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Learning to Dream Again

You have probably been setting goals since you were a young child. It is natural for a child to dream about what they will be when they grow up – to imagine themselves as astronauts or ballerinas. A child is not born naturally fearful. They believe that all things are possible. So what happened? Why do we lack such belief as we age?

Our dreams are tempered many times by those around us. When we are little they smile indulgently, but as we get older they will oftentimes admonish us to be more “realistic”. Unfortunately, they use the idea of reality in the wrong way. As we grow we have unlimited potential. So the reality they speak of is their vision of your future. It is reality based on their experiences though none of those have happened to you yet. They are fearful of seeing you fail so they admonish you to dull down your dreams and live within their idea of possibilities.

As an adult you can tap back into those dreams that you have pushed aside or hidden. But now you have the added advantage of wisdom. You know that while you can learn from your past experiences and the experiences of those around you, it does mean that you will have a similar outcome.

Rather than pursue a goal or dream many people take what is at hand and try to form a happy life from their circumstances. They don’t strive toward something, only muddle through with what they are given. This can happen with your job, your relationships and even your health and happens before you even realize it if you aren’t paying attention.

Goal setting can be a tricky business. You also don’t want to set your sights too low. Otherwise you will spend your life underachieving and even if you reach every low goal you set, you will always wonder ‘what if?’ No one is going to give you everything you want just because you decided. You will have to work for it, sacrifice, and be willing to put in 100% no matter what obstacles stand in your way.

Writing down these goals is an important part of the process. Though many people set goals once a year, at New Year’s or on their birthdays, they usually shove them in a drawer and don’t even look at them until the next year but even they are way ahead of everyone else. All those who just take life as it comes and hope. Hope for what? That it won’t be horrific?

An abundant life takes active planning and participation and even if you’re the once a year kind of goal setter, then that’s better than nothing. In order to move forward as quickly as possible, it pays to revisit your goals on a weekly and monthly basis. Then at the end of the year you can be pleasantly shocked at how far you’ve come in such a short time rather than feeling depressed at having the same exact goals for the next year because you didn’t get anywhere.

One thing you must understand about setting goals. They are as rewarding as they are risky. There is the chance that you will fail. You must understand that and plan in your mind how you will react if your first step toward your goal doesn’t work out. Will you quit? Or will you push forward and believe in yourself?

dori@dorilocke.com'

Dori Locke

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