5 Things You Need to Make Dreams Come True

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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5 things you need to make your dream come true

“How does it feel?” she asked as I stared out the window enjoying the drive. “Does what feel?” I responded half expecting my best friend to ask me about the drive. “To call yourself a published writer? To be living one of your dreams?” she smiled back at me.

I didn’t have an answer.

I’ve spent so much time looking at the next big goal, the next big step on the dream path that I hadn’t realized I am actually living one of my big dreams. It caused me to pause and think back on how I got here.

How did I make a dream come true? I had the right tools.

5 Great Tips to Make Dreams Come True:

1. You have to pick the right dream.

Why is this important? Because choosing the wrong dream will result in disappointment, failure, or possibly worse — actually succeeding. Accomplishing the wrong dream can be depressing, and sometimes even disastrous.

An example might be that your dream might be a to become a millionaire by a certain age. Do you already see how non-specific such a dream is at the get-go? But let’s say this is your dream. So by age 50 you are a millionaire. But what enterprise you chose to make a million dollars at has cost you your health, your marriage and time spent with your children. You find that even with your millions, you are miserably unhappy.  Haven’t you seen this with some of the wealthy people you know?

If you had taken the time to look deeper, you may find your original dream of travelling the world to experience adventure and other cultures, but you felt there was no money in doing this and you’d get to it later when you’d made enough money. Your see that vague dream of becoming a millionaire was really your way of financing your “real” dream of travel–except that you never travel the way you once dreamed of traveling.

The career you chose to make you wealthy is one that demands that you be in one place, work long hours and rarely take any time off. Wouldn’t it have been better to figure out a way to make money part of the year and then travel part of the year?

2. The ability to understand the core feeling you are looking to feel.

Choosing the right dream to work towards requires a great deal of soul searching. It’s important to identify the feelings you are after in achieving your dream. Being a millionaire has little to do with the feeling of freedom, adventure, and joy that the travel dream alone would have, so why not pick the travel dream and see if you can make money traveling?

I see that what we want for our dreams is really how it will make us feel. It’s a certain feeling you are looking for, and you need to make sure your dream lines up with bringing you the feeling you want. Instead of just asking yourself,

“What dream do I want to achieve?” try completing the following sentence: “I feel most alive when I feel ________ (fill in the feeling).”

Think back in your life to experiences and tasks where time seemed to stand still and life seemed wonderful. What were you doing when you experienced these feelings? If you made a list of 15 times when this has happened in your life, is there a common theme? For me, I love to feel free. My dream must make me feel free.

Writing a daily diary was one of my favorite pastimes growing up. It would stand to reason that I would love writing a blog. Blogging gives me both the feeling of freedom and the feeling of writing in a diary. It’s a perfect dream for me.

3. A keen understanding of how you motivate yourself.

Tony Robbins says the key to motivation is state management. Are you more inclined to do something to avoid pain, or to gain pleasure? You need to know which one motivates you in order to help yourself become motivated to do what you need to do to take actionable steps towards your dream.

People who procrastinate to the last hour are motivated by avoiding pain. People who reward themselves for finishing tasks early are motivated by gaining pleasure. You need to understand how you are motivated and figure out a way to set up either pain or pleasure around each little step towards your dream.

4. The willingness to do the work yourself.

Waiting for something to happen is not an effective dream strategy, nor is expecting someone else to do your dream for you. Wanting someone else to tell you what to do, or wishing that they could create your dream for you is living a life swimming in victim mentality.

It takes real effort to decide to stop playing the victim card, but somewhere inside of you is a happy, successful, smart person just waiting to achieve your dream. You just need the willingness to take total responsibility for your own life, coupled with some direction and perseverance.

The confidence it takes to achieve your dream does not come first in dreaming. Confidence comes from courage — it’s courage that comes first. You must find the courage to get up and work on your dream yourself. Your dream will begin to come true when you start being courageous and step outside your comfort zone. The confidence to complete your dream will then come running to you.

We stop being victims when we take responsibility for achieving our dreams.

5. An unwavering commitment to see your dream through the boring, tedious, break-down periods.

You will face many roadblocks to your dream life. In the face of rejection, opposition, setbacks and heartache would you have the courage to continue? Perseverance is the cornerstone for dream success. You must make the decision in the beginning of your dream path to stick with your goal no matter how difficult it gets.

There’s a great anonymous quote, which says:

“Perseverance means strengthening of resolve. It is one of the vital principles of success. You must have heard the saying, “Keep knocking on the door, someone will surely open it.” That means, if you want to open the doors of opportunities, you need to be determined enough. This is possible only if you persevere with courage and enthusiasm.

Many a times, when we meet with a few obstacles, we feel let down and lose confidence. This is when the test of perseverance comes to the fore. How you surmount your obstacle, with grit and power determines your character. Never lose your determination; never let anyone steal your dreams.

Be focused and clear about what you want to do and how you want to do it. Keep persevering, inch by inch towards your goal with patience and confidence and there is surely nothing or no one that can stop you.”

Do you have what it takes to make your dream come true? I am convinced that you do, otherwise I would have never started 8 Women Dream. What are you waiting for?

Grab your tools and your to-do list! Let’s make a dream come true!

Catherine Hughes
Share your dream online.

Give us your thoughts!


  • bryan

    The love of a good woman helps too.

  • That keen understanding of how to motivate myself is what I am testing lately. Thanks for the reminder!

    – H

  • I love this post. Great fundamentals and guidelines. Thanks Cath!

  • This is a well thought out article that I have bookmarked for future reading. Would enjoy reading about a female going for her pilots license and talking about the experience here, with photographs and stories. Any takers?

  • Karen Lambourne

    This is a very good blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused … Any more tips …. I like these 5.



  • I’ve been thinking a lot about going back to school and getting my degree in nursing. Your points are valid and in order to stick with school and not drop out I need to look at the reasons I want to do this and plan to stay with it until I graduate.

    • My mother is a nurse – stay with it and if you need 7 women to cheer you one when you feel like quitting, just let us know!


  • Thanks for this article, it helped me a lot. Your information is very good on dreaming. Perseverance is a hard one for me personally.

  • alice here

    This is very true: “People who procrastinate to the last hour are motivated by avoiding pain. People who reward themselves for finishing tasks early are motivated by gaining pleasure. You need to understand how you are motivated and figure out a way to set up either pain or pleasure around each little step towards your dream.” I am trying to change from being someone who is motivated by pain to someone wo is motivated by pleasure. It’s not easy!

  • Tina C

    This makes sense if you think about it. I like the idea of going after a feeling. I am going to have to think about this one for a bit. This could be one reason I am not happy when I achieve something I am sure that I want. Thank you darlings.

  • Lynn Fincher

    I was originally sent to this site thanks to my cousin and I am liking everything I read. What a great idea this is.

  • paris

    I agree with number 4. The willingness to do the work yourself. The amount of good fortune that comes your way depends on your willingness to act.

    • Thank you Paris. I love this quote, “Put your future in good hands – your own!” which basically says the same thing.

      • mallory

        great advice !

    • mallory pettit- henson

      this is such great advice. this could help young women become something they have always hoped to be and handle it. i say all women should read this. thanks for the help.