Dreams: Where to Start in the New Year


It’s the first full week of a new year, and inevitably you have already read plenty of hope-filled promises for 2014. You may well be brimming with dreams and passion for a fresh start. On the other hand, what if you’re stuck because you are afraid to hope or you’re overwhelmed? If you feel like you’re on the outside peering in at others’ optimism, I’d suggest picking up Finding Your Element by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica. Your "element," defines Robinson, is "where natural aptitude meets personal passion."

Finding Your Element begins with a fish story that’s anything but fishy: Two young fish are swimming when they meet an older fish. How’s the water? they ask him. What’s water? he responds. That, Robinson writes, is what being in your element should feel like. So natural, you don’t even think about it.

The book’s chapters include, What are You Good at? and How Do You Know? for starters. Each chapter contains ideas and principles, stories and examples, exercises and more to help you discover your element. What are You Good at? ends the chapter asking questions such as, What sorts of activities come easily to you? What do you feel your natural talents are? Do you have any aptitudes you’ve never considered developing? Questions like these may seem basic, but that’s part of the beauty of the book. Finding your element, or the area where you excel, does not have to be hard. Taking time for this sort of concentrated self-reflection can be invaluable.

Further questions the book explores are, What do you love? What makes you happy? and What’s your attitude? Robinson writes, "One of the most important things you can do as you try to find your Element is to pay careful attention to your emotional states. Is there something that you do that consistently elevates your spirits? When do you experience stretches of real joy?"

Robinson doesn’t dismiss your current circumstances, either. In the chapter Where are You Now? he asks, How easily can you take a risk? What are the biggest hurdles? What would it take to get over them? What would happen if you did? and more. It’s also important to note that you are not meant to do this exploration on your own. Where’s your tribe? Robinson asks. As the author describes a tribe, you can receive affirmation, guidance, collaboration and inspiration from your tribe.

Chapter 10 concludes the book with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. "Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

As you know, Sam’s Dream Blog is about helping you take practical steps on your dream journey. What’s one step you can take toward your dreams or desires today?

Leave a comment below or share this with a friend. Check back for the next SDB post on Jan 21.