When was the last time you really thought about your dreams? Did the idea of them fill you with the same excitement, hope and lightness they did when you first discovered them?
How about goals? When was the last time you took real steps towards one of your goals?
Goals are simply dreams put into action. If you aren’t taking action or you don’t have any working goals, then your dreams aren’t big enough. But when I say big, I don’t necessarily mean the size or magnitude of your dream, although that certainly can be true.
What I mean is that your dream isn’t expansive enough- not specific enough. If you can’t taste your dream enough; if it doesn’t feel real or even possible, how can it provide any real motivation to take action towards it. You dream has to be big enough to be able to walk around in it, focus in on the smallest details and see things clearly. It’s hard to get excited about something when you can’t imagine all the details about it. It’s even harder to take enough actions steps to get yourself there because you don’t even know where “there” is.
Saying you want to lose weight isn’t specific enough. Imagining yourself sweating, tired and triumphant crossing the finish line of a 5k race on a beautiful spring day in your hometown is.
Do you remember Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man? He arrives in a small town and convinces the adults they need a marching band to keep their sons out of trouble. There’s one flaw in his plan- Harold doesn’t know a thing about music. Instead of giving the kids music lessons with hands-on practice (since he can’t play a single musical instrument), he advocates the use of the “think method,” and the kids spend all their time thinking about their instruments and the music they will play at the upcoming parade instead of practicing. In the end, Harold is exposed for the fraud he really is but when the marching band appears in the town square, miraculously, the think method worked and they play like professional musicians.
Harold Hill was half right. Obviously, action is always required in some form or another to reach your goals. AND, thinking about your dreams and making them seem as real as possible is just as important to the process. Can you imagine the touch of the keys under your fingers as you master Beethoven on the piano? Can you experience the surge of confidence when you convince your first client to hire you and your new company? Can you smell the pine trees as you wake up in your tent at dawn in Maine on your last day of walking the Appalachian Trail? If the answer is no, then it’s time to get to know your dreams a lot better.
Spend just a few minutes a day thinking that specifically about your dreams. If you can put yourself in your dream and truly feel it, you’ll keep your enthusiasm, the dream will stay a priority and you’ll find that taking action that moves you closer doesn’t require nearly as much effort as it has in the past. Not to mention, it just plain feels good to think about achieving your dreams.
Are your dreams big enough? If not, start expanding today.