We all have them, grand dreams that ignite our passion and inspire others. For example, I know many people who would love to change the educational system because they see how our schools are no longer “educating” our children, but are only preparing them to become “productive assets.” Others would love to elevate the (spiritual) consciousness of organizations, not only to enhance the creative cooperation between employees, but also to improve corporate social responsibility.
What is your grand dream?
The problem with grand dreams
The list of these inspiring dreams can be endless, but they often have three problems in common. First, the dream is so big that people don’t know where to begin. Secondly, the dream requires (a lot of) money which isn’t available and lastly, people encounter resistance from others who don’t share their dream, or they don’t see results quickly enough, and give up.
Luckily there is a simple solution to these problems, but before reading on I invite you to watch this short video clip made by Derek Sivers.
iPhone or iPad users: for video please click here.
How do you feel about Derek’s comments and suggestions? Does it make sense? From my own experience I can tell you that starting small does work and can be extremely satisfying.
The SpiritualCoach.com “case study”
Don’t worry, notwithstanding my MBA training, I won’t go academic on you here .
For many years my big dream has been to help people integrate spiritual teachings more effectively in their daily life. Why? Well, one of the things that I noticed with the workshops that so many spiritual organizations offer, including the ones I facilitated myself, was that after their initial positive energy rush and inspiration, most attendees saw themselves unable to create the shift they wanted in their life.
As a result, I saw many people become disappointed, believing that spiritual teachings are unpractical and useless in our kind of society. With real life examples, I wanted to show them however, that it is possible to positively change your life whatever the circumstances (as I illustrated for example in my book Choosing for You).
To realize my dream, I initially thought about designing my own workshops and then travel the world, but very quickly I ran into all kinds of challenges and practical constraints. Instead, I decided to create several online programs, using Skype to “meet” with the participants. After several workshops this approach ran however out of steam (parts of these programs are now available as free workbooks on this site).
Although my dream was still very much alive (that’s the problem when you are passionate;), I also felt a little disappointed and discouraged, but then decided to use an even more simple approach to realize my dream, i.e. to create a blog. This is something that requires hardly any investment and is very easy to realize.
After dipping my toe in the blogging water with “From the Mountain Top,” which gave me a lot of practical experience, and after taking some blogging lessons from Problogger, I decided to plunge into the blogging sea and the first post on the SpiritualCoach.com surfaced on September 12, 2010.
After a slow start, the site now attracts between 60-100 unique visitors each day from all over the world. This without any advertising or other marketing effort, but just by doing what I love most, inspiring others by sharing my insights and experiences. In the meantime, I receive more and more feedback from readers telling me how the blog articles really helped them with certain problems or challenges in their life.
And guess what, in June the first SpiritualCoach.com workshop is scheduled in Berlin, making my dream come full circle!
4 Practical tips to realize your grand dream
Based on my own experience, I have the following suggestions to help you realize your grand dream.
- Think of something that you can realistically do today.
Think of a small, practical step that will bring you closer to your grand vision, but is realistically achievable today. In my case it began with a blank Word document on which I started to write the first article.
- Release your expectations
The problem with big dreams is that you can very quickly feel disappointed if things are not going as you expected or hoped, which often will be the case. My “satisfaction” for example, is not dependent on the number of readers or comments my blog attracts, or any other external validation, although that is nice too, but it is felt with every new post I add. Once you release your expectations, and stay flexible like I did, every small step or accomplishment will make you feel that you are realizing your dream.
- Let passion be your guide, not your mind
Unfortunately, your mind will more often than not “discount” your achievements and discourage you with every small set back, while your passion provides you with an endless source of inspiration and energy to pursue your dream. Rationally speaking, I had sufficient reasons to give up, but I followed my passion instead and the result speaks for itself.
- Enjoy every step of the way
I enjoy every post I write and even enjoy the technical aspects of managing a blog. Every time I discover new and exciting things. This feeling of joy is enhanced by the fact that I don’t have any goals or deadlines. For example, I only write when I feel like it and that may mean that in some weeks no posts are published. Why put pressure on yourself anyway?!
With these suggestions I hope that you will be able to start your “thousand mile” journey and realize the grand dream you have. The question is, what will be your first step? Take a deep breath, make a conscious choice and …..your journey has began.