We all have dreams.
And they all feel so far away. Well, we wouldn’t be calling them dreams if they were close and easy.
“I want to go to Paris.”
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to have my own business.”
“I want to be an actress.”
“I want to buy a house.”
“I want to buy a bigger house.”
Most of us stopped here.
Because as they try to make a wise quote into it, they say, “Dreaming is free. So dream all you want.”
Well I say dreaming all you want is very dangerous.
It turns you into this person that believe dreams will never will become reality.
Because you have been dreaming so many of these dreams and none of them came to be.
So you turn bitter. A bitter person with lots of excuses.
So I say: Dream responsibly.
That is: when you want to dream, make sure you put an effort into your dream.
I am fortunate enough to have many of my life’s dreams came into reality, and I am here to share you the best weapon I have:
You see, most of us have this busy highway of thoughts in our heads. Dreams, fears, errands, worries, and about a billion other thoughts racing inside our heads every second of the day.
Dreams will never stay long enough in one place to let us do something about it.
So what you do is: You write them down.
You might laugh at this very simple ‘solution’.
But I bet you from all the people reading this post, less than 1% have written down their dreams.
We only have dreams at the back of our heads. Remembering them when only we sit down on our toilets or when your phone’s battery ran out and you’re in the middle of a traffic.
So we never do anything about it.
Writing it down, on the contrary, transform the abstract thought of dream, into a solid goal on a piece of paper.
Let’s say you always want to go to Japan.
All these times you always said:
“It’s very expensive! Airfare, lodging, dining, wow! So expensive!” So you keep dreaming.
“I’m an employee! How can I get time off that long?” So you keep dreaming.
“I don’t speak Japanese and I don’t know anything about Japan. It’s a bad idea.” So you keep dreaming.
But now for a change, let’s say this time you wrote that dream on a piece of paper.
You pull out a notebook (you don’t have one, don’t you?) – get a pencil and write on a fresh page: “I will go to Japan in 2016.”
For the 99% of you that never wrote that, I can promise you that seeing your dream in writing is powerful stuff.
It’s a stake in the ground. A nail to pierce your dream on a wall so it stays there for you to see. It is now a goal with an expiring date. (Remember: Always put on a date.)
Most of all, it’s a progress beyond just a thought inside your head. A tiny, 0,001% progress. But still a progress.
Of course not.
Next: Write down the things need to be done and what you could do about it right now. Write ALL of these down.
“The airplane ticket’s expensive.” Have you look up exactly how expensive? Hang on. Wow, I did’t know that. Okay, if I bought the tickets in advance there’s a pretty good deal at $600 with that low cost carrier. That’s only like $50 savings I need to make every month for a year. That’s not too bad? I can do that.
“I cannot afford hotels.” I have heard of that AirBnb thing. Lemme check it. Hey, there’s a room in central Shibuya for only $25 a night. Hmmph I never knew that. This is encouraging.
“I am an employee. I cannot just leave work for a week.” Well, if you ‘just leave’ of course that will be impossible. But if you planned all these a year ahead? If you’re a great performer at work, and you have a fairly reasonable boss, I am sure that you guys can work something out. Now prepare yourself for negotiations and when you’re ready, book a meeting with him. It might turned out okay.
“I don’t know anything about Japan.” Internets, darling. There’s this thing called internets. Research and plan. Scour the travel forums for great deals and hidden sights. You’ll be an expert in no time. And if you really want to soak in the experience, take a crash course in Japanese, offline or online, your choice.
Now zoom out and look at all those scribbles on your notebook.
From a depressing dream on a smelly toilet, it now turned into a clear actionable actions on a piece of paper. From a dark cloud of nothing, into a clear pathway steps to a finish line.
“Save $100 a month.”
“Made an attractive plan to negotiate my extended leave with my boss.”
“Book a ticket a year in advance.”
“Research and book an Airbnb stay.”
“Research for great deals in Tokyo and Kyoto on the travel forums.”
“Learn basic japanese.”
Now your dream has just got a 1000% more chance into becoming a reality.
In fact, the “Japan dream into reality” example above really happened. One of our team made her dream of two weeks adventure in Japan on 2013 doing exactly the things you read. From a lazy, abstract dream, into a reality.
The even greater news is, she now believes that dreams do come true.
So she took her pencil, and wrote down another one on paper.
You should too 🙂
(I love to hear your dream success stories in the comments.)
*Follow the writer Edward Suhadi on his Twitter account @edwardsuhadi