Making dreams a reality often feels far away--you want something, but how do you make it happen? I've learned, both in realizing my own dreams and being a conduit for others realizing theirs, that there is, in fact, a recipe. I've distilled what continues to prove itself over and over, and what can help you realize any dream on your horizon.
1. Vision. We need a vision to make things happen. What we can't see we can't create. It's almost like we need to pretend to see before we really can see, and without the pretending we won't get to the real thing.
2. Courage. We need tons of courage to make our dreams come true. Because most of the time the journey toward our dreams will really suck! Sorry for being so blunt, but the road to freedom was never supposed to be easy. While following the path we will be asked to take leaps of courage without knowing if we will land safely. To let go of the things that hold us back, without knowing if something or someone will replace that emptiness. There are no guarantees, life is not safe! But in the end, courage always pays off because it expands our horizons and makes us into better human beings.
3. Stamina. In order to realize our dreams, we need to be very committed, and know that our journey will last a lot longer than we could have imagined. And it will take much more energy than we would like it to take. And for this we need staying power.
4. Action. Talk is cheap! The vast majority of people will wait forever for their lives to start and their dreams to come true. And there will be that eternal desire for someone to save us. Pardon again my bluntness, but there won't be a knight in shining armor, sorry! We have to become the knight and save ourselves. Oh, and just to clarify. I'm absolutely convinced that there is a knight for me out there, but I don't want him to save me, and I certainly have let go of the desire of wanting to save him. We have to be the change we wish to see in the world.
5. Integrity. If we pursue our dreams, but lose our soul, the dreams will eventually turn into nightmares. There is no dream worth realizing if we can't keep our integrity. I've learned this the hard way. Every time I've sold out--to please someone, to prove myself, or just because I didn't have time to listen to the signals my body was communicating to me--I've paid a high price. I can't do that anymore. And neither should you. You are much too valuable for that.
6. Hope/faith. When I started working with my coach, I had no capability of sustaining longer moments of hope or faith. It was like a muscle that had atrophied or maybe never was there to start with. After five years of coaching, I finally felt stable enough to know that my legs wouldn't give in under me, and that I had created enough of a foundation to sustain my hope and my faith. My spiritual journey has also been hugely important in providing me with the knowledge that my dreams aren't products of a megalomanic mind, but rather a part of something that I play a small but important role in. Sometimes the most important thing to do is to surrender, allowing things to unfold, which takes a huge amount of faith as well.
7. Joy. There is no point of pursuing our dreams if we aren't having fun. It can't be fun all the time--weathering a storm is not fun. And neither is the accompanying darkness. But yet there is a light somewhere down the road, and that is what we need to aim for, and that will sustain us. Being born in Ingmar Bergman country, being a Capricorn, I'm not "light." I've lightened up a lot during these years, however, and now I've committed myself to stop striving so much for my entire life. My new commitment is to make joy a centerpiece of my life. I invite you to do the same.
Join Ladies Who Launch on Sept. 6th for our BYOB - Be Your Own Boss event! Guest speakers include best selling author - Kathy Freston, founder of Ning social network - Gina Bianchini, and several other inspiring entreprenuers and dreamers!