“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jane Rochelle, of Teeny Tiny Pieces … Along the Path to Wholeness. Jane has written a lovely follow-up article to my last post, My Challenge To You: Get The Ball Rolling.
Have you ever thought about what you’d like to be doing a year from now? How about 5 years, or 10? Maybe these questions have crossed your mind, but you haven’t taken the time to answer them.
Maybe you’ve dreamed big dreams, and are waiting for “someday” to come along so that you can act on them.
Hopefully, you’ve accepted Barrie’s challenge to get the ball rolling, and you’ve taken the first action toward your dream.
The Thoreau quote above presents itself to me from time to time … usually when I need to be reminded that I’m free to dream my dreams, without anyone’s permission. It’s a gentle nudge to keep my dreams alive, and keep working toward making them come solidly true.
Sometimes the craft of dream-building can be hard work. Always, it requires self-care … listening to your inner voice.
Getting from where we are today, to the castle in the air sometimes feels like an impossibility. Taking that first action can be daunting. So can the second and third action.
Even when we acknowledge and believe in our dreams, even when we have a strong desire to make them come true, there are some powerful obstacles that can stand in our way:
The need for approval
Waiting for the approval of others can drain the life right out of your dreams. People who’ve lived with suppressed dreams are not likely to be supportive. Your dreams are your dreams. Own them, and be courageous-enough to make them come true.
Fear of failure
There are many theories on announcing your intentions. Some say it’s a great way to fail. Others say it’s the only way to get where you want to be. In the end, the scary thing about stating your intentions is that you might, indeed, fail. If you fail, you will have learned and will know how to do it better next time. If you succeed, you will have learned and you will know how to make future endeavors all the more sweet.
Fear of judgment
If there’s someone in your life who loves to say “I told you so,” consider asking them not to say that to you any more. Suppressing your dreams because you fear the judgment of others can leave you paralyzed.
The getting there
There are important factors to consider when you’re building a dream … matters of finance, geography, family, and training, to name a few. These are valid, and need to be addressed. Address them.
There are times when it’s financially responsible to wait six months to leave your job so that you’ll be vested. Maybe it will take a year to build the following you need in order to introduce that new product-line. In the meantime, do everything that you can to build that foundation. Work long hours if you can, take courses that will strengthen your skills, build a network of people who will support you as you work toward, and realize your dreams.
Remember that what we create seldom winds up looking as we first envisioned. Be flexible and embrace the process of change as you create the foundation that’s just right for your dreams. When you get there, it may look very different, and so much better than you thought possible. Your goals, your vision, and you, as a person, are likely to go through significant changes.
When we begin to step toward our dreams, we might pick the part that seems easiest to access, the least expensive, or the most fun. Consider, instead, working on several aspects of the foundation at the same time. Don’t think of this as a backup plan, but rather a solid foundation.
A beach house isn’t built on just one pillar. It has many pillars, supporting the corners and the structure of the building. Building a dream rich with possibilities provides strong support for the life you’re creating. Many of the successful people I’ve encountered have multiple streams of income, so that when one is in a lull or is being revamped, the others remain strong and continue to grow.
Some people are able to just hop out of bed one morning and make a life-change. Others need time to set things in place.
- Mindmapping is a great way to organize the complexities of dream-building. When you’re not sure where to begin with the foundation, try making a mind-map. Use free-flowing thoughts and draw your map relatively quickly. As your foundation is sured, you’ll be able to update with new mind maps, incorporating new ideas.
- The 25 year plan … write down what you’d like your life to look like in 25 years. Include as many details as you can about your family, your passions, geography, and finances. Next write down what your life will need to look like in 10 years in order for your 25 year plan to be a reality. Do the same with 10 years, 5 years, and 1 year. Now … what will you do today in order to be where you need to be in one year? Read Leo Babauta’s post on completing your most important tasks each day. Remember that there are no guarantees past this moment. What will you create today?
- Seek like-minded people for ideas, encouragement, and support. You’ll likely find abundance that will propel you into dream-building mode with an intensity you hadn’t expected. Scan friends of friends on Facebook and friends of fellow-tweeps on Twitter for interesting people who are doing what you want to do (If you aren’t on Twitter, go ahead and sign-up … shall I wait?)
- Remember that today, this moment is all that you have. A daily reality check can remind you to work with what you’ve got, rather than what you wish you had. I choose not to wait until my reality changes in order to make my dreams come true. The link I chose to share with you here is unexpectedly appropriate. Check in with your reality each day.
Whether it feels best to take teeny tiny steps, or one huge leap into your dream life, begin today making choices that will get you there. My guess is that once you begin the journey, your dreams and your life will unfold in unexpected and miraculous ways.
Jane Rochelle is a writer, artist, mother, educator, and Section Editor for The Daily Brainstorm. On her blog, Teeny Tiny Pieces … Along the Path to Wholeness, she enjoys sharing her ongoing journey toward vibrant health and well-being.
Please download a copy of my FREE guide, The Bold Living Guide: 7 Key Ingredients for a Meaningful Life, and receive regular email updates to Live Bold and Bloom.
If you would like support on your journey toward making your dreams come true, I would love to be your coach. You can read more on my coaching page.