Sure, we all (mostly) want to be rich and famous and all that jazz. But is that The Dream? The one that would make you completely happy once accomplished. The one that dwarfs any other dream you have? And if this is not your Dream, than what is? Is it that house you’ve always wanted to buy? That novel you’ve always wanted to write? That guitar you’ve always wanted to master?
True to our human nature, we have more questions than answers. Spotting that dream only leads to more questions. Is this the right dream? Worse, is it attainable? What if it’s a wrong dream? What it’s an impossible-to-achieve dream? What if I spend years chasing it, only to fail, or even worse — achieve it and realize that I don’t really care?
What if– you know what, forget what-ifs. Let ‘em go. Throw them into garbage where they belong. For some reason people ask me for advice, so here’s my advice on the subject. It’s just my opinion, so take it for it’s worth. I’ll tell you what works for me.
There’s only one way to know if the dream you have is The Dream: you have to believe in it with all you heart. Well, duh, you’re likely saying now, thank you for nothing. What’s that supposed to mean? Well it means precisely that. Once you get a hold of The Dream you will know. There will be no doubt left in your mind, heart, soul or whatever it is that makes us tick. You WIll Know. If you’re not sure, if you don’t really feel right about it, if it’s something others expect you to do, but you don’t care for, if it sounds great, but doesn’t make you go “Yess!”… then more likely than not, it is not The Dream. Now, it’s fine to chase it, but you can expect some disappointment once you reach it.
And in case you do have a dream, but still don’t know if it’s The Dream, here’s a very simple test to try. Choose the pastime you enjoy the most. Not your dream, just the stuff you like to do. Watching TV, going out with friends, skying, diving, reading mysteries, woodworking… you know what it is. Now imagine not doing that activity for a year. Completely. 100%. Instead think of spending every minute of your spare time going after your dream. Next, imagine yourself still not achieving that dream 12 month from now. Making some progress, yes, but not achieving. And now.. yep, here’s the catch.. imagine yourself still being happy at that point about that choice you made a year ago. The choice to forget about your favorite pastime for 365 days to chase a dream and still not achieving it. How does it feel? If you can seriously imagine yourself being happy about that choice, you’re staring at your Dream. If you can’t, that’s not your Dream. It may be still a nice thing to after, but don’t fool yourself.
For no pastime can top the feeling of going after The Dream. Your Dream.