Be sure to download this week’s workbook pages to complete the Questions for Reflection and Action Points exercises. View
This week we will be discussing Part Two—Establishing Dreams and Goals.
One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life. Even better, we also have the ability to establish goals to live out those dreams. Think of it: We can look deep within our hearts and dream of a better situation for ourselves and our families, of a secure financial future and healthy emotional or physical states, and certainly dream of deeper spiritual lives. But what makes this even more powerful is that we have also been given the ability to take action and pursue those dreams. Not only can we pursue them but we possess the cognitive ability to actually lay out a plan and strategies—setting goals—to achieve those dreams. Powerful! This week we will discuss this in detail—how to dream dreams and establish goals to accomplish those dreams.
What are your dreams and goals? Now let me clarify here: This isn’t what you already have or what you have done; this is about what you want. Have you ever taken the time to truly reflect, to listen quietly to your heart, to see what dreams live within you? Your dreams are there, everyone has them. They may live right on the surface, or be buried deep from years of others telling you they were foolish, but they are there. Back when I met my friend, he put me to work by asking the hard questions that got me excited about my dreams and helped me translate that excitement into strategic action to pursue all that I wanted. Now I’m going to walk you through the same disciplines that will help unleash the power of the dreams inside each of you.
So how do we know what our dreams are? This is an interesting process and relates primarily to the art of listening. This is not listening to others; it is listening to yourself. If we listen to others, we hear their plans and dreams, and at times others will try to put their plans and dreams on us. If we listen to others, we can never be fulfilled. We will only chase elusive dreams that are not rooted deep within us. Instead, we must listen to our own hearts to hear the dreams born out of the passions and desires we each uniquely possess. Quiet yourself and listen. Just like when you are quiet enough to hear your own heart beating within your chest, your dreams have their own rhythm beating within you; all you have to do is get quiet enough to hear the beat.
Now let’s take a look at some practical steps/thoughts on listening to our hearts and connecting to our dreams:
Take time to be quiet. This is something we don’t do enough in this busy world. We rush, rush, rush and are constantly listening to noise all around us. We must not get faked out by just being busy. Instead we must constantly ask ourselves the question, “Busy doing what?” In other words, are the activities you are participating in moving you toward your goals? If not, then work to eliminate those things and replace some of that time with quiet. The human heart was meant to have times of quiet reflection, allowing us to peer deep within ourselves. It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams! Schedule some quiet “dream time” this week. No other people. No cell phone. No computer. Just you, a pad, a pen and your thoughts.
Think about what really thrills you. When you are quiet, think about those things that really get your blood moving. What would you love to do, either for fun or for a living? What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy? When you answer these questions you will feel terrific because you’re in the “dream zone.” It is only when we get to this point that we can truly realize and begin to experience what our dreams are!
Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don’t think of any as too outlandish or foolish—remember, you’re dreaming! Let your thoughts and pen fly as you take careful record.
Now look at your list and prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order you will actually try to attain them. Remember, we are always moving toward action, not just dreaming.
Why am I asking you to take part in this exercise? Because life is too short not to pursue your dreams. At the end of your life all you will be able to do is look backward. You can reflect with joy or regret. And we all know that joy from discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons. Those who dream, who set goals and act on them, are those who live lives of joy and have a sense of peace when they near the end of their lives. They will have finished well and possess a sense of pride and accomplishment, not only for themselves but also for their families. That feeling is priceless!
Remember: These are the dreams and goals born out of your heart and mind, goals unique to you, and they come from who you were created to be and gifted to become. Your specific goals are what you want to achieve because they will make your life joyful and bring fulfillment for both you and your family.
Until next week, let’s dream and then do something remarkable!