I see a lot of teens and tweens on the cross-roads of decision making, wondering what their real calling is. There are many career choices but which is the ideal profession for them? In this essay I have tried to present a simple framework for you to go through, to find the answers and way forward. I have often used this in my coaching sessions to help clients work with their different goals and stay the course till they see their “dreams come true”.
As a coach, the part of my work, which I love most, is to be a “dream pusher” – helping children dream about their dreams and make them a reality!
“There are only two things that can hinder your dreams: money and your imagination. If the second is great enough, the first will never be a problem” – anonymous. This quote sums up the importance of a purposeful life and then the monetary rewards mostly follows.
Dreams are made up of different shapes and sizes and from all spheres of life – to having an ideal job/career, to have a perfect body, to be in the perfect relationship, to have adequate saving etc. A meaningful dream when it comes true, fills our life with peace and happiness. There is a lot of joy in the process of achieving the dream as well. So the journey is as important or enjoyable as the destination itself! That to me is a true test of a “worthwhile dream” in our life!
Does that mean that failure and difficulties don’t come across the path?
“Life is simple, it’s just not easy!”
There are of course little and big bumps on the way, but when you are chasing your dream, you love the energy, the passion that surges through yourself, the creativity that makes you feel so “alive and fresh” (and young?). You also have the “power” to deal with the hiccups.
Friction is a necessary part of all movement, isn’t it?
4 steps of dreaming:
Ask yourself what do you really want? What will make you really happy?
Why is this so important to you?
What gives you a “tingling” feeling in your heart and soul when you hear about or see someone “living” YOUR dream? Can you recognize this special feeling and the “urge” to BE in that person’s shoes?
How much it really “hurts” not to follow your dream? What do you really “gain” if that milestone is achieved?
The above questions will definitely give you inroads into some of your thoughts which do not surface usually, or inner voice that you do not hear because you are enclosed in a “box” and trapped in patterns of “should be”! It is a new awareness of what your dream is!
Dream (Breathing life into your dreams):
Close your eyes and think about what it means to achieve the goal? Define it in your thoughts. Does it have colours, shape, size, space, voices? Who are the people in it? What are they saying? How do you feel when you are in the dream?
A few tips to “breathe life into your dream”:
Increase the texture and details you are able to put into the “dream” in your visualisation (like you increase the colour contrast or turn up the volume in your TV).
Write a journal of your initial thoughts, draw sketches or pictures of your dream.
Collect brochures or information snippets from Internet or any other medium to increase information level (if familiarity and awareness needs to be increased)
Speak to more people about your “dream” as a sounding board (beware of the persons you choose to divulge the “dream” to, as there could be some negative implications of the reactions from people like – demotivate, ridicule, disbelieve etc)
It is also important to envisage some kind of timeline for the dream and break it up into “small, medium and long term” period.
And also remember what are some of the milestones for the small, medium and long term period is so that you can celebrate it!
Design (Ideas /light bulbs/Brainstorming):
Now it’s time to brainstorm! Put your pen to paper and write down all the ideas and thoughts that come to your mind around making your dream a reality. Don’t eliminate any ideas – Put all in “black and white” and evaluate what each option means and what it can do for you. You can also think of every person who can provide you with any support on information on the path to reaching your dream. Don’t limit yourself in anyway – in the new age where we are so well connected, there is a way to reach out to every corner of the world and to reach out to every person you can think of!
Deliver (Dare to “jump” and track):
Be mindful of the fact that there will be some difficulties in some options but “dare” anyways to take the step forward.
With each option keep a chart as to where it is leading you to? Where it can lead you further?
The road ahead is leading you to the rainbow- “Just walk it”!
This is a very simple model to make the best possible choices! Does it really work? Think again, history is replete with successful people who follow their heart and dreams. Being a social entrepreneur in the education space and implementing technology solutions in schools, my personal favourites are Elon Musk and Steve Jobs – they are serial entrepreneurs and have used technology in their businesses to touch many lives. When you observe such superbly motivated individuals all around you, one trait that you see common amongst them is that they continue to take risks and follow their heart.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world.” –Harriet Tubman
The 4-D model is based on Appreciative Inquiry (term coined by David Cooperrider) is an organisational and personal development method to renew, change and improve performance based on focusing on the “strengths” rather than improving on deficiencies.