Everyone wants to be happy. They want to have achievable goals that make their life better. But sometimes people get stuck on the way to their goals. One way to get unstuck is to dream bigger and broader to gain a clearer vision of what you really want.
One of the activities I practice with life coaching clients is called “Five Lessons.” It begins by writing five dreams down on five different notecards.
Most people have trouble coming up with what their dreams are, and when they do, those dreams are usually narrowly focused. The write down something like “successful business” or “happy family”.
Those are good goals, but they aren’t really what I’m aiming for, so I push them to dream bigger, wilder, crazier dreams. Want to solve world hunger? Write it down. Want to be a world famous actor? Write that down too. No dream is too big or too crazy.
If the dreams are still too narrowly focused, they can be built on by following some natural questions. If you want to start a business, why? What’s the bigger dream that’s hiding behind that one? And so on.
When I’ve done the exercise myself, I discovered that I suffer from the same limited vision. I wrote down that my dream was to be a farmer, but that wasn’t really my dream. I was focusing too small.
When I open myself to bigger dreaming, I find that what I really want to do is provide healthy food to people and improve their lives.
From the outside, those two ideas both wear boots. But they aren’t the same. Being a farmer is a lot more limited and less fulfilling than the concept of providing healthy food and improving lives. It’s just a small part of a bigger dream.
If I held in my mind that “be a farmer” was my dream, what happens when I achieve that? What now? Worse yet, what if I become a farmer and find out I don’t like what I’m doing?
Having big dreams allows for more flexibility and more happiness when you get there. It’s still possible to create specific, actionable steps to achieve the goal, but the broader vision helps us with decision making and helps us keeping sight of what it is we’re actually aiming for.