My 100 Dreams List started as an exercise in time management. It was about making sure my actions aligned with my goals. I saw it as a blueprint not a to-do list. I didn’t expect immediate action yet that is what it has become. I’ll admit to adding a couple of things that I knew where going to happen but still qualified as “dreams”. Most items really felt somewhat out of reach at the time. However many of these dreams may be closer than I think. The list has taught me four lessons on how to make dreams come true.
#69 on the list is to host a foreign exchange student. Brian was skeptical. However this is my list, not his, so it stayed. I didn’t think we would open our home next semester but perhaps in five or ten years things might be calmer and we would be ready for a guest. I learned the first lesson of Dream Fulfillment is Compromise. In this case our compromise is called the International Friends of Missouri State University. I found them at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks one Saturday morning, looking for new members. When you join, you agree to be a friend to an exchange student. You meet with them once a month to share life and culture in the Ozarks. It’s like a Big Sister/Big Brother for someone studying from abroad. I can do one day a month. I would want to do more than one day a month. It is the perfect compromise to bridge the gap between my goal – learning about another culture and speaking Mandarin – and Brian’s concerns – a stranger living in our house for a year.
When you give voice to your dreams you’re more likely to share them with others too. The second lesson of Dream Fulfillment is Sharing. I’ve shared many of my list items with Brian and a few with clients. I’ve shared #5 Learn to Swim with many people. Two weeks ago a client shared a name of swim coach who does private swim lessons at a very affordable price. There is no audience and her price is well within my budget. She is also extremely patient. The swim season is short but I might be able to get in a lesson or two before it gets too cool. If I had never shared my goals, she probably would have never mentioned the coach. Only when we vocalize what we want are we likely to get it.
The third lesson of the Dream Fulfillment list is Boundaries. I’ve also had to set some boundaries with my time and energy. #32 is to develop an online program. #33 is to write a motivational book. #19 is to speak at IDEA Personal Trainer Institute. All these things take time. To give time to these things I have to set boundaries at what I am willing to do for free, like write for to others. (You would be amazed how many high profile sites want you to write for them for NOTHING). I have also had to say no to several new clients. I could add more training hours but that would make me a less effective trainer. I want to be in the gym because I WANT to be in the gym. I want my clients to still ask me, Are you always this happy? I set boundaries about when I’ll train so I can keep giving a quality experience and so I can pursue all the things that make me happy. If I am happy, then those around me will be happier too.
As you read this, I am doing #1 and #2 on my list. I am in Shanghai visiting Tea City and practicing my Mandarin. The fourth lesson of Dream Fulfillment is Action. Dreams don’t come true in less you make them. I don’t believe in “the Secret”. I believe in doing the work. I believe that if you take action, no matter how small, it will move you closer to your goal. Putting my dreams down on paper, manifesting them in black and white, was the first action. After that, the next steps became much clearer.
Have you taken Action? Have you started your 100 Dreams List? Share one or two and perhaps it will help you get a little closer to that goal.