Written by Emma D'Arcy
It may seem overwhelming, but you have the power to make your dreams come true.
We all have dreams we hope to fulfil in life. Dreams keep us motivated, challenged and excited about our futures and what we aspire to achieve on our respective journeys.
I’m currently sat on the back of a truck at sunrise in Chiang Mai, Thailand, enrolee to an elephant sanctuary, as part of a round-the-world adventure. This trip has been a lifelong dream. It’s taken a huge amount of time, savings, and planning to make it happen. But, it’s absolutely worth all of the effort to get to this moment. How do we go about making our dreams a reality, getting to those magical moments, especially when life tends to throw obstacles in the way?
Bringing your dreams to life can be catalysed by a whole number of different reasons. Whether you’ve been coasting fro a while, or you’re feeling burned out and unfulfilled, these are examples of warning signs that something has to give. Make sure it’s not your health or happiness, as life is simply too short. Arguably this is the most important step towards change – realizing you need to do so in the first place. It’s all too easy to set the alarm, and work our way through the days, weeks, months, that suddenly become years, and we wonder where that time has gone. Modern life is incredibly demanding and especially in the aftermath of a global pandemic, it’s important to give yourself the gift of time and the space needed to consider where you are in life now, and where you’d like to be.
Visualizing and articulating what your life dreams are is a crucial (and exciting!) step in the right direction. Start by thinking about what your core values are, then you can work out how to align your daily life to what you care about the most, for a greater sense of fulfillment. One of my lifelong dreams was to complete a round-the-world trip. I spent a rainy Sunday morning with my partner committing my dream to pen and paper, fuelled by flat whites. Whether it’s a burning desire to see the world, a change of career, or learning a new skill – writing down your dreams builds a clear picture of what you want to achieve.
Then, begin to think about the steps you need to take to make the dream a reality. Talk to loved ones and your close friends who know you best and can help you with this process. It doesn’t happen overnight, and often takes time between making the decision then seeing it through. Some dreams may come true when you least expect it, and others can take years to realize.
Our dreams are as unique as we are as people, and the timeframe is whatever you decide it should be. Forget the ‘should’ life list, and start to life for you, focusing on the ‘could’ life list instead. This shift in mindset can be particularly liberating.
Once you’re clear about what your dreams look like, then it’s decision time and the practical side of changing your life needs to be considered. The decision making process and working out a realistic plan of action and timeframe is really important to make your dream a reality. Timing is everything. I had dreamed of completing a round-the-world trip for years, but a combination of circumstances culminated in a moment in time where I could finally say “yes!” I’d saved for years for a rainy day fund, then after a difficult life chapter, I knew the time had come to go for it. From that time, I’d learned that it’s true what they say – all we ever have is now. With a very supportive partner encouraging me to make my dream a reality, I booked my tickets and suddenly found myself beginning the trip of a lifetime with countless experience I’ll never forget.
Whether you’re contemplating your goals and ambitions at the beginning of 2023, or you’re navigating your way through a tough time, keep this in mind: you are only ever a moment away from changing your life. One conversation. One decision. That’s all it takes. Trust your intuition, know that there are always options, and ultimately you are in control of your own destiny. As the author, turn the page, start afresh and begin to write. It’s time to start a new chapter and make those dreams come true.