No one accomplishes anything in life without goals. We hear this every day on talk shows and read it in newspapers and online. This is because it is true. Unless we establish reachable goals and stick to them, we are subject not only to what life throws at us, but to our own short-sightedness and bad habits. Goals are proactive. Goals are concrete, unlike wishy-washy dreams and ‘what-ifs’.
Of course, writers live with ‘what-if’. That’s how we spin ideas into words on a page. I’ve never heard a writer say “I just thought of some great goals to write about!” For that matter, I’ve never heard a business person explain that “I started this business to sell my wonderful action plan.” Goals tells how we’re going to achieve something. But dreams remind us of why we should put in all that hard work.
I call them dreams. Others refer to their vision, or their aspiration. Under whatever name, they are unique as our DNA and just as necessary to our existence. Show me someone without a dream and I’ll show you someone living in a form of poverty. Dreams give us something to hope for. Who wants to live without hope? I don’t, because that is called despair.
“Ha,” you mutter. “Dreams are fine for creative people. But I’m just a banker.” Or “a beautician.” Or any other occupation. If you think you’re out of dreams, as soon as you finish reading this, go find a copy of the book ‘Wishcraft’, by Barbara Sher. Seriously. Get to a bookstore, library or open a tab to search for it online. I’m sure it’s at B&N.com or Borders.com. Beg, borrow or buy it for yourself.
One of Sher’s exercises is to write down your ideal day. Not a day in the life you have right now, but a day in the life you (probably secretly) have always wished for, be it as a movie star or a cabinet maker or a stay at home mom. What we crave defines not only our wants, but our needs. And when we know what we need, we can figure out the smaller, reachable goals to get it.
My own ideal day includes a large old house (and the staff to clean it!), writing in a garden and a glamorous red carpet event in the evening. At this point, the day as a whole is achievable only on the holodeck of the USS Enterprise, but many elements are do-able by themselves. Think I’ve gone off the deep end? Maybe, but I used to dream of being a published author, too.
So dream on! Dream big! I told you a little of my wildest dreams…what are yours?