On one of my recent trips to the US, I met an older woman, in her sixties, returning home from an “amazing” trip to Europe. She was very excited, telling me about all the beautiful things she had experienced there and how great it was to finally make her lifelong dream come true. But as I was listening to her, I noticed some sadness in her eyes – sadness so deep that all her interesting stories and excitement could not hide it. Later I learned why.
No time for your dreams?
The lady has been retired for a few years now, after working hard at the Post Office all her life – from right out of high school. The postal work required long hours and 6 days a week most of the time. The pay was not high, but she enjoyed working with people and helping them. You could see her servant attitude in the way she talked about people. She had always dreamed of visiting Europe, but as she said, “Life is too short. I always wanted to travel, but didn’t have the time.” As she was saying that, a shadow of deep regret crossed her face . . . because it was her first trip ever, not only outside of the US, but inside it, too!
As I was listening to her, I asked myself why it is that we say, “I just did not have time for this and that.” Why do we allow other things to take over, so that we don’t pursue our dreams? Why do we get so preoccupied with daily routines, working hard for a paycheck and running around, that we forget about our dreams, our passions?
Don’t get distracted
We all have dreams and things we want to experience. But many of us don’t take action, so the dreams stay dreams. We go through the motions each day, hoping that “some day” will come and the dreams will come true – hoping that we will have those things we’ve always dreamed about, and that we will become what we’ve always wanted to be.
Then one day we find ourselves looking back on our life and thinking – where did my life go? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be in my sixties and feel the same way that older lady felt! I don’t want to allow my days to slip away without a purpose and then regret that I did not take the time for the most important things in life. Do you?
Time is limited and we will never have time to achieve our dreams and goals, if we don’t actually plan time for them. If we don’t plan our time, somebody or something else will do it for us. Time with kids and loved ones? If we don’t plan it, other less important things will fill up our schedule. If we don’t make a conscious decision to exercise each day, and don’t plan in time for it, the day easily goes by and other things fill up our schedule. Have you experienced that?
As my mentor and famous author, Zig Ziglar, has said, “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” If we want to live balanced and fulfilled lives, we must have dreams, but we must also have a plan to achieve those dreams. Long term dreams and short term goals help us determine where to spend our time, and motivate us to get up every morning with a sense of excitement and purpose. It is possible to achieve your dreams and live the life you want!
Your first step
What are YOUR dreams? What have you always wanted to achieve and become?
This week, find a quiet place – with no distractions – and start dreaming! Make a list of your dreams. Take several hours . . . or the whole day – the choice is yours. Allow your imagination to take you from where you are now to where you want to go.
This is the first step on a wonderful journey called Your Life and the amazing things you will experience along the way!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” – Mark Twain
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