If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You, They Ain’t Big Enough

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08-05-2015

4 min read

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Dream big, baby!

As humans, we have always understood what it means to be driven. A baby is driven to hold on to anything that is close to their hand. If you put something close to their mouths, they will naturally open and attempt to eat it, whether it’s food, a random object or your finger, so be careful what you introduce to the baby.

This is a natural survival instinct for babies. And while we have obviously grown up to be careful to not open our mouths to whatever comes our way, that sense of drive has only evolved into something even greater.

Imagine if you’re in a state of a lucid dream, and you have the power to create any reality you want at a snap of your fingers. What would you create? A big corporation with you as the CEO? A successful band with you rocking as the hot lead? How about your own fashion label?

The prospects are enticing, and why wouldn’t it be so?

Now my challenge to you is, can you see yourself waking from this slumber, surrendering that dream under the laws of this reality, and still keeping that dream alive and heading towards it?

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

All dreams are meant to be that, beautiful, because it’s the end of the arduous journey you took to get there.

And if I dare say it, it’s not the results of the dream that scare us, it’s the journey we know that is before us that makes us shudder. Today, after reading this, I hope you will understand more than anything, that the process is as beautiful as the end itself.

A fine beginning

The first step to any dream, is to be able to project ourselves into that reality every step along the way. And while we have our big dreams and the idea of how it would eventually look like in the end, we also need to create smaller, sub-dreams that contribute to the final goal.

Breaking things down to small bite-sized pieces are crucial to keep ourselves motivated as we head towards our biggest challenge. Doing that allows us to celebrate the milestones along the way, and is a great reminder of where we are going.

Keep stepping

The next step is to create constant reminders along the way. Here’s a good tip on how to remember new items in your daily activity: pair them with things you already remember. If there’s something you need to bring along with you the next day, you can put it together with your wallet or with your keys.

By doing that, even if you’ve forgotten about them in your sleep, when you’re about to go out and reach for the wallet and keys, you’ll see them and be reminded on your way out.

So, in terms of the dream, put relevant key reminders in places that you are bound to see, for example, on your work table where you are at most of your time, or in a notebook that you always carry.

What’s even better is if you can share it with a close friend, and it can be a topic of discussion when you meet.

Having someone ask questions about your dreams and how you ought to get there gives you more opportunities to think of different alternatives that you might have missed out.

All shall be revealed

In DIODE camps, we start with teaching our campers about the AVP Leadership model. For this article’s focus, I’ll touch more on “V” which stand for vision, or in this case, our dream.

We give our camp participants a very simple AVP report that helps them discover their own dreams, and they write it down on paper for their reference.

They answer questions such as “describe your vision in detail” and “describe how you would measure the success of your vision”. Just these two questions alone takes quite some time because youths usually have dreams about being the best in something, but they never get the opportunity to find out how they are going to measure the success of their own dream.

After they answer those two questions, the facilitators help them break it down into smaller goals to what they need to achieve in 24 hours, the first week, the first month, the second month and the third month. This helps them plan achievable, short term goals that contribute to their end goal.

Just doing these few things help campers gain confidence in achieving their dreams. We encourage them to bring their raw and abstract dreams to us.

All we do is provide a structure for them. As they commit to putting it all down on paper with specific measurable instances, they begin to see that their dream is one step closer to the reality they are in.

In conclusion

Dreams are important and they are usually the first step towards what would become a vision. No matter what your belief is, whether dreams are a collection of memories of what is seen, a creation or imagination of what someone has spoken to us, or something divine that we may have never experienced before, in truth a dream remains only a reality in the recesses of our minds and imagination.

A vision requires actual work, tears, sweat and sometimes even blood. A vision subjects itself to the reality of this world, with physics, economics and law. It requires actual interaction and trust towards people who we believe can help us achieve that dream.

Sometimes things work out our way, and sometimes they won’t. I truly believe, while the brave usually take the first step towards their dreams, it is the faithful who translate that dream into a vision that impacts themselves and the people around them.

Alvin Dan is one of the youth programme executives at Leaderonomics. His personal passion lies in community development. Using his skills in behavioural psychology, he plans to continue developing his expertise in counselling in order to assist others. To engage with Alvin, email editor@leaderonomics.com. For more Starting Young articles, click here.

 
Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 9 May 2015

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