Friday, October 31, 2014

If I Could Be Anything...A Guide to Dreaming Big

A princess. A warrior. A flying trapeze artist.

The beauty of asking a child what they want to be is in their reply. When you're 5 years old it's perfectly acceptable to want to grow up to be a princess or a super hero. Why wouldn't that be okay?

Then life happens and we start to realize that some dreams aren't possible. Isn't that a horrible thing? To realize that you can't just decide to be a princess or Superman?

When I was younger, I went through stages (as all kids do). I asked my mom and she said in Kindergarten I wanted to be a "rock star". Um, all right then.  But apparently I also wanted to be a horse trainer. Now that's a good solid career for you.

But then something happened in Jr. High. I started reading more and suddenly the idea of creating my own world and characters sounded more appealing than any other profession. I actually could be a princess if I wanted to--because I would be living through my characters. My best friend and I started creating stories. I'm talking volumes of hand written notebooks filled with horrible spelling and messy letters, but they were our stories.

Into high school the dream lived on. Sure, I loved music, but there was always something about writing. An appeal nothing else could match. Well, I'll say "the rest is history" for now (that's for you, dear readers, because I'm already pushing the "attention span" limit).

Seeing as how today is Halloween, I wanted to take a different route. To think about dreams. I've come up with 6 ways for us not to lose that childlike wonder. Don't let rejection or life circumstances bring you down. Dream big.

6 Ways To Dream Big 

1. Suspend belief
The best way to dream big is to forget that things aren't possible. Now...take this with a grain of reality here. You may want to become the captain of an inter-space armada but, at this point, no one is going to make that one. (Shout out to my Star Trek nerd friends!)

2. Don't be too serious
Second rule of dreaming is to dream. Yes, the realist in you may want to drag down your hopes into the depths of what is possible, but allow your creative child to run free--for a time.

3. Take rejection well
Nothing shatters dreams better than a well timed rejection. But it doesn't have to end there! Figure out why you were rejected and use that to....(move ahead to #4)

4. Learn from your mistakes
Also hard, but I really think that rejection and messing up helps to shape your dream. It's like the clay on a wheel - you need hands to mold it or else it just stays a lump. Don't be the lump, be the hands.

5. Make good friends 
Can't say it enough - your friends will determine your success. Yeah, that's a bold statement, but I really believe that those around us will either encourage our dreams or smash them to bits. Don't get me wrong, a healthy dose of reality is good now and then, but you need friends who can dream with you.

6. Set goals
This is what separates the children from the adults. It's fine to dream big, but then you need to take it to the next step. Set realistic goals to accomplish your dream and then work hard toward those goals.

What about you? What do are you dreaming of?

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