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Chasing the dream: What is a dream?

This column is about striving to achieve those big dreams for our lives, which can seem unobtainable when we have kids and mortgages and greater responsibilities.

Most people have dreams — those sometimes-secret, close to the heart goals for our lives. Perhaps it’s owning your own home or achieving a special level of success in your career. Perhaps it’s providing an amazing life for your children. Whatever it is, that dream is an important part of you. And you should go for it.

Defining your dream

Can you define your dream for your life? If not, now’s the time. The first step in going after a dream is knowing what you want. What is it that you envision yourself doing with your life? What’s that passion that makes you jump out of your skin with excitement and makes you feel whole when you are doing it? What is that giant goal for your life that you keep tucked away and strive for?

That’s the dream we are talking about here.

Now, write it down. Putting it into words on paper (or on your computer, blog or wherever) gives you something tangible to refer to and inspire you to keep aiming high. A writing journal can be perfect for this, because you can write more as inspiration strikes.

My dream

It seems only fair that I share my own dreams. I’ve always been very clear about what I wanted in life — to be a successful writer. But as I’ve gotten older, my vision has morphed into a whole-life dream. Here it is:


To live in a beachfront home where my backyard is sand and my family is lulled to sleep every night by the sound of lapping waves. So peaceful and happy…

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To continue and grow my writing career. In addition to the writing I do now, I also want to write books — cookbooks, nonfiction, fiction, children’s …


To give my family wonderful opportunities and experiences that enrich their lives and expand their minds, locally and abroad.

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What’s your dream?

In the closing of the film Pretty Woman, a man crossing a street says, “Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ — this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.”

That scene has always made me smile. You don’t have to be in Hollywood to have the kind of big dreams that the man is talking about. And like he says: some come true, some don’t. But that’s the thing about dreams. If you really go after yours, you can do absolutely brilliant and amazing things.

So, what’s your dream?

More on goals

Teaching kids to set goals
Charting your course for success

10 Reasons you need a life plan

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