It's interesting that, if you look up definitions for the word "dream", a lot of times you're going to see something in reference to the images that go through our mind when we're sleeping. It's really only when we take a look at some of the word's synonyms that topics like today really start to resonate. Synonyms like ideas, thoughts, notions, wishes, desires—these are all things that most of us are referring to when we talk about the dreams that we have in this life.
The irony is, while we usually want to make our "awake ideas" come to fruition, far too many of us literally sleep on them. That's really sad because dreams don't come to us for absolutely no reason. More times than not, dreams serve quite a profound purpose in our world. We've simply got to do what it takes to make them come true.
If you've got some dreams and you feel like you keep "hitting the wall" when it comes to trying to make them manifest, perhaps this article can connect a few dots for you. Life is short. Dreams are valid. It's important to do all that we can to make them manifest. Ready?
Can You Explain Each Dream in Two Sentences or Less?
When it comes to making your dreams come true, clarity is key. That's because, if you don't really know what your vision for your life is, how can you fully manifest it? That's why I'm such a big fan of encouraging people to sit down and figure out how to define each dream that they have—in no more than one or two sentences. For one thing, it can help them to get a greater understanding of what they desire to accomplish. Plus, when something is reduced to fewer words, it can feel a lot less overwhelming and so much more doable.
For instance, say that you've got a dream of being a writer. Cool. Now, what kind of writer? An entertainment writer? Someone who has a relationship blog? An author? And if an author, published or self-published? After knowing what you want to do, it can also help to jot do why you want to do it. Then you're able to start setting some realistic short and long-term goals. Make sense?
I definitely think that one of the main reasons why a lot of people are not able to make their dreams happen is because they keep referring to them in vague and abstract ways. The more you are able to clearly articulate your desires, the easier it will be to make them manifest for you.
How Realistic Are Your Dreams? (Now, Hear Me Out)
I've got a friend who says you can spend years working on areas where you are mediocre and do just OK or you can put that energy into your strengths and excel and thrive. That said, I come from a family of singers. Some pretty darn good ones too. For whatever the reason, I wasn't really encouraged and nurtured in that area and so, it sometimes catches people off guard whenever they hear me do it. Instead, most folks know me as a writer. And while I do think that I can hold a tune, I tend to think that singing is a talent for me while some of my relatives? For them, it's a gift.
What's the difference? To me, a gift is something that is almost supernatural. You were born with it. It comes pretty easily to you. You're able to blow other people's minds—and sometimes, even your own—with a particular ability. A talent is something that you're pretty good at, yet it will take a certain amount of effort to excel in that area. That's one example of what I mean by being realistic about your dreams. Are you trying to progress in a gift or a talent? If it's a talent, are you being realistic about how much time, effort and energy you're willing to put into it in order to make something happen?
Another angle on the realistic approach is the fact that being realistic is rooted in logic, facts, truth and common sense. Say that you've got a dream of becoming a chef with your own television show. Yet you only like to cook certain things. You've never taken any kind of cooking or media classes. Your bank account is close to zero. You have no equipment in your house. You hate to network. In fact, you have absolutely no idea what it takes to make that happen. You've just seen some folks on YouTube or TikTok and said, "I bet I can do that." It's kind of a play-on words yet the reality is that a lot of people's dreams don't manifest because they are more caught up in the fantasy of what could be rather than the factuality of things. While I do believe that nothing is impossible, let's be real—some things are more probable than others. When it comes to your dreams, what side of the fence do yours land?
How COMMITTED Are You to Your Dreams?
If there is one word that can separate a lot of people from success and failure, it's commitment. I oftentimes tell couples that I'm working with that if they constantly only focus on what makes them happy at any given time, they probably won't get much accomplished in life. Why do I say that? Happiness is a great emotion and experience. It's also temporary and doesn't really encourage much self-discipline. Going to work doesn't always make us happy; it pays the bills, though. Working out doesn't always make us happy; it's still good for our health. Letting go of a person, place, thing or idea that no longer serves us doesn't always make us happy; it's simply best for us in the long run.
Along these same lines, having a dream is one thing. Remaining committed—obligated via a pledge—to it is something entirely different. Commitment requires focus. Commitment requires maturity. Commitment requires putting your feelings aside, sometimes by overlooking how you feel in the now, so that you can do what needs to be done for the sake of your future. Commitment requires resilience. Most of all, commitment requires integrity.
One of the closest people to me has a billion-and-one good ideas. They stick with each one for about two weeks before moving on to something else. Sometimes it's because they allow themselves to get distracted. Other times, it's because they become impatient. Know what else? Sometimes it's because they claim they are no longer "happy" with the concept.
There are a lot of folks out here who will never see the fruition of some of their desires because they would rather be happy than committed when, more times than not, commitment, more than "happiness", is the key that unlocks a lot of doors. If you're not willing to stick "it" out, through the good and challenging times, you're gonna have a really hard time achieving success. Just ask any successful person. They'll vouch for this very point 1000 percent.
What Do You Do to Devote Yourself to Your Dreams? ON THE DAILY.
On the heels of what I just said, "devoted" is a word that I tend to hear less and less. Unfortunately. Sadly, folks are so fickle out here that they only really do what they feel like doing—and chile, that can change from day to day. When it comes to making your dreams happen, I don't care how much natural ability, resources and even favor you may have, if you're not self-disciplined enough to "plant some seeds" (and then nurture them) into your dreams on a daily basis, that can also hinder you from seeing anything really play out in the long run.
When it comes to putting daily time, effort and energy into your dreams, while what you do may look different from day to day, you still need to focus on them on the regular. One day, it may be putting a short-term goal together. Another day may be hitting up your mentor for some insight and encouragement. Another day might be actually doing something that will get you closer to your goal (writers write, designers design, artists make art). Another day might be all about networking and marketing. The point is, a true dream manifester is always thinking about how to get closer to what they want and then doing something—even if it's baby steps—to make it happen. No excuses. Ever.
Is Your Mental State in Alignment with Your Dreams?
Negative people. Moody people. Petty people. Envious people. Bitter people. These are some of the biggest obstacles when it comes to getting your dreams to where you want to go. Matter of fact, not too long ago, I read a tweet that said something along the lines of, "Your biggest haters are the people who used to be your friends." Lawd…LAWD.
I once read a pretty good medical-based article that said that negativity comes in all sorts of forms—cynicism; jumping to conclusions; blaming; catastrophizing (making mountains out of molehills); emotional reasoning (basically letting your feelings supersede common sense and logic); hostility, and filtering (only seeing things through a negative lens) were some of the things on the list. And gee, when you look at negativity from this perspective, it would definitely seem as if there are a lot more negative folks out here than positive ones. Since negativity can affect your immune system, hormonal balance, sleep patterns, emotional stability and ultimately, even your longevity, if you want to make your dreams happen for you, you've got to be super intentional about leaving negativity alone. Keep naysayers at bay. Protect your energy. Give yourself the kind of pep talks that will get you through each project and milestone.
There is a spiritual kind of warfare that happens when someone has a dream that can ultimately make the world better. You've got to keep this in mind so that you can stay as positive as possible in order to make your dream(s) come true.
Do Your Dreams Complement Your Purpose?
It seems like, at least once a month, someone will ask me how I got my book deals. Did I get a literary agent? Did I hunt down publishers? Did I have to turn in a couple of chapters of an idea before getting an offer? The answer to all of those questions is "no". Both publishing deals were offered to me and I think it's because, since they both aligned so much with what I am called to do, the universe made the deals happen for me. The books complemented my purpose which is helping people in the covenant principles of marriage, sex and the Sabbath.
Another example of where I'm going with this particular point is my godchildren's mother. Rissi Palmer once made history as a top-charting country music artist. Long story short, all hell broke loose in her life and she took a break. She got married. She had kids. Yet she still created music in the meantime. Something that I kept encouraging her to do was a podcast. She is such a walking library of country music that it only seemed right. Eventually, she started one. And then, almost immediately, dots began to connect. Someone heard it and connected her to Apple. And y'all, when I say that the rest is history—you can check out her CBS This Morning interview from this past March (right here) to get an idea of how life is going for her these days. How did all of this happen? Her dreams of reviving her platform complemented her purpose which is not only singing but opening doors of other female country artists of color.
If you read enough of my content for this platform, you'll notice that "complement" is a big word to me. When something (or one) complements you, it completes or helps to perfect things in your life. When it comes to your dreams complementing your purpose, an article on Mind Body Green's site that I definitely recommend that you make the time to check out is "10 Signs You've Found Your Calling". It shares points like mystical things will happen, when you get off course, you'll get redirected and your health will start to improve. Why? Because when your dreams complement your purpose, your dreams help to perfect said purpose and, since your purpose is the reason for why you exist in the first place, how could you not become more complete by everything coming/working together? Right?
Have You Factored Timing in?
Another friend of mine is a master of timing. You can try and compel them to do something and oftentimes they will be like, "Yeah. Not now." When you ask them why, they don't really have a solid reason other than it doesn't feel right to move at that particular time. And yet, whether it's weeks, months or sometimes, even a couple of years later, the universe will align things in their world in such a way that, not only do they get what they want, they end up with more than what they ever wanted.
There's a Scripture in the Bible that says that everything has a season, time and a purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1). One of the things that I like so much about that is all of those words work together. The right things happen in the right season, at the right time, and for the right purpose. Otherwise, it's not the best thing. That said, on a spiritual plane, whenever I think of timing, I think of a quote that states, "Be careful about rushing God's timing. You never know who or what he is protecting or saving you from." (LISTEN) Then, in a broader sense, another quote on timing that I appreciate is, "Timing is everything. When you're really ready for it, it will come."
Whew. That last one speaks to ego. Some of us get frustrated when our dreams don't happen when we think they should yet many times, God knows that we're not as ready as we think we are for them to manifest. We might not be strong enough. We might not be mature enough. We might not be responsible enough. YET.
While there are many things that we can control in this world, for the most part, one that we honestly can't is timing. So, if while reading this, you honestly believe that you've done all that you can do (have you?), perhaps you need to chill and just trust timing to do its thing. Because when things happen at the right time…it really is for your best in the long run.
Are You Absolutely in Love with Your Dreams?
A couple of years ago, something I wrote for the site was entitled, "Like, Love & In Love: How To Really Know The Difference". When it came to the "in love" part, something that I touched on is it's pretty close to impossible to be "in love" unless the person you love is "in it" along with you. That's because "in" means to be in a place, position, or type of relationship and "with" means to be accompanied by.
I know this is about to be some red pill thinking but…while you're out here thinking that you're in love with your dreams, have you ever pondered if your dreams are actually in love with you too? If they are lining up with your feelings and beliefs, so that you two can walk this thing about together? If that sounds like a crazy question, look at it this way—true love removes obstacles like pride, ego and arrogance. That said, let's not act like there aren't a ton of people out here whose dreams are rooted exactly in those things. And because of that, they aren't really in love with their dreams—they're in lust with the idea of what their dreams can do to further feed into their pride, ego and arrogance.
Dreams? More times than not, they are pure. They are precious. They are designed to bring out the best in us. If some of your dreams sense that you've got some cryptic or shady agendas…well, they may not love you as much as you "love" them. And so, they—and the universe—will actually do things to hinder your progress until some honesty, humility and gratitude—instead of that doggone sense of entitlement that so many folks tend to have—come into play. This is a good thing because the last thing that any of us need is for our dreams to become our worst nightmares.
While these eight points cannot guarantee that your dreams will become a reality, what I can assure you is the clarity these things are able to provide will get you closer than you've ever been—or position into a better spot. In the meantime, no matter what your thoughts, ideas or desires may be, don't doubt them. If they are meant to be and you're willing to put in the good work, they will manifest. In due time. The universe totally has your back on that.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Shutterstock