Let your dreams be greater than your memories | Sunday Observer

Let your dreams be greater than your memories

I was at a recent gathering of senior corporate managers and we were discussing about developing leadership qualities among the middle-level executives. One of the comments made was profound: “If we have more memories than dreams, we cannot ever be successful leaders.”

This comment also applies to everyday life. It is easy to get stuck in the past, because we can use the past in many negative ways. We can justify our mistakes by putting the blame on our upbringing, culture, or education. We can create a functional excuse out of past experiences, such as an emotional moment or catastrophe. We can use the past as an excuse for laziness, saying, “I have done my part, the rest belongs to others to deliver.”

Ask yourself these questions. In my own life, are my memories greater than my dreams? Am I burdened with the guilt of past mistakes? Am I bitter about past disappointments? Am I ashamed of past exploits?

If these things are what define your life, then you are missing out on the surpassing joys of life. There is one thing that most of us fail to understand. Yesterday’s failures have no relationship with our dreams of tomorrow. But what do we usually do? We continually beat ourselves up over yesterday’s failures.

What happens when we do that? Most likely we become confused, doubting our abilities. Our goals and future dreams become obscured. If we allow our past failures to dictate our future, we may not have the courage to try new adventures, or take advantage of new opportunities, that are there for us every day.

Steps

Here are eight easy steps to making your dreams come true!

1. Define your dream

We often ask, “What’s my life’s purpose?” and then break out into a cold sweat. Start with the easy stuff. What feels good for you? You don’t need to decide everything right at this moment, but just start collecting ideas for your life that make you feel excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities. Just keep some kind of simple record of what your dream for your life is.

I personally like the idea of wrapping myself in a cosy T-shirt and batik sarong and sit under a tree in the backyard in the morning, sipping a cup of tea while tapping on a laptop. (That’s me right now.) I’m a freelance writer, so I’m committed to writing a few hours, every day. That was my dream.

2. Decide and believe.

Many of us will pick a delicious dream for ourselves and then immediately start pecking furiously at the edges with a list of ways it can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t work out for us.

Stop that!

If there’s a word for both, deciding and believing in one fell swoop, the word would be commitment. You have to commit to your dream.

Don’t just put it in a box and close the lid, never to see the light of day. You have to take it out and fondle it every day.

Decide you want your dream to happen. Believe it will happen. This is the magic power that will help propel your dream into reality. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t -you’re right.”

3. Release fear.

This next step isn’t a one-time event. It’s probably something you’re going to have to do over and over, every time you notice you’re stuck and you’ve stopped the forward momentum.

We disguise fear under logistics all the time: “Oh, I don’t have time to go after that dream, I need to make money!” “Well then, I don’t have time!” It’s all in the attitude.

I decided I am going to take it easy after retirement. I decided to spend the morning session writing, and spend the afternoon on other errands. I decided to get the sleep I need. I chose the right attitude. I released fear.

4. Take action

Figure out what you need to do to make your dream happen. Then go ahead and do it. Every day.

5. Love yourself.

Slow down, pump the breaks, relax. Listen.

Take quiet time alone every day – early morning or at night - to reflect, read, write, and hear yourself think. Give yourself the time and space for your feelings and organize your thoughts so that you may stay in touch with your own needs and desires.

6. Value small decisions.

The decision to get up early every morning is a momentous one. The small decisions happen every single day, when I look at the clock. Do I get up, or do I stay in bed? Every little decision, every single thing we do, matters.

Because, what you do determines who you become. And, who you become means either your success at achieving your dream or your failure. Choose wisely.

7. Don’t let bad habits win.

It’s so easy to blame our small lives, our tiny, chronic failures on our bad habits. We get sucked into the couch for TV marathons. We get sucked into pizza boxes and chip bags and some of us even get into the habit of using beer or hard liqueur “to relax” when the going gets tough.

Get a life. It’s only when our habits and failures stand in the way of our dreams that we will be compelled to chuck the now-annoying habits to the curb. Dream big, take action, worry about your habits some other day, like when they prevent you from getting up early.

8. Believe the outside world is friendly.

I’ll leave you with this quote: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – (Paulo Coelho).

Audrey Hepburn said it best, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” So, hang on to your dreams, live by them, guard them, and make them big enough, to overshadow your memories of yesterday’s failures. Never give up! 

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