Tag Archives: dreams

Main obstacles on the way to achieving your dreams

To begin with, I truly believe that as Napoleon Hill said “whatever a mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. It might sound too easy, as if all you need is just a vivid imagination and there you go – effortless realization of everything. However, that is not what this phrase is all about.

Dreaming is difficult; dreaming efficiently is difficult to the power of hundred. The good thing though is that you can master the skill.

To begin with, there are three equally difficult phases on the way towards your dreams:

Continue reading Main obstacles on the way to achieving your dreams

Advertisements

Why do I buy from small businesses (and you should too)?

The answer to the question in the title is very simple: I buy from small businesses because I know that every time I do, I am supporting somebody’s dream.

Think about it for a moment. Once upon a time there was that little girl, let’s call her – Mary, who liked to create beautiful clothes for her little dolls. She would take an old t-shirt from her father, cut it in small pieces and indulge in the magic of creation. A couple of days later her doll – Ann – would get a new layered dress and a matching jacket, and yes – don’t forget the ribbon for her gorgeous curly hair! Mary would dream that one day she will open her own fashion house and make clothes for all the little toys and all their little owners in the whole big world. Mary grew up to be an accountant, working long hours and even though succeeding in her career, still feeling as if her life is not what she wanted it to be.

Continue reading Why do I buy from small businesses (and you should too)?

Life plan: your instructions to the Universe

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” (Seneca)

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” (Coelho)

Whether you believe Seneca or Coelho, or none of the above, in order to achieve something in life you need to know what do you actually want. In my previous post about dreams – Protecting wings from being cut – I promised to separately talk about writing a “Life plan”, what to put in it and what to do with it afterwards, and that’s what I am going to write about in this post.

When I started writing my own “Life plan” at first I’ve read quite some psychology articles on whys and hows to understand if I need one and how to get to it. There are different approaches out there: you can go for a dream board, or a vision board, or a list, or anything in between – you pick. As long as you take a moment to reflect on your personal values and dreams and then find a way how to fix them be it in writing or in capturing an image, it works.

Having had a general dream board for a while, I decided to try something more structured, so I opted for a list divided in 6 categories –

  • lifestyle,
  • health,
  • emotional well-being,
  • financials,
  • personal development and vocation and
  • family.

The next step was to think about my values and a vision of what I want with respect to each of these categories, and then to write all that down in positive form and in present tense.

Why do you need to write things down? First, it pushes you to clarify for yourself what you want. Second, it motivates you to act. Research in the field of psychology has repeatedly proven that people become more committed to what they write down versus what they say. Third, it allows you to track the progress and thus get an additional motivation. 

I wrote down what I want to be able to do, where I want to go, what I want to have, what I want to improve, enhance. I thought about what type of lifestyle I aspire, what do I want to be doing. What do I want to spend my money on and how much money do I actually need for that. The goal/dream: “I want to have a lot of money” is actually flawed, as money is just means. Unless you collect paper or coins you in fact want not money itself but things and experiences money can buy.

After 6 pages of my “Life plan” were filled up, I identified my top 5 per category and wrote down a to-do list which I am currently actively working on, getting me closer to the realization of my dreams.

I understand skepticism some of you might have – that what is the point, for example, of writing down that you dream to travel around the world if you don’t have any money to do it? Well, if travel is really your dream there are hundreds of ways how to realize it with limited finances and thousands and thousands of people who already did it. If it’s not really about travel but rather about staying in fancy hotels around the world it is a different story, but also here you have options. Whatever it is – everything starts with identifying what do you precisely want in this life. Just be true to yourself.

As a final note, there are two “laws” that are to be taken into account :

  • the law of self-fullfilling prophecy – you become what you strongly believe in; and
  • the law of attraction – you attract into your life what you focus your mind on.

It works both ways – if you focus on negative all the time, if you nag and whine that nothing will ever work, that you will never achieve anything – you will program yourself to exactly that. However, if you focus on your dreams, focus on “how” rather than on “why not”, if you see the good, the positive, the bright, that is what your life will become. Confirmed by experience.

 

 

 

A comfort zone: Should I stay or should I go?

You hear it a lot: get out of your comfort zone! In order to succeed, you should step out of your comfort zone! You see motivational pictures with circles drawn where your comfort zone is depicted as a small miserable circle and just there – at a just slight distance – is a big bright circle of magic that is supposed to happen the next moment you step out of your comfort zone. Yeah right…

I don’t argue that you need to stretch yourself from time to time and that you do need to face your fears (especially given that most of them are actually nothing but an illusion), and that you do need to step out there and dare to follow your dreams and so on. But what a lot of people forget is that you cannot step OUT of your comfort zone if you haven’t first stepped IN there. That is somewhat linked to one of my previous posts about norms (link) – there is way too much pressure from the outside telling you how you should live. However, people do have different pace in life and different circumstances, different experiences they went through. A lot of people at this very moment are struggling to find their comfort zone!

I was there, I know what I am talking about. When you move to a foreign country, when you change your career, when you just gave birth to your child, and in many-many more situations you feel so vulnerable, you are so damn out of your comfort zone already! And somehow the “big bright circle of magic” is also nowhere to be seen at that moment.

So if you already have a lot falling on you, before you boldly follow Baumgartner and jump from the stratosphere, take a deep breath first and search for your “small miserable circle of comfort zone”. Get in there, get yourself a comfortable pillow and heal a bit.

Give yourself a permission to push the pause button from time to time and take a moment to reflect on who you truly are and what you truly want. And then, and only then, when you are back to being a strong lioness (or a lion) with a shiny, iridescent hair instead of a ragged, tattered kitten, then you can, and then you actually should, step out of your comfort zone and head towards your dreams. But not before. Whatever everyone says.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Protecting wings from being cut

While browsing through my Facebook I stumbled upon an interesting question posed in one of the groups – “Who is cutting your wings?”. Replies split almost equally between those who were blaming themselves and those who identified some external sources of influence: like a husband, family, friends, colleagues. It made me think about dreams, about identifying them in the first place and daring to follow them. And about all those moments when you are so inspired and uplifted, yet all your enthusiasm is crushed like a bug on the ground by someone whose opinion you value. Those moments when you feel good about yourself, but are made feel worthless; when you are, as Russians say, multiplied by zero; when your dreams are shattered and wings are cut…

… But let me start with identifying dreams first because “if one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” (Seneca).

Long time ago when I was something like 17 or 18 years old (damn, I am old!) inspired by the movie “The Secret” I made my first list of wishes, hopes and dreams. There were 100 items from all possible categories starting with things I want, moving onto experiences I want, even places I would like to visit. Dreaming without any limitations, without thinking whether you can afford that, whether you are physically or mentally capable of doing that at the moment – dreaming without analyzing. I remember that it was fairly simple to write down the first 50 items or so, yet to reach the number 100 it took me almost a week. I looked at my old list couple of months ago and  – it’s almost complete! Some items were scratched off because I don’t want them anymore, however the majority of my wishes and dreams has actually realized. In the hindsight there were quite a few items in that list that back then were simply impossible for this or that reason: like going to China or learning to play golf, or studying abroad or having “Manolo Blahnik” shoes. Guess what: I went to China as part of my MBA studies (done abroad), I learned to play golf last summer and pretty much like in “Sex and the City” my husband proposed me putting on beige “Manolo Blahnik” shoes on my feet.

Few yet unrealized items are now transferred to my “Life plan” – which is an extensive list divided in 6 categories covering all the main aspects of my life – lifestyle, health, emotional well-being, financials, personal development and vocation and family (I will talk about how to write it in one of the future posts). Yes, a bit insane, I know. However, knowing precisely what I would like in my life and with my life creates a good focus. Just for a giggle – if tomorrow I am going to win “Euromillions” then I know precisely where and how I will spend that money. Yet also if it never happens I am pretty convinced that somehow there will be a way to get everything that I want. Even (and maybe especially) if I don’t see that way at this moment in time.

Now after dreams are identified comes a more difficult part – daring to follow your dreams and this is where wings are often cut

I am lucky to be supported at all times by at least one person in whatever crazy initiatives I would like to pursue. I always believed in myself but for success it is psychologically important to have or find that other person who also believes in you no matter what. When I was growing up I always had my mother by my side. My mother has never questioned my dreams, never put me down saying that something is not possible and or is not for me. She never reminded me of past failures. She inspired me and lifted me up when I felt down. She was there for me when after the first course at a law faculty I decided to switch from a full-time to a part-time program because I believed that if I work simultaneously I will achieve more. I remember a lot of friends at that moment saying that I am making a mistake, killing my inspiration and enthusiasm about actual legal job with comments like: “in this way you are going to fail your studies and are not going to get far anyway”. I graduated with 7,62 on 10, having four years of legal experience including representation before the court behind my belt. The same repeated when I quit my job and decided to do an MBA. I have been told by almost everyone around me that I was making a huge mistake, that I am jeopardizing my future, that I will regret and that I will never be admitted to the business school anyway, yada yada yada. And once again, my mother was there for me, protecting my wings from being cut. I have several stories like that where only with a support of my mother, with her unconditional belief in me that I succeeded, and I am eternally grateful to her for that.

This type of support is what I hope to be able to give my kids as well – to be there for them to protect their wings from being cut.

 

P.S. It is easier when you are supported, I understand. But even if you don’t have that person or people that believe in you at this moment, at least don’t betray yourself – don’t give up on yourself! Ever. There was a great quote by Walt Disney (yeah, a second quote in a short text, but it somehow fits) –

“If you can dream it, you can do it!”

– So don’t stop dreaming! Believe in yourself and your dreams! And go for them! You will find the ones who will support you along the way!