Identify Your Dream

Everyone deserves to live his or her dream. But not all of us are able to realize our dreams.

Why not?

There may be many different reasons. Perhaps we are too scared to admit our dreams, even to ourselves. We might be afraid of others mocking us, or trying but never achieving, falling flat on our faces. Or we could even be afraid of success. Sounds odd, but maybe we are comfortable in our current lives and living our dreams might mean huge upheaval. If we never try to achieve our dreams, we won't end up failing, embarrassed, or completely stressed out by our success. Everything can remain the same.

However, let's assume for now that you are ready to move toward your dream. Have you already clearly identified what you are seeking? This is the next step in our journey toward manifesting our dreams.

Your dream might be a job, a new home, a baby, a soulmate, a new body, an invention, a novel, winning a race, a degree, or a retirement plan. No matter what your dream might be, the next crucial step is to clearly visualize what you want. 

Keep this step positive. That is, don't get caught up in listing all the things you don't want. Instead, work on picturing your dream clearly in your mind's eye. Try to see all the specific details that are important to you.

For example, let's say your dream is to secure your first job. Visualize yourself sailing through your interview, confidently answering all the questions. See yourself shaking hands with your new boss when you are offered the desired position. Imagine setting up your new office or classroom or studio space, attending to your daily tasks, packing up your briefcase at the end of the workday. Feel the joy and pride in knowing you have secured this dream job.

Beyond just visualizing, you might add a few concrete steps to identifying your dream. You can use journaling, prayer, affirmations, drawing, painting, dance, collages, or any other creative outlet to clarify exactly what you seek. You might drop notes into a dream jar. And of course, you can use technology! Google is a great tool for discovering what is out there, but keep in mind that just because you can't find it on the Internet doesn't mean it doesn't exist! (Or if it truly doesn't exist, you can still create it!)

When your dream becomes clear, you might find that the universe responds to you. There might be subtle (or not so subtle) clues that tell you that you're on the right track. When I was in college, my dream was to dance with a professional modern dance company in New York City. I had a specific company in mind--a choreographer I had admired since my very first modern dance class. In one of those dream-come-true miracles, this choreographer came to the University of Maryland as a guest instructor for my final undergrad semester. Since we had this opportunity to get to know each other, I was eventually invited to join her company.

Life is a series of dreams. And you are never too old to pursue another dream. My 87-year-old mother is still improving her tennis game and making big plans for her 90th birthday bash. No matter what your current dream might be, keep chasing it down. It's never too late!