How to Keep the Dream Alive
Sometimes, but not always, it hurts to dream.
I'll be the first to admit that having a big dream isn't always easy.
Especially when you feel far away from making the dream come true, when you experience obstacles, or when you lose your motivation, it can be hard to be a happy dreamer.
I know, I know.
Dreaming isn't always a walking the park. Dreaming isn't always flowers and tea. Dreaming isn't always blurry photographs paired with Helvetica.
It can also be hard.
However, there are a few things you can do to keep the dream alive and continue to look at the dream as a renewable source of energy rather than an energy-sucking black hole. But it takes practice and determination.
In other words, in order to avoid falling in to the black hole of negative spiralling, you need to stay focused on the positive end of dreaming. Especially during hard times, you have to work hard to keep the dream alive.
One way to keep the dream alive in your mind is to journal about it. Write about yourself when your dream is true. Write about the little things, the emotions, and try to describe your dream as vividly as possible. The point is to help you feel that joy before it has even happened. Whenever you need a little boost, try to read something you wrote weeks ago, something you might have even forgotten about writing. Let the trust in your dream and the warm comfort guide you all the way from dream to done.
Action step: Write a 500 word story about your life when your dream has come true. How do you feel? What do you do? Where are you?
Another technique to help you keep the dream alive is to surround yourself with little reminders. It can be anything from a vision board , to a note on your phone – or a keyword written with ink on the back of your hand. One way that is particularly helpful for me is to use an alarm on my phone. Instead of setting my morning alarm clock to say "alarm" and then have a terrible tune playing, I have set my alarm so that is says "everything is possible" and the song that I wake up to every morning is Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. Powerful!
Action Step: Identify a way to remind yourself of your dream. Then place the reminders around randomly – around your house, at random times and in random places. Now lean back and have fun when you discover them again!
PLAYLISTS AND MEDIA
To stay motivated, don't ever underestimate the power of a good playist. Just think about how much easier it is to vacuum with the music turned up – dancing and singing at the top of your voice while you clean your house. Well, that feeling can be applied to other things too. Like staying motivated and focused on what you really want to do.
The key, of course, is to choose the right music. And here, my love, you'll have to walk alone. But to help you on your way, I have made my NYC playlist available on Spotify. Keep in mind that this is just an example, your dream list might look very different! Maybe it is all in French? Or maybe your songs are all about writing somehow? Or is your list full of love songs? The sky is the limit!
You don't have to limit yourself to music; anything that will help you get lost into the world of your dreams for a few minutes or hours at a time will work. Good examples are movies, books, magazines or even poetry or photography. (Pinterest is awesome for this!) If you come across something that reminds you of your dream, no matter how big or small – collect and cherish!
Action step: Create your own dream playlist, movie list, reading list or vision board!
What do you do to keep your dream alive?
This post is an excerpt from my book Feeling Good when Life is Hard. The Book is about thriving during challenging and difficult times, how to cope with your emotions, open up and LIVE. Even if you are not going through a hard time right now, this book will help you be better able to handle challenge when it arrives (because it will!). The book is interactive and contains worksheets, action steps, playlists, personal stories and how-to lists.