JKLTip Learning to dream is turning the analysis off and letting your brain wander
Is it too simple to say “don’t think, just dream?” By nature we are dreamers. When I use “dream” in this sense, I don’t necessarily mean the REM, rapid eye movement science. What I mean when I say “dream big”, is envisioning all of the possibilities for your life. While it’s true that simply allowing our mind to wander is the best way, there are some strategies for learning to dream big.
These dreams reveal the things you would love to do, deep down, beneath all of the things getting in the way. When we have thoughts pop in our head, they often begin with things like “Imagine if” or “I wonder what it would be like”. These are often associated with an idea for a business, passion, or hobby, and often prompted by seeing someone else do something.
Dreams strike at any moment. Maybe you’re at a concert and think you would love to do set design, or heck, be a lead singer. You may be in the shower thinking how dancing with the stars would be cool or driving in your car when you envision starting a custom watch brand. These don’t have to be fantasies. Like a trailer to a movie, they can be previews to your coming attractions.
Tips For Learning To Dream Big
The biggest mistake when learning to dream is worrying about strengths, weaknesses, or interests. It’s not about that. That comes later. The incredible thing about dreaming is you don’t have to try. Once you practice letting your mind wander, you just have to be open to the thoughts.
There are ways to prime our mind for dreaming. We can remove our fears. Find ways to recognize what’s getting in the way. We may fear our parents, teachers, coaches who don’t believe in us. We may be worried about what friends will think. At times, before we even try, we start to ask if the competition is strong. Stop worrying about others, just focus on you.
It also helps to look at other incredible stories of dreams coming true. In terms of tangible steps, try the opposite of meditation. Create some dreaming time. Simply sit and think about life. Allow dreams to enter and if you need prompts, try some questions like:
- What are the values I need in my life?
- What is the biggest problem in the world?
- If I set one crazy life goal, what would it be?
- What am I most inspired by?
- Who am I most inspired by?
- What would be the coolest job in the world?
- What would I buy right now if I could?
- Who do I want to help the most?
- What are the 5 most important things to me?
Never Too Young, Or Old
When it comes to goal setting, it can be valuable to assume a “child-like mind”. Think of how a kid goes about life. They come up with ideas and try them. Children are some of the best at thinking of something they would love to do and taking action toward getting there.
As we age, we tend to add things like “be realistic” to our dreams. We start crunching numbers of why something may or may not work. As “grown-ups” we have a tendency to get lost in the challenges, rather than focusing on solutions. Even worse, we put this pressure on youth to be “smart” about their goals.
The opposite happens too. People have an idea and think they’re too young. But, there have been plenty of stories of young kids taking up a sport, or starting a business. The point is that age is a number, and what matters is how you feel.
Remember, a goal that brings satisfaction is nothing more than a dream acted upon. So, step one, go forth to wonder and think.