Science tells us that failing's a good thing. Your mother told you it was okay to fail and start again. Sports stars are filled with failure to succeed stories to help pump you up. Still feels lousy.

If your big dreams are honest and you can feel them deep in your bones, then failure is not an option.

However, if your big dreams are merely ones to get roses thrown at your feet, to please someone else or get a throne of gold and lots of money, you may need to re-calibrate.

In our lives, there are usually two, maybe three big dreams per person that are the fuel to move our engines to success. Here is a way to know.

Go back and think about what you loved to do when you were six or eight or eleven. Were you the creative type, mixing water color paints and splashing them on the walls of your room? Or the athletic one who took that football and tried hard not to break the window in the family room as you threw it to an invisible receiver for a touchdown? Or was science your passion as you concocted magical new formulas to save mankind and used the family dog as your research project?

It's when we forget about our own hopes and dreams and end up going to school (or dropping out of school) to please someone else that the sabotage starts.

Yes, we create self-sabotage.

To get to the core of your real purpose, your real work you need to do some peeling back of all the "ought to" and "should" sentences you heard on the path to your promised life.

The Remembering Exercise: Get out a pad of paper and a pen. Go back, remember, and write. What made you smile as a kid, what could you do for hours and be in the flow, how did you express yourself at home and at school and with friends. Notice what lit your fire.

Watch What You Say: When you're being negative, stop. Then ask why what you're doing is making you feel so disappointed, disgusted, disagreeable. If you say the same things over and over you're in the world of patterned responses. This means you're unhappy because what you're doing is not your dream.

Use Your Sense(s): Take an hour and plan your perfect goal, your perfect life scenario. Go ahead, you are the writer, director, and actor in this play. Then, in a room away from the maddening crowds, act it out. Use all your senses. You've got to feel it, hear it, see it, even taste it, and yes, even smell it. This should take you anywhere from two minutes to ten minutes. Then get up and get going. Don't talk about it. Just let it sit, like a seed that needs sunshine and rain and time.

Find Support: Find people with interests that mirror yours. Join a club, a theater group, a choral group, a running group. Get to where there are those who have the same passions. Listen first and then talk about your dreams. This is the way to keep what you want front and center.

Celebrate: The good times are easy. Also, celebrate the tough times. Each step toward your goal matters. See failure as "feedback from the universe." There's lots to learn so pay attention.

Change Course: Goals and success are circuitous. No such thing as a straight line through a fulfilling life. Maybe what's in your life blueprint needs some adjustment. Go in other directions to find the right road for you. Hint: it is, as poet Robert Frost suggests...often the road less traveled.

Published on: Jan 10, 2017
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