Personal Development: How 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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How to Make Dreams Come True

If you’ve been reading me for the last month you’ve embraced procrastination, looked at creating a plan, killed you perfectionist instincts, reclaimed wonder, narrowed your dream to the one thing and set up rituals to get started on your dream journey.

This week you need to set up a planning wall or calendar. It’s time to do the actual work of making your dream come true.

Setting up a planning wall will help you map a dream action plan for the rest of the year. It will help you turn ideas into a tangible dream.

This week I want you to start by just writing down everything you think you need to achieve your dream — down to the smallest task. Don’t worry about where they should go on your planner or when you should do them, just brainstorm every idea and roadblock you need to overcome on the planning wall.

Post-It Notes are great for this stage because you can move them all around as you begin to map out what you need to do to make your dream come true.

Why is mapping out your dream important?  Because it begins to make dreams come true — it turns your imaginary dream into reality.

I’ll let famous speaker and author Jim Rohn tell you why this next step is important in making dreams come true —

The first step in turning nothing into something you start with ideas and imagination. Now it’s hard to call imagination and ideas nothing. How tangible are ideas and imagination? It’s a bit of a mystery.

So you can’t really call ideas that can be turned into a hotel, ideas that can be turned into an enterprise, ideas that can be turned into a vaccine, ideas that can be turned into miracle products — you couldn’t really call the idea nothing. It must have some kind of substance. And imagination can’t really be nothing. We call it nothing because it isn’t tangible.

It isn’t like a podium. It isn’t that real. But it is almost real. So to turn nothing into something you start with ideas and imagination. Ideas that become so powerful in your mind and your consciousness that they seem real to you before they become tangible. Imagination that is so strong that you can actually see it. You can actually see it.

When I built my first home for my family in Idaho, before I started construction on this home, I used to take my friends and associates out to the vacant property and take them on a tour through the house. Is that possible? Is it possible to take someone on a tour through an imaginary house? And the answer is yes.

I used to say, “This is the three car garage!” And the guy would look and say, “Yes! This garage will hold three cars!” I could really make it real and make it live. I would take them on a tour through the house, “Here’s the fireplace and this fireplace is brick on one side and it’s stone on the other side.”

I could make it real. “Here’s the rest of the house. Here’s the kitchen with this view window.” And they would look out the window as I took them on this tour. One day I made this house so real that one of my friends bumped his elbow on the fireplace. It was that real.

So imagination, we call it nothing simply because, nothing in terms of being tangible, but it is so real it’s almost real. So the first step is to imagine the possibilities.

The second step of turning nothing into something is to believe that what you imagine is possible for you. And we become supported by testimonials that say something like, “If I can do it you can do it!” Can we start believing that? First we imagine what’s possible — second we start to believe that what’s possible is possible for us.

We might also believe because of our own testimonials. Here’s what our testimonial might say, “If I did it once, I can do it again. If it happened for me before, it could very well happen again.” So we believe not only the testimonials of others who say, “If I can do it you can do it. If I can change you can change. If I can start with nothing, you can start with nothing. If I can turn it all around, you can turn it all around.”

Then we also have the support of our own testimonial if we’ve accomplished something before if we did it once we can do it again. If we did it last year we can do it this year. So those two things are very powerful — now they are not actual substance — although they are very close.

1. Imagine the possibilities.
2. Imagine that what is possible is possible for you.

Number two is really “faith to believe.” In fact one writer said this, “Faith is substance.” An interesting word that the powerful ability to believe in the possibilities that are possible for you. If you have faith to believe — that faith is substance — substance meaning a piece of the real. Now it’s not the real — it’s not the podium. But it’s so powerful that it is so close to being real.

So the writer said “the faith” is a piece of the substance of evidence. It’s difficult to call substance and evidence nothing. It is nothing in the sense that it can’t be seen, except with the inner eye. You can’t get a hold of it because it isn’t yet tangible. But it is possible to turn nothing — especially ideas and imagination — into something. Now if you believe that it is possible for you that substance and evidence become so powerful that it now can be turned into reality.

So the first step is to imagine what is possible and the second step is to believe that what is possible is possible for you. And the third step is to go to work and make it real. You go to work and make it a podium. You go to work and make it a hotel. You go to work and make it an enterprise. You go to work and make it good health. You go to work and make it an association. You go to work and make it a good marriage. You now go to work and make it a movement.

You make it tangible. You make it viable. You breathe life into it and then you construct it. This is such a powerful ability for all of us as human beings.

Now here’s the last and most important part: it takes the disciplined activity to turn nothing into something finally. Faith without the activity serves no useful purpose. But faith invested into the activity creates reality. Once I understood that I knew it was possible to build a career. I knew it was possible to build good health. I knew it was possible to build a relationship. I knew I could participate in the construction of valuable things, valuable enterprises, valuable things that would help and benefit other people. I knew I could be a part of it. I knew I could do it once I understood this formula.

Here’s the last part: appreciate now the discipline that turns imagination into reality. Because without the discipline it doesn’t work. The discipline is the last piece of the miracle process. The last piece of the miracle process is to do the work. To do the work of good health. To do the work of the relationship. To do the work of building a hotel.

This is how you turn your dream into reality.

To listen to this Jim Rohn speech, watch the video below —

Your planning wall is taking everything that is in your imagination about your dream and writing it down so that you can begin the discipline of working on your dream.

If you dream of losing a hundred pounds then write down all the ways this is possible and your reasons for wanting to do it. Get it all on your planning wall, or calender. Once you feel you have everything written down, then begin to organize it so you can begin to take baby steps. Maybe you start your weight loss dream with taking a daily vitamin. It doesn’t have to be big, just a start so that you are beginning to do the work necessary to make your dreams come true.

Small steps turn into big steps.

This week I am rolling out the new A Week In The Life of A Redhead blog to support my thyroid story dream for this year.

What will you put on your planner to do this week?  How will you begin to make your dreams come true?


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  • Katie

    I am getting out the post-its and calendar now! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • You go girl. I am thrilled that you are getting started. Who knows where you will end up. Journey is fun don’t you think?? xo Rem