Everyone needs a dream in this life. It is something that motivates you to more forward and takes you out of some serious ruts. I’ve found myself pretty stuck in the past and now I’m living my dreams. They are no longer dreams, but realities.
There are four steps that I have identified that will assist you in discovering your life’s dreams:
1. Answer a question….or two
What is your dream? Does something immediately pop up? If the answer is “no”, then I’d like to ask you another question. If there were no obstacles in your path, what would you do? When I’m asking students what they want to do, these are the questions that I ask them. Usually I can get an answer.
2. Self Discovery
If you still don’t have an answer for #1, you need a little self discovery. There are a series of questions that you can ask yourself, such as:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What hobbies would you like to pursue?
- Am I a people-pleaser?
- Do I enjoy being around people or work by myself?
- Do I prefer to handle problems independently?
- What do other people say that I would be good at?
- What are my strengths?
- What characteristics would I like to cultivate?
3. Explore your values
It is very important to know what your values are, because if your dream isn’t in line with your personal values, it will not work out well. That is because there is an incongruency between what you are doing and what is important to you. This incongruency will cause stress and ultimately, cause you to make some decisions that will be extremely costly to you. For example, I once had a student who wanted a career that would take him away from his family a great deal of the time. He was married and had three small children. Family time was very important to him, but he wanted the recognition that this career would provide for him. I was able to help guide him to something that would not conflict with his personal values, yet still provide him with a fulfilling career path.
Here is an exercise that will assist you in determining your personal values. Find a quiet place and get out a pen and paper. Ask yourself one question: “what is my deepest, inner-most value?”. Write down whatever comes up. Do this exercise every day for the next ten days. You will have a set of core values for yourself that do not need to be compromised.
4. Ask for directions
Ask those people closest to you about what they think of your dreams. Choose someone who is normally supportive and is likely to give you positive, yet honest feedback. It is also important to pray about your dream. Ask God to give you direction and to give you discernment and wisdom on what you should be pursuing in your life.