I have always been a dreamer.
Since as long as I could remember, I would have these wild fantasies and visions of doing and achieving great things in my life. But I’m not alone in that aspect. There are plenty of dreamers out there. And while society might work to dismiss some of us as pure noise, there are enormous benefits to dreaming often and dreaming big.
If you’re a dreamer like me, then we must be kindred spirits. Dreaming involves holding tight to a vision of a better life, one of success and abundance. While getting there might be difficult, having to deal with setbacks and failures along the way, it’s surely well worth it. Anyone who’s achieved a big goal knows just how true that statement is.
Yet, although some of us might like to dream, we all dream differently. We don’t always hold tight to those dreams, knowing that we can and will do anything in our power to make them a reality.
The truth of the matter is that many of us give up on our dreams.
We throw in that proverbial towel when the going gets tough. We give up rather than persist through the torment and pain of another failure.
But being a starry-eyed dreamer isn’t about giving up. Dreaming often and dreaming big actually provides us with a platform for growth and success.
It all starts with the dream.
And, while there are plenty of benefits to living a “normal” life — one of complacency and compliance executed with a subdued spirit — there’s nothing quite like being a dreamer, and having wild visions of a life that you know you’re destined to live, even if you’re not living it today, in this very moment.
How to Dream Big
Children dream big. It’s part of their genetic fiber — their overall make-up, if you will. They never think small because they aren’t hindered by the standard limitations that hold adults back. If you ask a child what he wants for Christmas, he might say, “I want two swimming pools! One in the backyard, and one in the front.”
While it’s easy to dismiss a child’s dreams as being silly or unrealistic, who’s to say that’s so? Who’s to say any of our dreams are silly or unrealistic? Just because something goes against the grain, or runs in the opposite direction of societal norms, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
We can all use a bit of childlike amusement in ourselves. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
And if your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough.
The only thing holding you back from achieving them, is yourself. We can be our own worst enemies in so many instances, especially when we don’t believe wholeheartedly in ourselves.
#1 — Thoughts are things, what you think, you become
Dreamers are a select crowd. They have a unique way of envisioning things deeply enough, almost able to see them right before their very eyes. And that holds some serious power and sway. Why? Because thoughts are things. What we think, we become.
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the expression before, but here’s why it’s so powerful. Any person in history that’s achieved wild results has been able to deeply envision their dreams before they became a reality. Every single person who’s gone on to do something notable can attest to this. The dream precedes the reality, always.
When you go to check out cars, why do you think the test drive is such a powerful selling feature? Salespersons know that once they get you behind the wheel, the deal is almost set and done. The act of physically driving a car and feeling what it feels like to be behind the wheel is one way to bring a dream into reality. And they know that.
Similarly, this is also why an open house or real estate tour is such a vital tool. Since all people aren’t able to envision the dream of living in a particular home, seeing it firsthand helps to do that. And, when the home is ideally furnished to your standards, you’re far more likely to picture yourself living there, and thus potentially see yourself buying that house.
Thoughts are things.
No words have been truer. If you’re a dreamer, dream big and see those dreams as clearly and vividly as the light of day. Write them out in great detail Don’t allow other people to discourage you just because your dreams are big. They should be big enough to scare you half to death. That’s when you know you’ve got hold of something worthwhile.
#2 — Your focus is altered and you notice different things
Take two people who go to the same party. One person hones in on a couple arguing in the corner, bickering endlessly. He says that the party was awful because all he saw were people arguing. Another person goes to the same party, dances, laughs, meets great new people he would call friends, and goes home, eventually telling everyone he had one of the best nights of his life.
So what separates these two people?
Focus. Focus is everything.
What you focus on, you get more of. No matter what it is we’re talking about in life, if you focus on it, you’ll get more of it. When professional race car drivers are taught about steering out of trouble, they’re taught vehemently about focus and where their eyes and head need to be looking. Because that’s where your car will be going.
If you spin out of control and you focus on the wall, worried, praying, and fearing you might hit, you’ll hit it. Why? You focused on it.
Similarly, people who dream big are focused on those dreams. They live and breathe those dreams. They have wild-eyed fantasies about those dreams coming to fruition. And, if they don’t give up, those dreams do come true because they focused on them. They steered towards them, even in the difficult times when it seemed like they were just going to crash and burn.
Of course, nothing worthwhile will ever come easy, but focus is a key reason why some big dreamers are able to achieve outlandish results. Even with all the naysayers and negativity that surrounds them, they push through. But it’s those lofty dreams that help them to move past the potential fear of failure and stumbling blocks along the way.
Don’t be afraid to dream big, because it will alter your focus. It will help to adjust your way of thinking to push you forward rather than hold you back. Ignore the naysayers. There will always be naysayers. Dream big and don’t be afraid to chase those dreams.
#3 — Suddenly, your life moves in the right direction
The subconscious mind is incredibly powerful. More so than even we’ve uncovered with modern science. In fact, we’ve only really begun to scratch the surface of our understanding of things such as the brain, the mind, and their role in human consciousness. But, without delving into a discussion about the enormity of things beyond our understanding, one things is clear: the mind is incredibly powerful.
When you dream, you hold fast to ideas that live in your conscious mind, but also find their way into your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind aids in processing up to 60,000 thoughts per day, which is an enormous number when you stop to think about it. Those thoughts control your every moment and movement in life.
What you think fosters what you feel, and what you feel fosters how you behave, and how you behave fosters your life’s experiences, and your life’s experiences foster your values and your beliefs. So, those thoughts (much of which are occurring on the subconscious layer of your mind) have an enormous impact on your life.
If you want to control the direction of just where you’re headed, you have to control your thoughts. When you dream big, your thoughts are steeped in abundance rather than lack. Even if, in reality, you’re living in a state of absolute lack, you’re broke, or you’ve failed over and over again, as long as you can dream big, the direction of your life, and its resultant outcome, will eventually change.
#4 — You begin to realize that self-improvement is a necessity, not an option
Some dreamers know that in order to realize their dreams, they need to improve their lives. Self-improvement becomes more of a necessity and less of an option. Dreamers realize that they can’t fulfill their dreams by doing the same things over and over again while expecting different results. They need to improve and move forward, rather than continue on the same path and be left behind.
But when you don’t dream, and you don’t envision a better life for yourself, one of abundance, you continue to live in a state of lack, immersed in bad habits and a status quo that seemingly doesn’t change. In turn, when you dream, you realize the endless possibilities that might exist if you were to fulfill those dreams, which drives change.
Without changing, there’s no way to fulfill our dreams. Dreamers know that as a fact. But it takes a certain type of dreamer — one that can realize his or her full potential — to turn dreams into a reality. It isn’t brain surgery, but it does involve the consistent effort of following through day in and day out, and not giving yourself excuses.
If you’re a dreamer, and you’ve set some serious goals for yourself, then embark on a quest of self-improvement. Work on developing a set of good habits, building an empowering morning routine, and eliminating the bad habits in your life. If you want to fulfill your dreams, then it’s not enough to just envision a better life; you have to actually do something about it.
#5 — When you fail, you can recover quicker
I know, I know. Failure is painful. I’ve been there too many times. But those are failures have served me rather than hindered me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those failures actually benefited me in the long run. I grew mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I experienced physical pain, but came out metaphysically ahead.
There’s something about failure that does such a number on us that it’s really impossible to see the forest through the trees when we’re going through it. When we’re in the midst of that pain, we could care less about how it’s going to supposedly improve our lives in the long term. But it does. And as a dreamer, you’ve likely failed, and you’ll likely fail some more. But that’s okay.
Dreamers recover from failure quicker than ordinary people. Why? Because they dream big. After the initial upset and pain wash over, they pick themselves up and brush themselves off, and they try it again. And the really persistent dreamers keep trying it until they achieve those lofty dreams that they set for themselves, no matter what it takes.
The truth of the matter is that when you fail you tend to ponder, and when you succeed you tend to party. But failure breeds the skills that are necessary for success in the long term, and not just the short-lived kind that we can experience with momentary (but quickly fleeting) feelings of bliss.
Don’t be afraid to dream just because you might fail, it will help build character and give you the tools to succeed in the long term.
#6 — You begin to effectively manage your time
While you might not think that dreamers are effective time managers, the ones that are serious about achieving their dreams most certainly are. If you can effectively manage your time, there’s no limitations to what you can achieve. But, if you’re likely to get sidetracked often, then achieving your dreams might be a little bit more arduous or strenuous.
Time management is definitely a skill that’s necessary for people who are serious about their dreams. Because, even if you can vividly imagine those dreams and what your life would be like if they were to be fulfilled, making them into a reality is far more difficult without taking constant action amidst the framework of an effective time-management system.
Time is our most precious resource. We all have the same amount of it. Just 24 hours in a day. No one gets more time than the other person, so it’s essentially life’s greatest equalizer. But, what differs is just how we use the precious little time that we do have. Do we waste it away? Or, do we leverage it, properly using it to achieve our dreams?
That makes all the difference. If you’re serious about your dreams, then you know all too well that you need a good system to manage your time. Whether you use the quadrant time management system, or you pick another one, it’s entirely up to you. What does matter is that you pick something and ensure that the precious hours, minutes, and seconds in your life don’t go to waste.
#7 — The word impossible doesn’t apply to you anymore
As a dreamer, you ignore the word impossible. In fact, the word impossible simple says to you — I’m Possible.
Anything is possible when you can vividly dream it.
While others might try to dissuade you from seeing those dreams come to life, you won’t listen to them. You’re a dreamer. You’re wild-eyed. You’re going to fulfill your dreams no matter what it takes.
Us dreamers don’t look at the impediments in the road. We don’t see the stumbling blocks. And we ignore our past failures. We push forward, chasing those dreams. We don’t stop and we certainly don’t give up. We might hit serious rough patches and fail over and over again, but we pick ourselves up and try again and again until we achieve what we set out to achieve.
That’s what being a dreamer is all about. There’s no such thing as impossible. Everything is possible. You can see it so clearly and vividly that you can almost taste it. And that’s part of the battle. That’s the beauty of being a dreamer.
#8 — You begin to seek out inspiration in others who’ve succeeded
One of the ways dreamers fulfill their dreams is by modeling others who’ve come before them. When you hold a dream so vividly in your mind that it almost feels real, you look for any and every way you can make that dream into a reality. And to do that, we often turn to the people who inspire us. We look to people who’ve waged the battles but have won the war.
It’s never easy to fulfill your dreams, but it does seem a little bit less overwhelming when you look at others who’ve achieved lofty goals even in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances. How did they do it? What was the process? What were they thinking? What challenges did they have to face and overcome? And just how did they pull it off?
You become like a detective, and the crime you’re investigating is success. You begin to put all the pieces together in the puzzle, and little by little, you figure it out. Looking to your inspiration in others that fulfilled their dreams who might have been in far worse circumstances initially than you were, success doesn’t seem that fleeting.
#9 — When bad habits hold you back, you begin to notice it more
One of the biggest things that hold us back from achieving greatness is, well, ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies. But when you’re a dreamer, you begin to notice those things more. You notice the bad habits that hold you back. You recognize the patterns of limiting behavior that are keeping you from achieving your goals.
It doesn’t happen right away. Nor is this an overnight process. But with failure and pain, comes understanding and growth. You begin to take notice of things that you think, say, and do because your dreams are so important to you that you realize what you do on a daily basis matters to your overall trajectory in life.
It’s not easy to deal with bad habits. They take constant effort. But anyone can quit their bad habits when they want something badly enough. If your dreams are that vivid and you have strong-enough reasons why you absolutely must achieve them, you realize that you have no choice but to deal with your bad habits. Otherwise, they deal with you.
#10 — You start sweating the small stuff
Dreamers sweat the small stuff. We have no choice.
You realize, as a dreamer, that the little things add up. While they don’t seem like much in the moment, over time, they amount to a lot. And that either holds us back or pushes us forward. A few minutes wasted or gained here and there becomes important over time. A few dollars spent here or saved there begins to matter a whole lot more.
You also begin analyzing the numbers, because analytics are everything when you’re chasing your dreams. If your dream is to lose weight, create a wildly-successful startup, or do just about anything else in life, you need to track your results. How else would you know just how far you’ve come, where you are today, and how much more work you’ve got left? It would be much harder, that’s for certain.
Even if, as a dreamer, you don’t initially sweat the small stuff, you do so over time. You realize that it’s an integral part of the process. You can’t get to where you’re going without plotting your results and seeing what’s working and what’s not. When you see what isn’t working, because you’re sweating the small stuff, you can make changes early on. And eventually, you can fulfill those lofty dreams.
#11 — Little by little, your small achievements stack up
In the beginning, the dreams always feel so immense. We wonder how we’re ever going to achieve them. We think about the enormity of the task ahead of us. But, little by little, you have small wins. One achievement here and another there adds up over time. And, eventually, those wins start to stack up one by one.
This helps to build momentum, moving you closer to your goals. When you can see these things coming to pass over time, it’s far more motivating to help push you just a little bit further. We improve in stages, week by week, month by month, and year by year, but we don’t stop because we hold those dreams so vividly in our minds.
Every dreamer knows that their big dreams won’t come easy. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be wortwhile. If everyone could do it, then what would be the challenge in it?
No, as a dreamer, you realize that there’s a long road ahead, but you’re also willing to do what it takes. And, over time, you’ll reach and fulfill those dreams. It doesn’t happen overnight. But, eventually it happens.