Realizing dreams and desires is the magic part of life. Our dreams and goals drive our focus and thus create our reality. It's easy to get off track and lose focus of what you really want.
Here are four questions to help bring you closer to your dreams and help you focus on what you truly desire:
1. Are the goals I'm prioritizing "should" goals or "passion" goals?
Early on in my career, I found myself working in consulting and building complex models using Excel spreadsheets. I thought I had to do that in order to do what I really wanted to do next. Until one day, I developed an eye twitch from all the stress. (I only wish I was kidding, but I'm a stubborn learner.)
I quit my job, sublet my apartment, tapped into my savings, and drove out to Colorado for a month-long meditation retreat. I reconnected with my truth and myself in the process. I digress, but the point is, your desires, dreams, and goals have to feed your soul; they have to be in alignment with your truth; they have to support you in building your best self.
Maybe you've fallen into the trap of focusing on the things you think you should accomplish rather than running after your true goals and dreams. If so, you probably haven't gotten too far because your heart just isn't in it—or worse, you're stuck doing something you don't want to be doing.
Get real. Be true to you. Ask yourself, "Is this a dream I truly desire?" If you can't immediately commit, it's time to tune into what would create a resounding "yes!" and then go after it. Life is waiting for you on the other side.
2. Am I sacrificing my dreams to please others or to keep the peace?
If the "why" behind your dream is based on the shaky foundation of trying to please someone else or trying not to ruffle feathers, don't expect much good. Both only build resentment and frustration, which will wear you down and burn you out. My advice is simple. Commit to only going after genuine desires. This is where the miracles and magic happen. To be clear, "being true to you" doesn't mean you drop your responsibilities or fail to meet your commitments.
Several years ago now, I quit my six-figure corporate gig. Not everyone was excited or supportive about this decision, and it took quite a bit of courage for me to make the leap. To build support, I wrote myself a new job description. It included all the responsibilities I needed to handle and some of my big dreams, too (like authoring a book).
It wasn't easy, and sometimes it was messy, but I created the time and space for my writing and business while showing up for my responsibilities. If your dream is true to you, your passion, desire, and drive will back you up and you will unfold the path to your dream.
3. Do I believe my goal is worthy?
All desires are worthy. That said, it's easy to get caught up in questioning whether or not your goal is "spiritual enough" or "good enough" or "important enough." Honestly, it doesn't matter if your dream is to take an adventurous vacation, lose 10 pounds, or make a million dollars. As long as your desire is true for you, honest, and of service (not dishonest, manipulative, or hurtful to another), it is worthy.
Focus your energy on determining whether your dream is worth your time, love, and attention. Here are some questions to stimulate your inquiry:
• Is my desire big enough to challenge me to step into my magnificence?
• Will realizing this desire push me to discover my true potential?
• When I imagine myself with this goal realized and achieved, does my heart jump for joy?
If the answer is yes, it is likely a dream worth pursuing.
4. If I realized my dream, would I still want it?
Perhaps you think you want something because you see others having it or you think it will make you feel important or significant in some way. Ironically, sometimes the opposite is true. If you actually achieved the goal or desire, it wouldn't be a fit for your lifestyle, or a match for you, or align to your purpose or potential. It would cause more pain than gain.
At one point, I had a dream that included traveling and leading expert seminars. Somehow, every time I went to work on it, something stopped me. I just couldn't get behind it.
Upon deeper reflection, I realized that dream just didn't fit my life. We had just moved our family across the country. I had two small kids at home, a spouse who traveled frequently, and we were assimilating into a new community. I flat-out didn't have the capacity. And while it may have boosted my ego, it would have been incredibly stressful and unsatisfying overall.
The soul-searching forced me to think more creatively. I ended up outsourcing that work and got more clarity on how I could make the impact I desired without compromising my personal or family needs.
Hopefully these questions inspire you to find and follow your true desires. These are the things that inspire us, cultivate our courage, and challenge us to be more and do more. Make them count. Focus on what is true for you.