My favorite quote is from Walt Disney, "If you can dream it, you can do it." Disney also added, "Remember, it all began with a mouse and a dream." When you bring energy and passion to your life--personal and professional--you are on your way to making your own dreams come true.
Think of people who started with just their own dreams. Despite challenges, they succeeded...and helped change the world. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey are famous and over used examples. But there are many others:
- If you've watched ABC's "Shark Tank," you may remember Barbara Corcoran. She earned straight Ds in high school and college, and plowed through 20 jobs before she was 23. Nevertheless, she got a modest $1,000 business loan to launch The Corcoran Group. It's now a multi-million dollar company.
- Laura Dekker, a 16 year-old girl from the Netherlands, sailed around the world--solo--in a year. Some of us can't plan a weekend getaway, yet Dekker was determined to become the youngest person to make the journey and set a world record (call me next time you need a crew my family is ready to make the trip).
- Aaron Dworkin was born to a Irish-Catholic mother and African-American father. A white, Jewish couple adopted him when he was just two weeks old. At age five, he began playing the violin at the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City. His dream? Reach out to minority music students. Dworkin went on to found the Sphinx Organization, which provides classical music education and competition for 35,000 black and Latino students every year. He has received the prestigious "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
What takes your dream from an idea to reality? How can you implement your plan? Here are six tips to get you started:
- What does your dream look like? Take time to think about every specific detail of your dream: How will your day go? Where will you live? What will you wear to work? How many hours will you work? Who will you work with? Write everything down; you will want to refer to your list again and again.
- Take fear out of the equation. Nothing holds us back like fear: not enough money, letting others down, wasting time, regrets, feeling foolish. All doubts must be pushed aside. Focus only on your goal and how to achieve it.
- Make room for success, both mentally and literally. Clear out all thoughts that clutter your mind and take up time. Clean out your living and work spaces to allow for what comes next. Arrange your life to hold your dream; you will be ready when it arrives.
- Work hard and take risks. Dreams don't happen without serious effort on your part. You must show up and work every day; you must also be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Learn to embrace a bit of uncertainty--it can be thrilling!
- Network, network, network. Talk to people; the power of connection can help your dream move forward quickly. Join groups and organizations that are interesting and useful. Volunteer. You never know where you will meet people who can assist you.
- Take care of yourself. Your dream will be useless if you can't enjoy it. Spend time alone. Find time for family and friends. Eat properly and get exercise. Take breaks and enjoy the life you have now.
Does dreaming big really work? By now you know that it does! Big or small, start making yours happen...today!
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