How to Test a Dream
Some people possess the high-quality problem of having too many ideas of what they want to create. I know in my lifetime so far, I’ve had times of wanting to be a writer, to create a tool to help teams navigate conflict, to be a travel agent or a teacher. I’ve loved every single one of these ideas at the time they showed up. Some ideas I’ve ended up doing some modified version of whereas others drifted away.
How did Peter know that his dream of walking across the country and raising money for organizations that serve children was THE dream for him to get behind? Enough so that he quit his job in order to pursue it. How could he be so sure that this is where he should commit his time and energy?
Mary Morrissey is an author, speaker, and the creator of a program called Dream Building. She has an in-depth knowledge of the mindset and steps necessary to move a dream forward. Mary says a dream is not the same thing as a worthy goal. You may have a goal to run a marathon, remodel your kitchen, or take a trip to Europe. Those are wonderful goals, but they’re not your dream. A dream is bigger. It will take you on a transformational journey once you commit to it.
Mary has devised a system for “testing a dream” once you have an idea (or, as Elizabeth Gilbert suggests, an idea has you!) She suggests you run it by these 5 questions:
1. Does the dream make me feel more alive?
When I imagine this dream coming true, do I feel excited? Do I notice an increase in my energy level? If a dream is going to be worthy of your time and energy, than it needs to be one you’re really excited about… something you would LOVE! Your dream will very much feel like being in love. You’ll have delightful endorphins running through your body, you’ll think about it all the time and want to spend time with it.
2. Does the dream align with my core values?
As you reflect on your dream, how does it line up with what you value most? For example: You have an opportunity to do work you love but it requires being gone from your family for long periods of time. Your value of the particular type of work is in conflict around your value of spending time together as a family.
3. Will it require me to grow in the process?
A dream will require you to stretch in the process and go beyond your current reality as well as your current identity. As you realize your dream, you will be transformed. For example, Peter’s dream to walk across the country is already a stretch in requiring him to leave his comfort zone and ask for help – frequently! His “asking muscle” is getting a work out.
4. Will I need help from a Higher Power (God, the Universe, Spirit…) in order to create this dream?
At this stage of deciding upon a dream, you actually don’t know how you’re going to create whatever it is you want to create. It may even look ridiculous or impossible. You need God’s help to get there. We all have access to a Power within us that largely goes untapped, and you will be calling on it to live into your dream. Most people dream too small because they sell short this Power that can do what our minds struggle to conceive.
5. Will the dream ultimately be of service to others?
Finally…..will this dream somehow help others? Dreams that are worthy not only help us grow, but are of value to other people. We all have a need to contribute – to make a difference. So go ahead and wonder how your dream will make the world a better place.
So, does your dream pass these 5 questions? We hope you’ll follow us throughout this Walk to not only see what Peter learns and accomplishes, but what you learn as well about your own dreams!