Yesterday I spent some time imagining what I want out of my life. What would make it “the best year ever”? What are some of those things on my “bucket list”? What do I want my life to be like in ten years?
This is something I do regularly, and it’s lots of fun. It’s fun to park reality and step into the realm of possibility. Sometimes it’s hard to see how some things might come to pass, but one of the things I’ve learned is to dream without limitations, and not ask HOW it will happen. The “how” step comes later.
I’ve heard it said that people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, but underestimate what they can accomplish in ten. It helps to think back to where I was ten years ago, and see how enormous that gap has become. Ten years ago I was not yet a mom, I was still in school, I hadn’t started my practice, bought a house, travelled, learned or experienced a fraction of what has shown up in the time since. It makes thinking into the future even more enticing.
For more than ten years, I have documented my goals and dreams. I can look back on what I wrote and see how that life I “dreamt up” is slowly becoming reality. It doesn’t always show up exactly as I envisioned, and it doesn’t always happen in the time frame I anticipated, but the path itself is clearly following the direction I have mapped out. During more challenging times, when it seems like “nothing ever changes”, it is an enormous help to look back and see all of the proof to the contrary. I think that sometimes we are so bogged down in our daily lives that we can’t see how far we have come.
And so, when I have these “vision days”, I let my imagination run wild. No limits is the rule. After all, think about how kids dream. Nothing is impossible. I don’t know of any child who doesn’t dream big. If you ask a child what they would like to be when they grow up, they never stop to ponder how it would happen, they just let their imaginations take them there. Their visions are the stuff of super heros, astronauts, and rock stars.
One thing I know for sure is this: Dreaming is the first step in creating a road map for my life. I can’t anticipate every turn in the road, but at least I know the general direction and destination. Without dreaming I can’t put action steps into place to keep me on my path – quite simply because I wouldn’t know what path I was on. To me, a life without dreaming is like being on autopilot. Destination unknown. And I want to do too many things in my life to leave it all to chance.
As for my kids, I have no idea what they will do in their lifetimes, but one of the things I wish to nurture in them is the belief that they can do anything. With the belief firmly intact that they are amazing human beings, and that anything is possible – who knows what may come. I teach them to let their imaginations run wild, and to know that one of their instructions from me is simply this: DREAM BIG.