What’s your dream? Close your eyes for a moment and think about what you would be doing if it wasn’t for the obstacles in your life. For me, I imagine myself behind a large mahogany desk near a large window, a stack of books near me, a cup of hot chocolate on the desk, and my laptop open as I write vigorously. I asked a friend what her dream was, and she described waking up as late as she wanted and then getting a long backrub.
Now, make a list of all of the things that stand in your way of fulfilling this dream. For most of us, our job interferes with it – we need the money that it provides to maintain our lifestyle. It also might cost a lot of money to fulfill that dream, too, on top of that money loss.
What did you just make? You made a checklist of things that you can be doing to live your dream. Is your job an obstacle? Look for other career opportunities or request some changes in your work schedule so that you have time for other things. Is money an obstacle? Spend some time evaluating your finances and you’ll probably discover that you have more money than you thought you did.
It’s also useful to make some financial estimates on each of these items on your checklist, just so you have some tangible dollar amounts to work towards. Would you need $100K to replace your salary and go back to school for a few years? Would $300K pay for a nice piece of land in the country on which to build your dream home?
Most of us walk a path in life that doesn’t lead to a dream; instead, it merely leads to just another day doing things that leave us closing our eyes and dreaming of something else. If this sounds familiar to you, try this exercise – and realize that your dreams are reachable if you start planning for them now, instead of sitting sadly at your desk, drinking another latte and dreaming.