How to Restore a Forgotten Dream
“A dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” - John C. Maxwell
The Beginning of the Dream
When did you recognize the dream about what you could accomplish in life?
For some, the “inspiring picture” began to fade in your young adult years. Perhaps, you found an opportunity to start earning in a field that did not accommodate your dream, and you gave yourself the option to switch later; but year after a year, the demands of life made it more difficult to give up the certainty of a paycheck. You transferred the passion for your dream to the excitement of progress and promotions. The result? A forgotten dream.
This might not be your experience exactly, but you can relate to the fact that your dream slid off your priority list, for one or more of the following reasons:
- The hustle and bustle of everyday living pushed it aside
- Somebody sold you on the benefits of pursuing another dream
- You found it difficult to create a strategy for success
- Nobody was available or willing to help you
- You cultivated doubts that it was right for you
Years have passed and you are forced to you admit that you feel lost, purposeless and dissatisfied. During a period of mature soul searching, the forgotten dream began to emerge with the gut feeling that therein lies the missing sense of fulfillment.
The good news is that you can restore your forgotten dream to priority status. Here are five practical suggestions to help you.
(1) Reclaim the Dream
As the dream surfaces, be sure that it is not the one your parents, your spouse or anyone else visualized for you. Try to remember how and when you first discovered it. Recall the excitement you felt and the results your predicted. Reclaim it and write it down in one, clear sentence.
To help solidify the dream, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I bold enough to share my dream with the people who matter to me?
- Am I happy to pursue it even if no one else is happy about it?
- Is there anything I desire more than seeing my dream come true?
- Do I have a clear picture of what the pursuit of my dream will achieve?
(2) Remove Self-Imposed Limits
There are numerous limits hedging us into the kind of life prescribed for us by the communities and cultures in which we live: age limit, speed limit, space limit, time limit, credit limit and all the other limits that come to mind. Our dreams do not automatically fit into any of them; the limits on our dreams are self-imposed.
- “I should have tried it when I was younger; my brain is not as sharp as it used to be.” (But the way to preserve whatever is left of your mental ability is to use it to its fullest.)
- “The technology is beyond me; I don’t want to begin something I might not finish.” (And you certainly wouldn’t know if you will finish unless you begin.)
- “It’s too difficult to rearrange my schedule.” (Your present schedule couldn’t be right for you; it didn’t give you time to pursue your dream.)
- “Nobody in my family was ever successful at it.” (Do you and all your family members have everything in common?)
- “I’m getting by the way I am.” (But your dream has the potential to offer you a more fulfilling life.)
(3) Cultivate Self-Confidence
Replace fear and self-doubt with self-confidence—not false confidence like the pitiable tryouts on American Idol who only think they can sing. Know your talents and assure yourself that they have the potential to bring your dream to reality. Complimentary skills like courage and perseverance will grow as you make strides on the journey.
Susan Boyle, at age 41, recaptured her dream of becoming a famous singer and began taking lessons from voice coach, Fred O’Neil. She had performed and sung on stage as early as age 12, and was rejected from her first television audition at age 34. Afterward, her struggles including repeated loss of family members distracted her. Her self-confidence blossomed under the tutelage of O’Neil. After her acceptance by the judges and audience of Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, Susan Boyle became a new person at age 47.
Self-confidence encourages discipline and focus; and it leads to action.
(4) Filter New Ideas
New ideas may come at the moment of discouragement or disappointment. They can also come with the excitement of quick reward. They can meddle, distract and sabotage. The fact that they caused you to detour from your dream the first time, may not be enough to put you on guard, because the next time they may seem like the only way out.
Here are some filters to keep you away from new ideas which can tamper with your dreams.
- Is it presented by a supporter or a skeptic of my dream?
- Will pursuing this new idea advance or delay my dream?
- Does it call for with obligations which conflict with previous commitments concerning my dream?
- What do I stand to lose or gain if I reject it?
(5) Find Helpful Affiliations
“A dream is a compelling vision you see in your heart that’s too big to accomplish without the help of others.” – Chris Hodges
It would be great to have relatives and close friends as helpers; but if they do not believe in your dreams, you have to find other people who do. They may be preachers, teachers, trainers, members of a group pursuing dreams similar to yours, people who network in the interest of progress.
- People who motivate you to follow your dream
- People who listen and give you constructive feedback
- People who are willing to share their skills, and can benefit from yours
- People who use their abilities to lead, rather than compete
Following Up on the Dream
Where is the Dream Now?
No matter you age, if you are haunted by a dream you once had and lost, it is time to pursue peace and satisfaction by restoring and following that dream.
- Reclaim the dream and be sure that it is yours
- Remove your self-imposed limits
- Cultivate self-confidence
- Filter new ideas
- Find helpful affiliations
The sooner you begin, the more satisfaction you will have, and the more benefit you and others will obtain from your life.
© 2013 Dora Weithers