Monday, March 1, 2010

The Power of the Dream

When I was a kid, I had huge crazy dreams.

I wanted to be a teacher, astronaut, lawyer, Barbie, Nancy Drew, and a circus clown while living on a yacht near Greece. I wanted to be married with a brood of happy, healthy kids running around constantly. I wanted to be the first woman president. I wanted to learn to fly like Amelia Earhart. I wanted to be a movie star. I wanted to go to Harvard for undergrad and Yale for law school. Of course, I wanted to be rich too. And it was all possible.

Over the years, my dreams have changed.

I didn't go to Harvard or Yale, but I couldn't be happier I went to Lake Forest College. In fact, I believe I got a better education and know it was the best place for me. My political and legal dreams took me to Washington DC and successful career as a litigation legal assistant. It was there my lawyer dream changed. A few years later, I had a paid gig on a political campaign. My dream to be the first woman president no longer exists, although I haven't entirely given up the idea of running for public office someday.

Dreams are different than goals. Goals are things we are actually pursuing and have dates for completion. Dreams are more abstract. They may not ever be achieved, but are the "someday" things. At least for me that's how it works.I believe that dreams keep us alive or at least give us the will to keep going. Without dreams, I'm not really sure what we've got.

I have to tell you that there was a time when I didn't have dreams. Maybe it's actually more accurate to say that I didn't acknowledge my dreams. I had goals, but even those got put on hold. That was an awful time for me.

But I have dreams again and I've been thinking about them a lot lately. I've been thinking about how to turn them into reality. One of the things I know for sure is that in order for my dreams to come true, I have to talk about them. I have to put them out into the universe. And when I do that, based on past history, they come true with mind boggling speed.

I know what you're thinking . . . this sounds an awful lot like The Secret that Oprah was hyping a few years ago and it's impossible to just think a thought and poof! it turns into reality. I'll grant you that's true. But what got lost in all the hype around The Secret, was that it's not enough to just put a dream out to the universe. You still have to do the work to pursue your dream too.

So what are my dreams today? I'm so glad you asked.

I have a dream of being published. I want to be paid to write. More specifically, I want to write a book. I don't have a topic yet, but know it will come. Almost a year ago, I came close to being paid to write. It didn't work out, but I think that's because the Universe knew I wasn't really ready.

I dream about being happily married to the man who is perfect for me. I even know who he is. Not "who" he is in the sense that I'm making some announcement here. Believe me, I'm not. I know "who" he is in the sense that I know the type of man he is and the qualities he possesses.

I dream of being a mom. I don't necessarily see this as me personally giving birth to my very own biological children. Maybe I'm a step-mom. Maybe we adopt kids. Maybe I have foster kids. Maybe I'm a mentor to children or an aunt (no pressure, Dave). I don't know exactly how this turns itself into reality, but I'm open to options.

I dream about climbing Baldy this summer. Read this for the back story. It's a personal physical challenge thing. I've got some a lot of work to do, but when I whine about the work I gotta do, just remind me why I'm doing it.

I dream about helping people change their lives. One of the things that really gets me going is when I'm doing something that makes a difference. Like that night at Clearbrook. It's one of the reasons I love being a Mary Kay Consultant. I love helping women feel beautiful and fall in love with the woman they see in the mirror.

I dream of having enough money that I feel secure, that I have the choices having money brings, and can use my money for global good. Yes, that sounds vague, but in a blog read by millions daily (another dream), I don't feel comfortable quantifying that into actual dollars because it feels materialistic and I'm not.

I dream of having a garden that looks like this:

I dream of being able to pick up and travel anytime I want. More specifically, I dream about traveling to every continent, except Antarctica. I've got five to go. I dream of seeing the Pyramids, the Great Wall, Victoria Falls, the attic Anne Frank lived in, and the Eiffel Tower.

Those are just a few of my dreams. What do you dream of?

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