Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but somehow have never found the time to pursue your dream? Maybe you want to walk the Camino in Spain, or trek in the Himalayas. Maybe everyone you know thinks you should audition for “American Idol.” Or there’s a book in you that is itching to get written. How do you go about turning your dream into a reality?


Here are 25 tips:

  1. Say it out loud, with confidence. “I am going to try out for “Dancing with the Stars.” Or post it on Facebook. Or send out an email to everyone you know.
  2. Be open to possibilities. You never know when a golden opportunity will come knocking at your door. Make sure you’re available to open it!
  3. Get the training you need. Always wanted to build your own website, become an opera singer, start a non-profit organization? Sign up for classes, find a tutor, get another degree if need be. You have to have the skills for what you want to do.
  4. Read, read, read. Go to a bookstore or library or download an ebook and find material that is related to the area you want to pursue. The more you know, the more real your dream will become.
  5. Find a mentor in your desired field. Apply for training programs so you get educated in the requirements.
  6. Ask everyone you know if they have connections in your dream field. Always wanted to be a radio show host? Ask if they know someone who works in broadcasting. You’ll be surprised at what six degrees of separation can provide.
  7. Do what you can by yourself. Want to open your own hair salon? Find the space and do the renovation and decorating yourself.
  8. Be ready for the unexpected to happen. You never know who is going to walk through the door, or call or text or email, or what will happen because of weather, or the economy, a sudden illness, or a parent or child who absolutely needs your attention.
  9. Whatever you do, don’t quit your day job until your dream job can pay the bills. It’s great that you want to express yourself creatively, but have you ever heard the term “starving artist”?
  10. Find a different job that has more flexible hours or a better schedule so you can take the classes or hone the skills for your dream work.
  11. Be different. Write a startling or humorous resume. Use bright colored sheets on your massage table. Combine allopathic and holistic approaches in your health care practice.
  12. Learn how to ask for help. You may be good at asking for directions, but how are you about admitting you can’t do it all yourself? Learn that it’s not a sign of weakness to need help. Be confident in your project or goal, and get help when you need it.
  13. Don’t let rejection make you abandon your dream. J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book got 12 rejections before it found a publisher. Steven King got 30 rejection letters for his first novel. And Alex Hayley, the author of Roots, received 208 rejection letters. Keep on trying!
  14. Be the one in charge. You always wanted to help the underprivileged kids in your community and have made many suggestions to various agencies about what they should do. Bite the bullet and say you’ll manage/head the program yourself.
  15. Have a good support network. You’ll meet people in the area you want to pursue. Get their contact info and contact them from time to time to compare notes, get advice, or brainstorm new solutions.
  16. Ask for feedback. You’ve designed everything you need for your new venture. Take into account how others react to it. Don’t be too proud to admit that they might be right about some things that need fixing. On the other hand, don’t be so weak-willed that you cave on things you really believe in.
  17. Don’t be shy. If you’re going to try out for “American Idol,” you better be ready to toot your own horn. If you’re opening your own business, name it after yourself and claim it!
  18. Learn how to communicate better. Take a workshop in dialoguing. Learn how to be a really good listener. Find someone to teach you how to negotiate with your boss or your clients.
  19. Stay as emotionally stable as possible. If you get easily overwhelmed, observe the stress you’re dealing with. Maybe find a therapist or coach to help you understand your triggers and how to release stress without negatively impacting your goal.
  20. Reward yourself. Maybe your dream is to fit into a size 8 after decades of being a plus size. Every ten pounds you drop is a cause for celebration—a massage at a spa, a new haircut, a babysitter for the kids or a night on the town. Whatever your goal, reward the incremental steps along the way.
  21. Express yourself creatively. It doesn’t have to be through one of the arts. Maybe you’re most creative in the kitchen, or in business, or in sports. But find some way to express your individuality and let it shine.
  22. Don’t be afraid of failure. Everyone fails at some point in time, and it is the richest experience you can have. As the old saying goes: pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
  23. Know when it’s time to quit. You will go through many difficulties on the road to your own personal success. But when all the joy has gone out of the adventure, when you’re buried in negativity, stop for a moment to ask yourself: is it time to stop heading down this road and find another?
  24. Take a personal problem and turn it into a great solution. One woman who was tired of always having to paint over her kid’s scuff marks in the hallway designed a little brush you could fill with the paint color and it’s now a huge booming business.
  25. Don’t worry. Be happy. Whether or not your dreams come true, if you can maintain a clear and harmonious inner emotional balance, you will have a rich life.

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