What is your dream?

original-size-dreambookWhat would you most like to do if you were not hampered by time, money, obligations or other limitations? Start your own company? Take a trip around the world? Write a book? Devote more time to fun things? And when do you plan to make your big dream come true? When you retire? Win the lottery? Have three months to live? Many people don’t ascribe sufficient priority to their dreams. There’s always something else to do, take account of or it’s just not the right time. Or you’ve already tried, and it didn’t work out… Chasing your dream is not easy. You almost always encounter obstacles and matters turn out differently to how you thought they would. Yet my own experience has taught me that the feeling of doing something you always wanted to do, and the energy you get as a result, are priceless. Literally! A few years ago, Hilda Kornman (19890087) and Bas de Lijster (19860130) gave up their jobs and they and their young children sailed to and around the Caribbean. When they got back to the Netherlands they started their own company. ‘Since our trip, we have more self-confidence in chasing our large and small dreams. Compared to the sailing trip, starting our own company was relatively manageable. There was no question of a life threat (storm, shipwreck, etc.), but rather a financial risk. Now, we know that we are perfectly capable of living off a small budget (temporarily). More importantly, we had and have the strong conviction that this plan could work.’ During the interviews for my book ‘What is your dream?‘ I discovered that the eyes of those talking about their major dreams or passion light up. Take a look around you or, better yet, stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself what you are doing. If you don’t see the lights in your eyes, keep talking about your hobbies, your family, a holiday or other topics you love. Keep going until you reach a subject that makes your eyes shine. That is what energizes you and what you should be concentrating on! The video on www.wherethehellismatt.com is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. And itchy fingers to, like Matt, chase your dreams. More than 30 million(!) people have watched Matt do his strange little dance in the strangest of places around the world. He even found a sponsor to do the tour again! Every time I see it, I am jealous that I didn’t come up with this crazy idea myself … Don’t be inhibited by drawbacks. Of course there are always reasons not to do it (yet) and you will sometimes have to adapt your plans. The art is to find the right balance between the things you have to do and the things you want to do. The ones that give you energy (chasing your dreams!) and obligations (these often drain away energy). Perhaps you want to go and live in Spain at some stage? So why not go and do a Spanish course, grab hold of a Spanish real estate agent while you’re on holiday and try a house swap for a while. This will bring your dream for ‘later’ far closer and it gives you the chance to enjoy it a little now. Adriaan Rijkens (S10473) wants to get out into space. Impossible? He is doing all he can to achieve his objective step by step. He’s even doing the MSc program at Nyenrode! A clairaudient speech therapist, a dream job guru, a surrogate mother, the ultimate networker, someone who survived cancer and has to combine his new lust for life and traveling with his personal and business responsibilities: all the people I interviewed for my new book gave the same tips. Cliché, simple, but important: ‘If you want something, you just have to get out there and do it! Take the first step and the next follows automatically. Don’t be afraid of failing. Visualize your success.’ And I? I wanted to write a book about chasing your dreams. My deadline was 1 July. Unfortunately, I didn’t get round to much during the three-month trip sailing the Caribbean (also a dream). There wasn’t much room to write during the first month back in the Netherlands either. When I returned to Curaçao, I had exactly ten days to write the book! Although I had the story in my head, getting it onto paper was quite a challenge. But I managed and I am quite proud of the result that has been in the shops since 14 October. What would you like to do that appears impossible? My most important tip is: take a step today towards your dream. You’ll see that it gives you huge inspiration and energy. You’ll also prevent that horrid thought later on of ‘if only I had…’ The memories you want to have later have to be made now. Published in VCV Magazine, November 2010