I have been given this sage advice at several points over the last couple of years, in various paraphrased ways. Today I have been reflecting with great gratitude on my current life and I felt compelled to share this advice, and explain the impact it has had on me.
We all have dreams. Some are big, some are small. Some seem impossible, some are forgotten, some are buried deep inside, lost under the pile of stuff that everyday life throws at us. But somewhere, there’s that spark, that every now and then gets fanned, and it flickers. Nurtured, it grows, ignored, it dies down.
I had such a dream.
Two and a half years ago it was coaxed back into life by a very special woman, my late coach the incredible Carrie Rose. She dared me to dream and gradually drew out the crazy impossible vision that was inside me. Although it didn’t seem possible or probable back then, breathing life into my dream breathed life back into me. My soul, which had started to turn grey, rediscovered colour, joy, and hope.
The dream remained a dream, but steps were taken. Baby steps. Steps that weren’t always directly linked to the dream, but were always headed in that general direction, with a renewed sense of purpose and meaning. I met more people, who also encouraged me to dream. To dream bigger, to ask for more, to expect and believe in more.
Two years ago I attended a speaker training course with another incredible woman – the inspiring Dr Joanna Martin – that was a pivotal moment in fanning the flames of my dream. I explored my purpose, my story, my vision for the world. Suddenly my dream transformed from a possibility to a future reality. Far out into the future, and I still didn’t know how it would happen, but it now seemed a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’.
Just over one year ago I realised it was the right time to leave my corporate job and take the first steps into starting my dream business, years before I had expected to. That led to my life-changing Land’s End to John O’Groats walk and then the opportunity to train as a One of many Certified Women’s Coach, both journeys I feel incredibly blessed to have undertaken.
Six months ago I had another pivotal moment in a coaching session with a very wise woman, who encouraged me to choose love over fear, and to always check in on my vision when faced with a big decision. She taught me to always ask myself “is this step taking me towards or away from my vision?”
That has been a useful question ever since, however the most transformative question she asked of me that day was: “Are you living the life you want now?”
Confused, I answered “well, sort of”. But in reality, I was still half living in the “one day” world. The “When this is done I’ll do that”, and “Once I’ve got this I’ll do that”, and “I would do that but…” world…
Thankfully I took her advice that day and took some steps then that put me bang on the right path, even though I couldn’t see exactly where it would lead at the time. I just knew it felt right, and the path was aligned with the philosophy and values of my vision. And the last six months, wow….!
Once you’re on the right path, and living the dream – I mean, living by the values of that dream – you’re actually already there. The achievement of the ultimate dream doesn’t feel so urgent, as you’re already living in alignment with what that dream will give you. And the best bit….when you’re on that path, the ultimate dream even begins to speed up towards you!
Today I’m now considering some steps that could potentially lead me to my “out there” dream in a matter of months. A place I never dreamed I’d reach at all, let alone so soon. It’s not going to be easy and I don’t even know for sure that the time is definitely right, but I do know that if I hadn’t started “living the dream” a couple of years ago I definitely wouldn’t be living the dream today.
What’s your ultimate dream? If you’ve never dared to dream, have some fun, dream big! And then, ask yourself, what steps or decisions could you take today, tomorrow, this week, that would be truly in alignment with your ultimate dream? How can you start living the dream today?
I’d love to hear about your dreams and the steps you could take to start living then today, in the comments below. Happy dreaming xx