Several years back I came across someone who talked about dreams a lot. She posed the question, what is your dream? My dream? That’s right. We all have dreams deep inside ourselves. When you have a family, naturally they come first. My answer at that time was that I wanted to raise good children. If I had any dreams outside of my family, I honestly couldn’t remember. There is nothing more important to me. I wasn’t let off the hook because these were my dreams for others. I realized a personal dream has nothing to do with anyone else. It is a call God puts in your heart. It is something you must answer for yourself.

A short time later, I went to a conference. I was standing in the back of the room listening to a friend give her presentation when a lady I had never met, put a medal in my hand and walked away. I opened my hand and on this little medal there was a star. It read, “Good for one wish”. I’m not superstitious, nor did I think there was any special power in this medal, but it made me think. It made me smile. Another prompting to find my dream. Here are 5 things I learned about finding your own personal dream:

1. Dreams cannot be bought or sold. This has nothing to do with buying something like a vacation, a home, name brand clothing or anything else. All that is temporary and not personal. Dreams cannot be sold either. Many people try to sell you their dream for you, which just happens to cost you a lot of money. You do not need to spend a lot of money and line the pockets of “snake oil” salespeople to live your dream. Dreams are expressed through who you are as life unfolds.

2. Take inventory. Try not to think of all of the reasons you cannot find or live your dream. Write down a list of all your skills and attributes. One of my favorite things in life is to discover someone’s talent. EVERYBODY has talent. Discover yours. Chances are you have these strengths to help you do what you were made to do.

3. Don’t give in to fear. I was just reading an article from what I thought was a reputable source. They were sounding the alarm of what they called a certain oncoming terrorist attack on our power grid, citing 9 out of 10 people will die within a year. They almost had me, until I scrolled down to see a product link for a solar powered generator product! (Let me guess, they have a financial interest in selling these generators.) Fear freezes people and keeps them stuck in the status quo. Fear makes us give power to others. Perhaps that’s why people go out of their way to discourage others who have dreams. In the popular movie, FINDING NEMO, Marlin says, “I don’t want anything to happen to Nemo” Dory interjects, “That’s strange you don’t want anything to happen to Nemo?” The only time things get exciting is when things happen. There is a possibility the unknown future could be bad when you take chances, but it is more than likely it will be good. Don’t let fear get in the way of your dreams.

4. Make a plan. Once you find your talents, skills and strengths and get past your fear, write out a plan. Success does not happen overnight. Figure out what you need to get to where you’re going. Great achievements do not happen overnight. It takes hard work, dedication and a great game plan.

5. Be flexible. I love the old saying, “There’s more than one way up a mountain”. If we are too rigid, we may miss wonderful opportunities. Things rarely go as planned. The good news is that every stumbling block, can be one that you build with. Learn to make your mistakes and miscalculations work for you. Reassess often and make appropriate adjustments.

JRR Tolkien wrote, “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.” Every great achievement began with a vision or a thought that it was possible. Each and every person was made for a specific purpose, a role that no other human in history can fill. We all have the gift of the Divine plan called life. If we really want to live, we must reach for the stars and dream big!

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