Last updated on March 7th, 2023 at 10:55 pm
In three 8WomenDream posts, we outlined How to Set a Plan to Change Your Life to Live Your Dreams, Warning: Perfectionism Stalls Progress on Big Dreams, and The 1st Step to Dreaming Big Dreams–the first steps to launching your big dream.
But after reading them, you may still ask yourself: Where do I start? How do I know this dream is right for me? How do I know if this is my dream?
You know with certainty that what you are about to do brings you joy. If you think about The 5 Stages of Change, the beginning of your dream is your pre-contemplation stage–the time spent exploring what it is that you want.
Will your big dream really bring you joy?
I am not talking about the “If I make a lot of money at it, then money will make me happy” kind of nebulous, general joy. I am talking about the type of satisfaction that comes from loving something specific, so specific that you will be motivated to get up off the couch and do what you need to do to make it come true no matter what happens.
Joy is a great motivator when directed at something specific.
To move forward on your dream, it must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (it must have a starting and ending point). Without these parameters, you will float along, never really accomplishing anything toward your dream.
You must love your dream idea to the point where you will walk through fire to achieve it. You have to love to do your one thing so much that you won’t give up on it no matter what gets tossed your way.
You must know in your heart that you will stay with your quest.
For example, if you dream of being an influential blogger, you have to ask yourself what is the one thing you would love to write about repeatedly. You must be passionate about your chosen subject–maybe friends have been telling you to write about it, and you’ve ignored them. It’s often a sign that others see your passion when you don’t.
To be influential at blogging, you must be an expert at one thing. Being considered an expert requires you to do the same thing repeatedly until you are an expert. The expert you become must also evolve into an expert storyteller to write creatively about your one subject again and again.
Think of it as loving your dream so much that you must share it until the world is sick of it.
But before you run out and buy that domain name and do all the work involved in creating a top blog, you have to honestly ask yourself if you will post articles on the same subject at least three times a week for the next four (or more) years. Can you show up and write about the same topic for years on end until the world recognizes you as an influencer?
Can you do this thing you think you want until you feel you can’t do it one more day–and then do it one more day?
Best-selling author and social psychologist Malcolm Gladwell was one of the best middle-distance runners in Canada when he was a teenager. He often tells the story of the moment when he knew he would not go to the Olympics like most thought he would.
He went running with two friends who would ultimately go on to compete in the Olympics, and at the end of the grueling long-distance run, the two friends suggested that they continue running by going up this particular hill backward. They had already run 20 miles. Malcolm didn’t want to continue and, thus, chose to stop. The two friends went on to run up the hill without him, and they went on to compete in the Olympics.
Malcolm did not go to the Olympics but turned his attention to social psychology and writing. What he understood about his choice at the hill is that those two friends wanted the Olympics more than he did. Gladwell saw they were more motivated runners because they still wanted to run up that hill. He didn’t. To run in the Olympics was their singular dream, whereas Malcolm had other dreams he liked better that gave him more joy–like writing.
Really what we mean … when we say that someone is ‘naturally gifted’ is that they practice a lot, that they want to practice a lot, that they like to practice a lot.” ~Malcolm Gladwell
You must love your big dream enough to practice a lot and not give up. Just think what would have happened if Malcolm’s two friends decided that they loved running, then decided they loved bicycling, then decided they enjoyed swimming, and then chose to love mountain climbing. They may have been physically fit, but they would never have competed in the Olympics.
You have to find the ONE thing you love–the ONE thing you can’t stop talking about–the ONE thing that you can’t stop thinking about. Obsession is where your big dream is waiting for you.
If you aren’t sure about your one thing and don’t know what to do, you can download a free copy of my e-workbook, “Find Your Dream,” to help you get in touch with the one thing you love.
Catherine Hughes is the founder, content director and editor-at-large of 8WomenDream. She is passionate about helping women step out of their own way and strike out into a world waiting for their special talents. She’s a published author and a former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine has helped companies both large and small create engaging web content, social media narratives, and unique blogging platforms. She claims to be a redhead, but don’t hold that against her.
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