I’m a firm believer in the power of dreams when it comes to achieving what we want from our relationships and our working lives. And, while some might feel that we lose our enthusiasm and excitement as we move into the second half of our careers, I remain convinced that our dreams can still move us towards our goals.
This article explores how we can re-frame our dreams as we move through life. Changes come over the years and our aspirations may be different from when we started out. Yet there is still cause and time to dare to dream, and perhaps even dream bigger.
So, let’s look at how those changes to our lives can serve to re-focus what our dreams are made of.
Dreaming isn’t just for dreamers
We can probably still recall when we graduated, got our first promotion or other life events, like buying our first house or car. All of those were dreams that we probably carried for a long time. Very powerful dreams that felt wonderful when they were achieved. However, over the years we’ve become experienced, wise and knowledgeable about the world and the temptation is to think that dreaming is just for dreamers. Could dreams have ever been that powerful? Yes, indeed. Which is why we need to update ours and tap into a whole new set of aspirations.
Dreaming with emotion and intent
Unless we imagine things first, they can never become reality. But dreaming is more than just imagining. Dreaming is imagining with motivation and with intent. What do I mean by that? I think that you have to start with desire, however unrealistic or impossible that desire seems to achieve. Once we have that desire, we need to move it into a dream. Making it into a dream means making it as real as possible.
How to re-focus your dreams
Let me give you an example. Perhaps you always took your children for 2 weeks in the sun, and suddenly your children are at a different age where that traditional beach holiday makes less sense. The desire for a family holiday is still there, but you need to imagine something different.
To move that from a desire to a dream we now need to make it clearer; to make it more and more real. You now need to be very specific about what that ideal next generation family holiday would look like. Is it by the sea? Is it a place where there are lots of different activities? Is it actually in a city? Are you ready to go much further abroad? Or prepared to go somewhere a little bit less traditional?
And once you have found it then continue to build the ideal. If you have decided that what you would actually like to do is do some flotilla sailing, then decide what boat or flotilla you would like to be on. What locations will you travel through and who in the family is going to take on different roles in the boat? Will other people join you?
Build a richer and vivid picture so that your imagination becomes more and more clear. The clearer the better and don’t just use visualisation. Think about the feel of the sun on your skin, the sound of the waves and the smells of the food, the taste of the drink. Make it as real as possible and it’ll increase your motivation. As you do this your desire will increase and now you have got a new dream. You have dared to dream of something different.
Now, think about a dream that relates to your life or workstyle, can you adjust and re-focus it in the same way?
Dreaming for the future
Perhaps your career aspiration is something very different from what you are doing at the moment. As you dream, do not be afraid to look into the future. If you are 45 years old, what workstyle do you want when you are 60? If you are 50, what workstyle do you want when you’re 65? If you are 65, what workstyle do you want in your early 70’s?
Think about the different areas of your life where your dreaming has starting to fade and revitalise them. It may be your relationship, your children, your work, your house, your car. It may be a financial dream or an experience that you have always wanted to have.
Do not be afraid to look a long way ahead and dare to dream. After all, when you are at the half way stage of our careers there’s still a long way to go. So build up those dreams, hold and shape them – and celebrate and enjoy the journey as you move towards them.
If your best dreams are still ahead of you, you may find the structure, guidance and support from the Portfolio Executive Growth Academy of help. Why not take a look at our programme pathway or look take the 30 Day Challenge to explore the 8 Essentials at http://www.8essentials.biz/
It’s time to dare to dream.
Charles McLachlan is the founder of FuturePerfect and on a mission to transform the future of work and business. The Portfolio Executive programme is a new initiative to help executives build a sustainable and impactful second-half-career. Creating an alternative future takes imagination, design, organisation and many other thinking skills. Charles is happy to lend them to you.