By Natalie Amsden
For those of us who are on the path of consciously creating our lives, we often come across teachings that inspire us to create a “vision”—a big picture, long-term vision of what we would ultimately like our existence to encompass—no limitations, just pure dream. But, sometimes this dream seems so far outside of our current reality that we can’t quite get ourselves to believe it. And, unfortunately, believing is the most important part of dreaming because if we don’t believe it’s possible, we’ll block opportunities from coming and won’t take action in the direction we want to move.
Other times, we get so focused on our dream that we find ourselves in a state of “waiting” until we get there. We put off being happy, taking the time for things we love, making needed changes, and enjoying life until the “day” we reach our goal. Those of us who are highly motivated begin working harder—sacrificing now for later, believing one day all our efforts will pay off and we’ll wake up and find ourselves living our “dream” life. Those who aren’t as motivated often just feel stuck.
These visions and dreams are important because they help us focus on the life we really want. They give us hope, inspiration, and something to work toward and look forward to. However, a dream that seems eternally out of reach loses its luster. And a dream that one must wait to experience can cause frustration and disappointment along the way. The problem with many visions and dreams is that we forget the most important part of dreaming and living—that the journey is the destination.
I know this because I’ve experienced it. I’m really good at thinking big, without limitations, and really believing my dreams are mine for the taking. But, I’m so good at it that I find myself living in limbo—one foot here in the now and the other floating somewhere in the ether, trying to find firm ground in that dreamland in my mind. As you can imagine, this position can leave one quite unstable.
So, the question is, “How can you take your dream out of the clouds and make it concrete?” Also: “How can dreams be more believable and immediately attainable?” The solution is to break down your dream into more manageable chunks—separate tiers—creating a bridge between where you are and where you want to be.
Visions and dreams tend to be big-picture, long-term oriented. For them to feel attainable and for one not to get stuck “waiting” to enjoy life in the process, it’s important to build a bridge. The bridge consists of multiple “tiers” or levels of your desired dream. The bridge helps you break down the dream into immediately implementable changes and short-term goals, without losing sight of the big picture vision you hold for your life. Doing this helps make it more “real” and ensures you feel empowered and are enjoying the journey.
Getting On the Bridge
Tier 1: “Enjoying Today.” Rather than feel that your current situation is simply a stepping stone to be quickly passed over in route to your dream, try adding the notion of Enjoying Today into your dream. If time will pass between now and when you have what you want anyway, you might as well enjoy the ride, right?
Brainstorm ideas for small changes you can make in your immediate, current life situation that would bring you more joy, satisfaction, and excitement.
- What things, situations, or people would you like to add/remove/change in your current life?
- Which of these changes would make the biggest difference? Which are easiest?
- Are there any changes you want that would require OTHER PEOPLE to change or do something? If so, how can you take responsibility for changing your experience without requiring anyone else to change?
- What elements of your long-term dream could you experience NOW—where you are today? (For example, if writing a book is part of your dream, could you set aside 30 minutes a week to work on your book? Why wait?)
- Summarize the three to five immediate changes you are going to make in your life within the next 30 days
Tier 2: “Building a Better Future.” If your big-picture, long-term dream is quite big—such as being a world-famous singer or traveling the world teaching your craft—there are a lot of extremely gratifying and enjoyable experiences you can create in your life along the way. You don’t have to reach your dream in order to have an awesome life. There may be many tiers in your bridge, but for now imagine there is just one “next step”—a better future that you can create for yourself in the short-term.
- What would be the next phase—a step up—for you to bring more joy, expression, freedom, and success to your life?
- What elements of your current life would you keep and what would you trade in, and for what?
- Would you want a different job, relationship, house, location, schedule, etc?
- What would a day or week “in the life of” you look like?
- Remember to change anything that requires another person to do something different into something YOU can do differently.
- What are three to five goals you can begin working towards that will get you to this next phase?
- Can you see how life on the bridge could be just as satisfying as your dream? If so, congratulations!
Tier 3: “Living the Dream.” If you had no limits and were walking across your bridge toward your ideal life—ultimate fulfillment and purpose—what would that look like?
- How badly do you want it, and are you willing to do what it takes?
- What would you need to be doing in your life, as you travel your bridge, to ensure you arrive?
- What are three to five elements of your dream/vision that you will hold in your intention?
Having a vision of the life of your dreams is a powerful tool for focus and inspiration, but don’t forget life happens now—this is the dream—the journey is the destination. Get on the bridge!
Natalie Amsden is the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. She is a transformation life coach, specializing in conscious personal evolution and discovering your purpose. Natalie is also a Motivational Speaker, presenting on topics such as Enlightened Relationships, Personal Transformation, and Entrepreneurship. Connect with Natalie at www.transformationservices.org.