Many of us have dreams of a different life, but far too few dares to begin the process of realizing them. In this article we will examine three elements that are central to the journey of transforming our dreams into reality. The word dreams, in this context, refers to the aspirations that we genuinely want to realize – as opposed to the kind of dreams we have while we are sleeping.
1. The Process Itself Is Meaningful, Regardless of the Outcome.
When you start to work towards realizing a dream, you strengthen your connection to internal qualities such as courage, self-respect, creativity, curiosity, new thoughts and inner freedom. These qualities may previously have been somewhat dormant, but now become active players not only in how you relate to the project at hand, but toward life in general. You meet everyday life with another level of engagement and higher energy levels. Because you are working towards a clear and authentic goal, you become better equipped to discern between what is important and unimportant. Getting in touch with these qualities can lead to many good experiences and outcomes, even if the work towards realizing the dream leads you to a completely different result than you had expected. Taking oneself seriously is an inherently meaningful process.
Life without realizing dreams becomes repetitive. When you begin the journey of bringing your dreams into reality, life becomes creative. If fear of potential consequences prevents you from realizing your dreams, you are left in an unsatisfying inner environment. When you challenge that fear and honor your inner calling, life in itself becomes meaningful, even if the process might sometimes give rise to challenging situations in the external aspects of your life.
There are some people who prefer an ordinary life, who are less aware of their dreams, but I believe this is becoming increasingly rarer. For example, there are a growing number of small companies run in un-traditional ways by people who are passionate about what they do.
2. Go With the Current, Not Against It.
Not following your dreams may be experienced as going against the current in life. Tasks become tedious and you can become drained of energy. When you pursue your dreams, you will notice things begin to run smoother and finds their natural pace. You will have more energy available. You will be living in a way in which you don’t sabotage yourself. Instead, all of your resources are engaged in deeply fulfilling ways.
Personally, I have published my own music and have taken several journeys abroad that have included workshops and training of long duration. These experiences gave me a sense of self-respect and of being in charge of my own life and direction. More importantly, they were necessary precursors to what I later chose as my profession. Many of us who want to realize our dreams don’t get properly started with the process because we want to find the perfect activity right away. It is much more important to take small steps in a direction that feels right for us in the moment and to trust that the path will become clearer as the process gains momentum.
Many of us also have a tendency to create goals that are too big, too soon, and therefore remain passive. The deeper reason why this happens is often that we unconsciously create a logical reason for not trying, and so we avoid the risk of experiencing a possible flop. However, these worst-case scenarios that we may carry like overstuffed baggage until we get properly started, rarely come to fruition. But even a flop does not need to become the end of the world. Part of the learning process is to sometimes fail, but not let it stop us. This is an integral part of learning and growth.
When I started realizing my dreams, I learned that anxiety and going against the current in life are ultimately connected. I experienced periods of significant anxiety, and I’ve realized it was there because I did not respect my own intuition and intelligence. I was seeking answers externally, rather than looking deeper into myself to find my own. Those external answers I found were rarely satisfactory, and yet I continued to doubt my own intuition and intelligence. I was largely disconnected from myself, and thus in a state of confusion. This confusion, disconnection, and self-doubt were at the root of my anxiety. It was only when I dared to start realizing my dreams that anxiety loosened its grip on me.
I also believe my anxiety was triggered because I was often pacified by repetitive, self-doubting thought patterns: “Should I do this, or not?” “Is it smart, will it go well?” “What will others think?” etc. When I became active with the process of realizing my dreams, my mind became calmer, and new, creative thoughts arose on their own accord. Where I had earlier lived in speculations around how life potentially could be, I now had concrete evidence and experience that a different life was possible.
What I wanted to pursue appeared increasingly more obvious to me, and the more I followed my dreams, the easier life became. The energy I had previously been used to hold myself back now became available to realize what I was passionate about. Having a lot of energy is a burden if we repress ourselves and don’t use the energy. Excess, unused energy then fuels neurotic patterns such as anxiety, like I experienced. In contrast, when we follow our passion and deeper purpose, our energy gets a clear direction and becomes a resource. Now we are going with the current in life, rather than against it.
3. Dare To Embody Your Passion.
The foundation for realizing dreams is that you internally recognize and honor what you are passionate about. The next step is to live and breathe this in the world. In turn, the world responds differently towards you. That which may appear as good luck or chance happens to those who follow their passion. Suddenly, you meet people who share your interests, and unexpected opportunities arise.
At workshops and during my journeys, I have often been very clear about why I was there and what I wanted to achieve. This would result in others actively connecting with me, and I had many interesting and meaningful interactions. This would not have happened if I had not been clear in my expression.
Look at your own life, and ask yourself: “What do I want to achieve? What kind of relationships and activities do I want to invest time and effort into?” Inquire into which values lie beyond these choices, wishes, and priorities. How can you become even clearer in expressing what you want and what you are passionate about so that the surrounding world can respond more strongly to this? By diving deeply into these questions and honoring your inner world, you’ve already taken the first step towards realizing your dreams.
This article was previously published in Norwegian – in Magasinet Visjon and on their website, and on the website of Local Health Integrative Clinic, Vancouver.
This post is also republished on Medium.
Improve your writing, expand your reach, and monetize your craft.
We welcome all experience levels.
Photo credit: Shutterstock