Last night I opened my journal and I wrote down 30 of the wildest dreams that I want to manifest for my life. I was inspired to do this exercise after listening to a podcast about how writing our dreams down with pen and paper and then taking actionable steps towards them can actually help to make our dreams a reality.
So many interesting things happened as a result of doing this exercise. Writing down my dreams, as many as I could think of without forcing them, showed me the life that I truly want because absolutely nothing was off limits. It didn’t matter if I didn’t know how I’d get there or if it might not happen for ten years. It didn’t matter if I felt it was silly or unobtainable. It only mattered that I wanted it to come true. This process brought into true focus what I want from this life, both for myself and of myself. It showed me that dreams can be different from goals but that goals are often the stepping stones to dreams. It helped me see my life unfold over the next year, then ten and then twenty and it made my stomach churn with a mix of giddy excitement and nervous fear.
I could see how I want to be of service to the world and the work that I want to do to help others and yet the realisation of what this work is, left me smiling in surprise. I could also see, so clearly in fact, the things and experiences that I want that will make me feel fulfilled and thrilled with my life. Fire in my belly, joy in my heart, peace in my mind.
I wrote my dreams down and then I read them out again. I closed my journal and I spent a few minutes focusing on several of them in particular. The ones that stood out. The ones that are now vividly etched in my mind as dreams that I’m going to make come true. The ones that make me smile the instant that I think about them.
Then all of a sudden, I was hit with the guilt. That difficult emotion that never ever seems far away. Who am I to have these dreams when some people don’t even have a roof over their heads? Who am I to have dreams that perhaps are selfish, to benefit only me? Who am I to have these dreams that could actually come true because I was born into a life of privilege, compared to millions? Who am I to have these dreams when surely, I have so much already?
Who am I to have these dreams?
I’ve realised that guilt exists as an emotion not to serve us but rather to strongly remind us that we care. I felt guilty about my list of dreams because I care so deeply about the world and the people and creatures that dwell here. I feel guilty that I might get to live out my dreams when others might not, yet I wish that the same could be true for everyone. But then I realised too, that not everyone’s dreams are the same. Our dreams are a reflection of all our unique lives, relative to one another, relative to our values and beliefs, relative to the place and culture into which we were born and relative also to the work we are willing to put in, in order that they might one day come true. Every person on the planet is entitled to dream their wildest dreams and feeling guilty about my own will only prevent them from coming true.
We all live one life on this planet. We all deserve that life to be as beautiful and fulfilling as it can be whilst knowing that gratitude and humility must always come along for the ride. Whilst knowing that we will get out of life as much as we’re willing to put in. Whilst knowing that living a life of intention and seeking a life of joy, will and can help other people too.
So, I’m going to keep dreaming up my dreams. I’m going to dream boldly and I’m going to work on telling myself that I deserve it all. I strongly suggest you do the same.