How Thoughts Become Things 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 Thoughts Become Things that Make Dreams Come True - Brian and college rugby quote by Albert Einstein

Professor Ochorowicz, Polish philosopher, psychologist, and inventor once wrote about how our thoughts create our reality:

“Every living being is a dynamic focus. A dynamic focus tends ever to propagate the motion that is proper to it. Propagated motion becomes transformed according to the medium it traverses. Motion tends always to propagate itself. Therefore when we see work of any kind-mechanical, electrical, nervic, or psychic—disappear without visible effect, then, of two things, one happens, either a transmission or a transformation.”

In other words, “thoughts become things.”

Believing that your dream can become a reality from your imagination to form is the cornerstone to success. What we believe about ourselves at the core of our being determines what we are willing to risk and change in order to create the dream held in our mind’s eye.

I’ve been able to be a witness to how “thoughts are things” as it has unfolded in my son’s life.

I used to write about the humor of raising my son and his funny experiences on my old blog, “A Week in the Life of a Redhead” until the day that I decided it wasn’t fair writing about him until he was old enough to have a say in the matter.

Now that my son is almost 19, he really doesn’t care what I write.

We are at that stage where he is convinced that he knows more about life than I do, so anything I might write is pretty much “momsense,” which is a particular type of nonsense only beloved mothers possess.

So I get to tell you his dream story …

Recently, my son’s college rugby team won a regional college rugby tournament, advancing them to the western state finals. My take-away from this experience is not to sit here and talk about my son until your head hits the keyboard out of boredom, but to share how my son being in the tournament is a perfect example of how “thoughts are things” works and how long it can take to make your dreams come true.

I would have to say that the dream journey of my son, Brian being in collegiate rugby playoffs probably started when he was 8-years-old … a little over 10 years ago.

Brian was just diagnosed with Auditory processing disorder (APD) about this time. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a neurological way certain brains processes spoken language. It can make it difficult for a child to process verbal instructions or to filter out background noise. (Source:

How Thoughts Become Things that Make Dreams Come True - Brian graduating from 6th grade & James Allen quote

Thu the great struggle began between his brain, his writing, his reading and being in full command of his body.  I decided early that Brian’s way of interpreting and being in the world was not going to hold him back from anything.  If I had to work with him every single evening until he was 30, I vowed to him and myself that I would help him overcome any limitation his form of brain processing might place on him.

I guess in some ways I could say that I was lucky to have married an ex-jock and health nut, who I divorced, but managed to eek out an odd type of friendship for the benefit of our son. While I spent years engaged with Brian over his academic abilities, Brian’s dad felt Brian would benefit from sports and physical activity.

I wasn’t so keen on the idea.  To me, Brian was a future Edison nerd kid and I was quite happy with that vision of him in my minds eye.

What Brian seemed to want seemed to be a lifetime of mastering video games.  He had a strong penchant for conquering video games within the first 24 hours of buying them just so his parents could say, “What did I just spend on THAT game?”  Then he’d teach his strategies to his friends.

I saw that his brain had a talent for problem solving, so I began to build on telling him to ignore what teachers or other students might say to him about how he learned and just focus on what he wanted to accomplish.  I pointed to his uncanny ability for figuring our video games  and used it as the cornerstone for convincing him just how smart he was in spite of his struggle with writing.

All too often when young kids get labeled with a “learning disability”, or really any label that makes them feel like they stand apart from their peers, their self-esteem is usually the first thing to plummet — faster than a falling star.

Some people never recover and they drag other’s cruel labels of their abilities with them their entire lives.

I set out to convince my son that his way of thinking had certain advantages because adulthood is all about the ability to think “outside the box.”  I told him over and over that only the limitations he set in his mind would hold him back — not what others thought.

If there was some obstacle, we simply figured out a way around it from everything like taking phone photos of chalkboards to capture all assignments to sitting at the front of all of his classes. And Brian’s dad began to involve Brian in his world of sports and physical activity — working with his body confidence to help him conquer it.

At first, I wasn’t convinced that the whole sporting thing was going to work.  Brian was all feet and knees and none of it seemed to move together in any rhythm or fashion.  I watched my ex-husband like a hawk, questioning every sporting activity and wondering if we were doing more harm than good.

For a few years I wasn’t sure about any of it and if one more grade school teacher told me that she was “worried about Brian’s future” I was going to home school him and protect him from the world. As mothers, we tend to go overboard when protecting our children.

Brian’s father and I stopped going over Brian’s report cards and simply told him that he was doing great. I continued to read with him for an hour every night and Terry (my ex) continued to work with Brian on developing his motor skills.

For a while we weren’t sure any of it was even working until Brian hit 7th grade and landed in a high-level math class and an equally challenging science class.  Suddenly it was if a light went on in his head and someone was finally speaking to him in a language he understood.

One night, when I was struggling to help him with math, he figured out the answer before me, he smiled and said,

“I’ve been seeing this moment happening for a long time mom.  I don’t need your help anymore.”

It was my first experience watching someone else’s stubborn tenacity at visualizing how they wanted their life to be, then seeing it unfold before me.  As it would turn out, he had bigger dreams for himself.

Conquering his body completely was another story. Brian is a big guy and big guys take time to develop. In high school, he spent a lot of time warming benches while better athletes played in games he wanted to participate in. Sometimes he thought about quitting, but his dad and I would always say, “Quit because you don’t like it, but don’t quit because someone else is messing with your dream.”

He’d furrow his brow and sign up again.

By his junior year his body started to change and respond like he wanted, but a series of coaches kept his dream of playing on a champion team at bay. He had the body and the experience, but life wasn’t playing so fair.  What do you do when your dream depends on other people?

By the time Brian entered his freshman year of college he was juicing, running, swimming and weight-lifting– some form of major physical activity every single day– even Yoga.  He was determined to be an all-around athlete on a winning team.

He had held this for a vision for himself for 8 long years.

But he chose to “red shirt” his first semester of college and although he worked out with the football team, he did not suit up.  “I know what I am doing, Mom!” he would tell me.   When the opportunity rolled around to play in a high school all star game, Brian decided instead to focus on more training and his college football coach said, “But Brian, what if that was you one chance at playing on an all-star team?”

He came home and told me the story, grinning from ear to ear,

“Mom.  Coach is great.  But he just doesn’t know me. I know what I am doing.”

In his second semester of college Brian joined the college rugby team as a starting freshman.

“Rugby…” I thought, “Oh crap.”

Without hesitation he told me, “We’re a winning team.  I can feel it and I’m ready for this.  I’ve been visualizing looking, feeling and being this way for years mom.”

And to my great surprise they won every game in their division.  It seems my son was about to be better at this dreaming thing than I!

After winning the final tournament, placing them in the regional playoffs in southern California Brian walked up to me and said,

“See Mom. It’s turning out just as I saw it was going to be all those years ago.”

I smiled. All those years that mom wasn’t sure he was listening.

How Thoughts Become Things that Make Dreams Come True - Brian at Rugby Albert Einstein quote

Thoughts become things.

And dreams take time, dedication, hard work and hope.

Are you listening?

Catherine Hughes

If you’d like to read more on how our thoughts shape our future, you can read “Thoughts are Things” by Prentice Mulford, first Published in 1908. It’s available here for free in pdf format.