaming. To bring a vision to life takes hard work and dedication. It will require you to focus your attention and energy on where you want to go. If you are hesitant the dream could shatter. Express fear and it might dissolve. No, you must speak it out loud, share it with a friend, give it wings, and let it fly. It’s who you are. It’s why you are here.
Sometimes it feels like I swim against the current. I haven’t always kept my eye on the goal. When that happens, I lose my footing, start drifting away from the shore, and lose sight of the prize.
My vision is not your vision. We each have our own. One person’s success is not our success because it was not our vision.
Identify – Identifying your vision is the most important element of achieving your dream.
You wouldn’t stand in front of three different doors and never open any of them because you can’t make a decision of which one to open first.
You wouldn’t stand there for hours unable to decide for fear of opening the wrong one, or fear of the unknown, or fear of making a mistake. Nor would you stand there trying to decide which door some other person would open first. Maybe you are afraid to open the blue one because you are afraid it won’t be what you hoped it would be. You couldn’t open them all at once, either. You must step forward and make a decision.
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star. ~ W. Clement Stone
Aim High – In other words, don’t limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable because you may disconnect yourself from what you truly want. Don’t compromise.
Don’t become frustrated by comparing your choices or visions to someone else’s. Stand on your own two feet. Do your research, have confidence in your plan and follow the choices best suited to your needs. Without having a clear vision of what you want, you’ll always find yourself lost and confused. Like a ship with no rudder.
As a new writer, I found myself faced with an enormous amount of choices. Find an agent, submit to a publishing company and take my chances, go to a ‘vanity’ press and pay to have my book published. Another option was a small press where I would sign a contract, have limited control, and be subject to their editing process and choice of book covers. It seemed a mountain to climb. How would I ever make a decision? What if I made the wrong one? I am on the other side of that problem now. I learned from trial and error. I learned what worked for me, not someone else. The learning process required I make a mistake or two along the way. Guess what? I survived.
The book was published and one won second place in a national contest.
The moral here is—step out and take a chance. I would never have achieved that award if I’d never opened the door. Keep your eye on the original vision. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. There are many people who want to give you advice, who believe their way is the only way. I say, do your research. Do what is best for you and your vision.
Working hard is definitely a solution to many problems, and action must be taken to achieve the dream, but don’t spend too much time going in the wrong direction. If it doesn’t feel right maybe try the ‘other’ door before you waste too much time.
So—how do you develop a clear vision about what you want? This may sound odd at first, but it’s part of the process. Spend some quality time with yourself. Instead of latching onto the first “sounds good” that comes to mind, take the time to figure out what you really want out of life. Where do you want to go with this vision?
Some people are able to picture their vision best spending quiet time alone at the beach or while taking a walk in nature. Others use the energy of busy streets and lots of people to tap into a deeper calling within themselves–they let the vibration of the city awaken their inner self in the middle of the hustle bustle. Others write their thoughts down in a journal or an online note-taking application, let it simmer for a while and create a vision statement for themselves.
As an example only, Rev. Michael Beckwith leads the Agape Church in Los Angeles where hundreds and hundreds of people attend the services. With the addition of those who watch the live stream online, he has the attention of thousands of people every week. This congregation wasn’t handed to him–he had a vision of what he wanted and kept the vision in mind, consistently rejecting the actions and decisions that might lead him away from the vision.
He also took advantage of opportunities presented to him, including being in a little movie called “The Secret.” It led to an appearance on Oprah and soon the number of people wanting to attend his Sunday services grew to overflowing.
That, my friend is the definition of vision. As Dolly says, “Figure out who you want to be, then do it on purpose.”
To learn more, find Patty’s book “Success Your Way” on Amazon.