I read a quote the other day which was very descriptive and made me think about the importance of having a dream and following it. Langston Hughes, American poet, writer and social activist said, ‘ Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.’
Dreams take many different forms. A dream may be focussed on creativity, exploration, family, career, buying your own home or some other area of life. A dream with a creative focus could be to become an artist, sculptor, potter, writer, poet, musician or singer. The dream may to develop your talent as a satisfying hobby or to make your living from it.
Perhaps your dream is to travel and explore. Your desire could be to travel the world, seeing as many different places and cultures as possible. On the other hand you may concentrate your exploration on your own country or state and plan to spend lots of time in each place, getting to know it well. Some people decide to live in different places to get an in depth experience.
A dream may be to have a family and spend lots of time with your children. An older friend of mine said she made a career of being a mother to her four children. She centred her effort on nurturing her children and providing them with a secure childhood. My friend was there for her family and made sure they lived in a welcoming home. She enjoyed family celebrations and created handmade presents for her children and later for her grandchildren. This gave her much satisfaction and happiness.
You may dream of moving to the country or seaside to provide a relaxed healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family. Perhaps you dream of moving from an isolated location to the city to give your family more opportunities for education and employment.
For some their dream centres on a career. They may study and work hard in a particular field to rise through the ranks. They could be involved in research or innovation within a field for which they have a passion. Others decide they want a new career and work toward moving into a different type of work. Some people want to start and build their own business so self employment is their dream.
Many people dream of buying a home and renovating or decorating it in their own style. Other people may not want to be tied down by a house and would prefer to travel or be free to move around as their career progresses. A person’s values and the things that are important to him or her will influence what they dream of. The important thing is the dream you are chasing is your own dream, not that of someone else.
To achieve your dream you need to know what you want. You need to have goals and plans for achieving those goals. Colin Powell, American statesman and general, said, ‘A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.’ How can you work towards making your dream a reality?
Start by defining your dream. Write down what you want. Read, search the internet, talk to others doing whatever it is you want to do and go to information sessions You may decide to modify your dream after gathering more information or you may come to the realisation this isn’t your dream after all. Perhaps you have a different dream now. If you still want to follow your dream, make a plan and set goals with a realistic time frame. Be prepared to take small steps toward achieving your dream. Having a dream and taking action to make it a reality motivates you and makes you a more interesting person. Billy Wilder expressed the motivation a dream provides when he said,’You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.’
Review your progress from time to time and think about whether you still want that dream. If it is what you want, keep working towards achieving it. Enjoy the journey; don’t delay feeling happy until you achieve your dream. One day you will find you are living the dream. You will probably then find yourself looking for a new dream, even if it is a small one or an extension of the dream you are living. Malcolm Forbes, publisher, felt having dreams was important when he said, ‘When you cease to dream you cease to live.’