One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life, and the ability to establish goals to live out those dreams. Think of it: We can look deep within our hearts and dream of a better situation for ourselves and our families; dream of better financial lives and better emotional or physical lives; certainly dream of better spiritual lives. But what makes this even more powerful is that we have also been given the ability to not only dream but to pursue those dreams and not only to pursue them, but the cognitive ability to actually lay out a plan and strategies (setting goals) to achieve those dreams.
How do we know what our dreams are? This is an interesting process and it relates primarily to the art of listening. This is not listening to others; it is listening to yourself. If we listen to others, we hear their plans and dreams (and many will try to put their plans and dreams on us). If we listen to others, we can never be fulfilled. We will only chase elusive dreams that are not rooted deep within us. No, we must listen to our own hearts.
Let's take a look at some practical steps/thoughts on hearing from our hearts on what our dreams are:
Take time to be quiet. This is something that we don't do enough in this busy world of ours. We rush, rush, rush, and we are constantly listening to noise all around us. The human heart was meant for times of quiet, to peer deep within. It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams! Schedule some quiet "dream time" this week. No other people. No cell phone. No computer. Just you, a pad, a pen, and your thoughts.
Think about what really thrills you. When you are quiet, think about those things that really get your blood moving. What would you LOVE to do, either for fun or for a living? What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy? When you answer these questions you will feel great and you will be in the "dream zone." It is only when we get to this point that we experience what our dreams are!
Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don't think of any as too outlandish or foolish - remember, you're dreaming! Let the thoughts fly and take careful record.
Now, prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them. Remember, we are always moving toward action, not just dreaming.
Here is the big picture: Life is too short to not pursue your dreams. Someday your life will near its end and all you will be able to do is look backwards. You can reflect with joy or regret. Those who dream, who set goals and act on them to live out their dreams are those who live lives of joy and have a sense of peace when they near the end of their lives. They have finished well, for themselves and for their families.
Remember: These are the dreams and goals that are born out of your heart and mind. These are the goals that are unique to you and come from who you were created to be and gifted to become. Your specific goals are what you want to attain because they are what will make your life joyful and bring your family's life into congruence with what you want it to be.