Dreams can come true. So sang Gabrielle in 1993, and by jove I think she was onto something. Because they really do, if you follow the simplest formula in the world: Dreams + Belief + Effort = Success. See how good I am at algebra?
The thing about dreams is that they can be a bit overwhelming, and no wonder because, really, who dreams small? Most dreams are huge and can seem so enormous that many people don’t even know where to start, so they put their dreams aside.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean: I love public speaking, and I made a decision to take my speaking tour, Let’s Talk About Mental Health, on the road nationally later this year and into 2018 (and I will be, starting in New South Wales in September… watch this space for updates in the next couple of months!) to promote a new book I will be releasing in September called Mental Illness Sucks! (But It’s Not The End Of The World).
Now, I’m an independent publisher which means that my entire PR machine is a party of one – me – and my marketing budget is basically the equivalent of running a car on the smell of an oily rag. As I started to pull together my plan, I became completely overwhelmed; could I really mount a speaking tour on a non-existent budget?
The answer is yes. Yes I can. Because I can do anything I set my mind to. Anything. So the majority of venues want me to pay hiring fees but I have no budget for that? I could let it stop me, or I could find different venues that understand what I’m trying to do in terms of connecting with communities regarding mental health and are willing to work with me to make that happen. Already, after just several weeks of effort (squeezed in between studying for exams and finishing assignments) I have 10 sessions booked in and counting.
Mounting a speaking tour is much like achieving any dream – it requires hard work, determination and an ounce or two of chutzpah (which is Yiddish for “extreme self-confidence or audacity” if you didn’t already know, fact fans!). Like everything worth having, it takes time, but the exciting thing is that you can start immediately.
And so, with that in mind, here is my list of three things that you can do today to make your dreams a reality:
- Clearly define your dream(s): We all have hopes and aspirations rattling around in our heads, and often that’s where they stay. To make them into reality, you need to become really, really, really clear on what it is that you want. Be specific. Visualise exactly what you want until it’s so clearly defined that you can practically taste it. I have a very specific plan in the notes app on my phone which I review at least weekly (if not daily) so that I’m clear on where I’m heading and what needs to be done to get there.
- Chunk it down into bite-size actions: Everything can seem overwhelming when it’s a big, broad idea, but when you break it down into smaller tasks, it suddenly becomes so much easier to work through. In my example, trying to plan out a massive tour was akin to trying to eat an entire elephant in one bite (i.e. Damn near impossible) so I broke it down into easier “bites”; now I’m focusing on my home state of New South Wales first and getting that locked down before I start locking in other states/locations (in other words, learning to walk before I try to run…).
- Do something every day to make your dreams a reality: When it comes to turning your dreams into reality, there are no days off and there are no siestas. Do at least one thing every single day in terms of making your dreams into reality. You heard me. Every. Single. Day.
And because I’m generous, here’s a free bonus tip: have fun with it. Because if turning your dreams into reality is painful, then your ‘dreams’ might not be a true reflection of what is really your heart’s desire. Ultimately, the most important part of making your dreams into reality is about having absolute faith in your ability to make it happen. Because, in the immortal words of Gabrielle:
Dreams can come true
Look at me babe I’m with you
You know you gotta have hope
You know you gotta be strong
Until next time, keep dreaming!
Jeremy Godwin is an Australian author, public speaker, blogger and independent publisher who specialises in mental health, self-development and personal growth, and is currently seeking treatment for a serious Eurovision addiction. His new book, No-Nonsense Advice For Living, is out now – get it on iBooks or Kindle. Follow his blog, Stuff I’ve Learned (So Far) About Life, Liberty & Leprechauns, here.