If you’re in the habit of following this blog you know I believe everything should be treated as a learning experience. I have no doubt that whether it’s realizing you forgot your pen right before the exam or going on a new adventure with friends, there is something to be learned in any situation. And I guess that should apply x3 regarding something as hugely important as our dreams, right?
Lately I had the unbelievable fortune to fulfill one of my childhood dreams: learning how to surf. Wait, maybe I should say here I merely set the foundation to fulfilling that one because, as you might guess, it’s not as easy as it looks in the movies… So there I was on the road to one of the most beautiful and sunny places in the world: Greece with the hope of attending 1-2 surf lessons to get me started. I admit there were some unexpected bumps on the way but I can wholeheartedly say it was an amazing experience! As is always when we chase something we truly want.
And somewhere along the path of this awesome time, the idea for this post emerged: making our dreams come true is great but what do we actually learn from that process? How do we change after we have managed to climb this new peak? I’m sure the answer to this will be as multi-faceted as the people in the world and as versatile as any unique experience can be; but the main goal is to get you to think: through this amazing time what did I learn and how can I use that to continue fulfilling more of my dreams? Take a look back at every time you accomplished something in your career or family or society: the same rules of learning apply here as well. Below are some of the things that I realized while on the road, feel free to continue the list with your own thoughts!
We are responsible for our dreams coming true. Nothing ever happens to us just because we really really want it: we have to take some action too. And accomplishing even our wildest dreams is an idea that becomes that much more tangible when we turn it into a plan. It’s our responsibility to set things in motion to fulfill our desires: it might seem as little as planning a couple days off work and booking a hotel but once you make those shy first steps the thrill will grab you and you’ll have no choice but to continue. It’s a lovely feeling!
Our dreams are not just a static statement: they are an experience with ups and downs! And as such they can be multi-layered and complex. For example, when I was surfing I had the unlikely combination of some pretty bad factors: rough winds, big waves and a wrong-sized board for my physique. This would have easily caused a younger me to declare that this was such a horrific experience that I solemnly swear I do not ever want to bother with it again. Because I was freezing and because I spent half the time being crushed by waves back against the rocky beach and well… just because. Even a well-planned experience can have its roller coaster moments that we need to embrace and look beyond. Take it as a first step and if you manage to feel at least one ounce of the joy of it, this should be enough to keep you going. No one ever said it would be smooth sailing!
Focusing on making new dreams is just as important. Yeah, it’s good to have dreams as old as you but it’s also valuable to be open to new things. Say you’ve planned a trip to fulfill a dream but it turns out that your plan for specific activities (or part of it) falls through, now what? The temptation to whimper alone in your hotel room will be strong but you need to focus on making the best of the situation somehow: go out and explore a new place; talk to people about what else there is to see and do wherever you are; call some friends. Don’t let something that often ends up being a minor setback ruin your day: your attitude is the most important thing in this process and if you manage to keep it together, eventually everything falls into place.
What has fulfilling your dreams taught you? Share in the comments below and then get out and work on fulfilling some more dreams! 😉