I walk into a beautiful home, and I see an elegantly appointed kitchen, a fun family room with a comfy sectional, bookcases, video games and a TV. The house has some really nice bathrooms, and spacious bedrooms. The light inside is incredible. It feels open and inviting – like something fun is about to happen. I see plants and paintings. There are mementos from travels, and pictures with smiles. But something seems to be missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it, and then it hits me. This house has everything except one thing — maybe the biggest thing. I wonder where are the dreams? I don’t see evidence of them in this well-lived house. Where do the big dreams go to hang out? Where is their room?
What if that house wasn’t a house at all? What if that house was you? You have made room in your life for all of the essentials, yet you left out the time and space for your dreams. Remember when you were a kid, and you could spend the entire afternoon building a SWAT obstacle course in your backyard?
Okay, maybe that was me, and you built something else, but I built obstacle courses, because that was a cool thing to do. It had the long jump over the rocks, the tunnel out of chairs and a blanket, then there was the “high jump” over the foot stool, and the “tight rope” walk on the top of the fence, and then the dash to the finish line. I would play “SWAT Training” till it was dark, and I never, ever once thought it was a waste of time. So how come when I was a “grown up” I would say things like, “I don’t have time for that,” or “I have more important things to do.” When I would tell myself those things, I felt important, yet at the same time, I felt that I was missing out on something important if that makes sense? Did that ever happen to you?
I use this metaphor of the house, because a house is a tangible thing, and it is where you live. Your dreams and aspirations, however, are not tangible. They live in your imagination, and while they give you an emotional experience, your dreams and aspirations are not real – until you make them real by taking the actions necessary to make them so.
I know that sequence really well – dream to action to reality – and it is obvious to most of us.Yet most of us get stuck in the dream part, and are unable to move on from that place. It’s like quicksand in a way . So I got to thinking about why. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that our busy schedules are, in part, a major contributor to the “stuckness” that we can feel. Outwardly, it seems like we have a completely happy life, but inwardly, we know something is missing. So…what’s missing in your life? And what are you doing about it?
For me, it was the element of creation – taking an idea and making it real. If you discover that you are missing the actions to make your dreams and goals come true, here are some tips to getting your dreams back in play.
Tip 1: Schedule it. Find the time in your schedule and put it on the calendar. Treat it like an appointment. If you don’t know what to “do” to start making your dreams happen, or you don’t have any dreams, this is what you do: You block out 15 minutes to an hour. Fifteen minutes is a good place to start if you are unsure. Hit the timer, and now answer these three jump off questions:
- Who is your favorite superhero, comic book character, book character, that you wanted to be when you were younger? Got it ? Good. now go to #2
- What were the feelings that came up for you when you thought about the hero or the character? Name them.
- What qualities did they have that you liked? Courage, fearlessness, integrity, strength….? Write them down.
Now imagine you were that character with those qualities. So what would you be doing with your time right now? If some of you say, “But I can’t go flying around saving the world!” My answer: ” It is a metaphor! What could you be doing that would give you the same feeling as flying around saving the world?” Now make a plan.
Tip 2: If you don’t have time in your schedule for this type of activity. Make time. You can find 15 mins to 30 minutes to start this type of activity that will help you find the meaning you want to have in your life.
How do you make time? There are several different methods
- Delegate tasks to others
- Combine like activities, and do them at the same time, for example, make all your phone calls during the same time slot
- Get rid of tasks like excessive TV watching, internet surfing, or anything that robs you of the energy to take action on making your dream real
- Do the one thing that would make your other tasks unnecessary or easier – From Gary Keller 🙂
Tip 3: Do that one thing
Bottom line is that if you create the space in your schedule to dream — to imagine what if… and then take that one step. Each “one” step leads to the next. If you keep taking the steps, pretty soon, your dream or dreams become real! Then your “house” feels satisfied, fulfilled – complete! What a gift that is.
Until next time,
PS Another great tip is to use an App that can save you time and increase your productivity. Below is a link to get my list of the four apps that put my dreams back in play. These apps really helped me create some time so that I could focus on the important people and activities that helped make my dreams come true. Click below!