You've Accepted The Challenge. Now Make Your Dreams Come True

“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.

Blurred vision

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.

Tunnel vision

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.

Either way, here are a few tools that will help you lay the foundation for your dreams coming true.

  • 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 planwrite 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?)

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.

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  1. Leah McClellan says:

    Great stuff Jane! I’ve been building dreams in little pieces sometimes and with enormous chunks at other times. A bunch of things popped out at me here: for me, I don’t usually care to announce intentions because–it’s hard to describe–but it’s as if I lose my focus or my energy when I talk about the theory. I just have to do it on my own and then talk about it, usually. Like-minded people–yup! Work on several aspects–yup on that too. Approval of others: that can be enormously encouraging, but we can’t wait for it, that’s for sure.

    I’ve always had trouble envisioning what I want my life, in general, to be like in 5 or 10 years much less 25, except with some more specific goals. Probably because I’m an adventurer and sometimes like to make sudden turns. I guess I can say I definitely want more adventures!

    Thanks for the inspiration ­čÖé
    .-= Leah McClellan┬┤s last blog ..Bullies ArenÔÇÖt Born That WayÔÇôTheyÔÇÖre Made =-.

    • Jane Rochelle says:

      Hi Leah,

      Thanks so much for the great comments! It has been my experience that the chunks of dreams, big and little, eventually find their way through a sort of sieve, created by the things we learn on the journey. The ones that turn out to be really important remain on the screen. The beauty is that it’s up to us to choose whether we want to put them to good use, to hold onto them for someday … or throw them back.

      I agree that announcing intentions can change our focus. There are times when making a statement feels right, and there do seem to be times when it’s best to work the work internally, and see what happens. Let your gut guide you on that.

      While some people are great at multi-tasking, others are not. I do think there are skills we can develop, and certainly finding people to help us along with that is incredibly valuable … as evidenced by this very conversation, on Barrie’s blog, as a result of bootcamp!

      So, think about what adventures you’d like to have, maybe they’ll evolve into something else, but think on them … and take a step in the direction. If it’s the wrong direction, you’ll know, and you’ll just change course. You have a huge and loving heart. Seek adventure, and share it with the rest of us!

      Thanks for stopping by, Leah. It’s good to hear from you!
      Take special good care ~
      .-= Jane Rochelle┬┤s last blog ..Visit My Guest Post on Live Bold and Bloom! =-.

  2. Thank you for this Jane. And thank you for invoking Thoreau. He was my hero when I was young along with a guy named Walt Whitman. Persistence. Following that “gentle nudge” that is is prompting us toward our true destiny no matter what challenges we meet. And don’t we meet some great new friends when this is our approach to our life?
    .-= Christopher Foster┬┤s last blog ..The 7 gifts of a loving universe =-.

  3. Jane Rochelle says:

    Hi Christopher,

    It’s great to meet you here. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I’m honored to have a spot on Bloom.

    Persistence, and at the same time, flexibility, seem to be a handsome pair when we’re following those nudges. We seek the ones that are true, using life experience and intuition to weed out those that were just accidental elbows on the overcrowded bus.

    We do meet great friends. I’m grateful that my circle continues to expand, and now you, Christopher are part of my circle. A new friend, and a new blog to browse when I’m ‘seeking happiness.’ Thank you.

    “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”

    Take good care,
    ~ Jane
    .-= Jane Rochelle┬┤s last blog ..Visit My Guest Post on Live Bold and Bloom! =-.

  4. Jane, this is a wonderful post! I love that you encourage those who take big leaps as well as those of us who take small steps.

    I have not yet tried mind mapping, but I like the idea and will certainly explore it.

    You offer great suggestions & wisdom
    .-= Aileen┬┤s last blog ..Kaizen VisionÔÇÖs New Look =-.

    • Jane Rochelle says:

      Hi Aileen,
      There are times for big leaps, and times for small steps … some of us are more prone to one than to the other. We do what feels best for us at the time.

      Mind mapping is something I’ve only worked with recently, and have been really happy with what I’ve discovered. I’ve found areas that are heavy with ideas/opportunities, and light areas that might need attention, or that I realize just aren’t high on my priority list. Sometimes a road on the map is just stuck out there all alone, giving me an opportunity to think about why it’s there. Is it a dead end, or a new road just waiting to branch out?

      Maybe you’ll have a chance to try it and let your readers know what you discover.

      Thanks so much for stopping by … I’m always happy to see you!
      Have a great week!
      ~ Jane
      .-= Jane Rochelle┬┤s last blog ..Visit My Guest Post on Live Bold and Bloom! =-.

  5. I love the 25-year plan. It provides the ability to project into the future, but with measurable milestones along the way.

    My plan: I want to be living on a beach, content with life, enjoying my grandchildren and with few regrets.


    • Jane Rochelle says:

      Alex, that sounds like a lovely 25 year plan! Live your life with intention, keeping the big picture in your mind’s eye, and enjoy each moment with your loved ones along the way.
      Take good care, Alex, and thanks for stopping by!
      ~ Jane
      .-= Jane Rochelle┬┤s last blog ..Visit My Guest Post on Live Bold and Bloom! =-.

  6. In 25 years I will be…25 years older ­čÖé At least my body will be, hopefully not my soul. My castle is in the air and I have begun to build the foundation. Step by step. And with help from encouraging posts like this. It was good you pointed out that it is possible to build on several parts of the foundation at the same time. If we get stuck in one place we can do something else for a while and then come back and usually find a solution. Thank you!
    .-= Tom S├Ârhannus┬┤s last blog ..Experience Richness In Life lesson 6 =-.

    • Jane Rochelle says:

      Absolutely, Tom. I find that when I juggle several projects, or goals, at the same time, I maintain the enthusiasm for each one by working on it for a while, and giving it a rest when I need to. Rest is not the same as abandonment.

      It’s good that you mention body and soul, as well. Working toward our dreams should also include self care, so that we enjoy the journey … and however our life turns out, we’ll be happy and healthy enough to hold gratitude for our many gifts.

      I’m glad to see you here … thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.
      Take good care,
      ~ Jane
      .-= Jane Rochelle┬┤s last blog ..Visit My Guest Post on Live Bold and Bloom! =-.

  7. Hi Jane,

    This is a great post!

    You are right about how the need for approval can be a powerful obstacle to achieving our dreams. As you say, our dreams are our own and it is up to us to make them come true. I remember an inspirational quote I read from Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth Series, “Your life is yours to live, rise up and live it.”

    The fear of failure can be a huge obstacle. But failure is actually a part and parcel of success. If you embrace it as such, then failure becomes a friend and teacher instead of a plague and enemy to avoid. It is merely alerting you to something that has gone wrong. All you have to do is to correct your mistakes until you succeed.

    Judgment and criticism can be devastating to our self-image and beliefs if we do not handle them properly. I have learned to focus on the solution and not the problem. If a judgment or criticism is constructive and can help me to achieve my goals, I welcome it. But if the judgment or criticism serves no purpose or has little merit, I pay no heed to it for it has little value.

    I am with you when you say that what we hope to create usually turns out differently. That is why adaptability is the key to any success. If we can be adaptable like water, we can face and manage any problems or challenges that stand in our way.

    Hmm you are right. To turn our dreams into a reality, we have to plan and mindmap. Most importantly, I like the point about seeking like-minded people to help you.

    Thanks for the wonderful article and the many helpful links!

  8. Jane Rochelle says:

    Hello Vizier,
    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. It’s great to hear the thoughts spoken from a different perspective. It sounds as if you’ve had much life experience, and have learned so much from your successes and failures. What a great example.

    I don’t see a ‘recent blog post’ from you, but will certainly check into the links you’ve provided. I’m hoping you have an outlet for your gentle wisdom and kind voice. It’s wonderful to connect with like-minded people, like you, who can teach others to focus on the positive, in order to turn the actions and reactions of others into stepping stones along your path.

    I love the image of our lives, flowing like water, over branches and leaves, around blouders, and gently down hills … sometimes crashing over waterfalls, which flow back into a deep gentle pool.

    Thanks for sharing your insight. Please let me know if you have a blog or site that I can visit!

    Take good care!
    .-= Jane Rochelle┬┤s last blog ..Wishcasting Wednesday- What Does the Soft Animal of Your Body Wish For =-.

    • Hi Jane,

      I must have forgotten to click the box to show my recent blog post in my last comment. The links I have included are from my website Han of Harmony where I blog about living life in harmony with the times and circumstances.

      I am still young and have a long way to go in life. But I do look forward to gaining more insights about life as I fail, make mistakes and succeed in the things I set out to do. Only with this experience can I hope to share my insights with others.

      I also enjoy the way you write too. From your reply and your post, you come across as a warm, insightful and helpful person. I will definitely leave a comment on your website soon.

      With warm regards,
      Irving aka The Vizier
      .-= The Vizier┬┤s last blog ..How a Great Friendship Ended in Tragedy =-.