We all have dreams. We all have secret desires. We all had that poster on our bedroom wall that we quietly kissed good night and then spent hours dreaming that the sexy celebrity decades too old for us would secretly fall in love and take us away to his fabulous mansion in Hollywood. Or at least every 10 year old girl I knew did.
And then I got older and the dreams changed, but the impossibility of them didn’t. At least not for me. I think my friends got a little wiser. I kept my head in the clouds.
Needless to say none of those childhood dreams came true. One of the reasons I think is that I was constantly told to stop dreaming. Okay, I know that Shaun Cassiday wasn’t really ever going to respond to the my taped letters. I didn’t really expect Leif Garrett to drop by my house, but it was a nice dream. Except that I was told to stop dreaming. It’s one of the worse things we teach our children.
Think about it. If dreaming in the first step to making the life you really want and we tell our kids to get their heads out of the clouds, what are we teaching? Am I teaching my five year old to live a life that feels stiffling and boring? As someone who took the better part of her 40 years to connect with her passion. I certainly hope not.
So we encourage our kids to dream. We allow ourselves to dream.
We set our goals and then we shout the dream from the rooftops. Well, perhaps not literally. First you grab your best friend and you grab a bottle of wine and you celebrate the fact that you’ve found your passion. You go over all the details…how you’re going to live in France. How great it’s going to be, when she can visit, etc.
Then you get serious. You start talking to people who are going to ask you about how it’s going. About what you’re doing to move closer to your perfect life. Then you find someone who is already living your dream and you pick her brain and you tell her that you want to be just like her and then you exchange email addresses and ask if it’s okay to stay in touch.
If you can announce it in church, do that.
And this is going to keep you taking one step at a time towards living your passion. Because now everyone knows and you’re going to work hard, hard, hard to not look like a fool. Because we all have an Aunt Sally.
Aunt Sally is your Mom’s youngest sister. She’s the one that missed your birth because she was camping on the beach in Brazil and didn’t get cell service. She’s the one that wears inappropriate necklines, drinks too much at the family Christmases and flirts with your Dad’s brothers. She’s the one that your Mom complains about and your Dad is thinking about banning from the Fourth of July pool party. And she’s the one you most love and want to be like.
Cause she’s fun. And she’s wild and glamorous and from your ten year old perspective she does whatever she wants and what can be better than that? And nothing ever seems to touch her. She never gets in trouble. Her face never freezes behind your Mom’s back, she NEVER gets axed by the local crazy guy. She’s blissfully, to your Mom’s annoyance, happy. All the time.
But here’s the kicker. She’s no one’s role model. You know Aunt Sally can spin a good tale, but she’s never going to rule the boardroom. Heck, she just got evicted, again. And if you shoot your mouth off about all your big plans and don’t deliver, you’re Aunt Sally. The next generation.
But you’re ahead of the game. You know things that dreamer wild-child Aunt Sally doesn’t. You’ve read my blog. You know about setting your goals. You know about breaking them down and making them maneagable. You know that it’s about the journey and that you can always revise the dream if you need/want to. You know to look for your passion, not just what looks good at the moment. You know the difference between passion and a thrill. You know how to avoid Aunt Sally’s pitfalls.
So you tell everyone your dream. Your neighbor, your best friend from high school, your best friend from college and your cubicle mate and then you ask for help. You ask them to remind you in three weeks how badly you want this. You invite them to partake in your excitement and good fortune. You ask them what they really crave.
Thank of it as paying it forward. You will inspire and motivate each other and you will avoid turning into Aunt Sally.