Miller's Musings

Thankfulness: The Game-Changer

You might think it’s easy to be thankful this time of year. There is delicious food, magical sights, holiday parties, days off work? The list goes on. But maybe you don’t have any of that to enjoy. Some of my dreams seem no further along than they did last year at this time, and so on. Yeah, be thankful, right. When I start feeling down like this, there is one thing I’ve learned recently that amazes me every time I recall the lesson and act on it.

Choose to be thankful at all times. No matter what is going wrong, my guess is you have something or some things going very right. Do you have food and shelter? Those are two big items right there. What do you have to be thankful for?

Thankfulness is a game-changer. Writing down what you are thankful for is particularly powerful. My outlook changes dramatically when I do that. Give it a try!

Here is my list of things I am thankful for, related to my dreams, along with some questions to get you thinking:

1. My God, my friend -  Have you made Him your friend?

2. My parents - What things have your parents done for you that you take for granted?

3. My girlfriend - She is beautiful, powerful, fun, supportive, and she spurs me to dream like few have.  Who do you have in your life that can encourage you to dream?

3. My extended family and close friends - Who do you allow in your inner circle? Why?

4. My pastors and mentors - Who can provide you with unbiased counsel and opinions?

5. My elder and younger friends - Who can you take lessons from and to whom can you show the way? Also, keep in mind, people are watching you. Have you asked them what they see? Don’t assume.

7. My longtime friends and new friends - I live in an environment that attracts people from all over the world. Interacting with different cultures makes me come alive unlike anything else. What’s more, no matter where I go from here, I’ll always have friends all over the world. How cool is that?! Who is someone you should befriend? At the same time, few things are better than striking up a conversation with an old friend? Which old friend have you called lately?

8. Doubters - We all have had people say there’s no way we would succeed with something, only to prove them wrong. Who is a doubter you have disproved?

9. People who have made mistakes - I’m a firm believer that you can learn something from everyone. That may mean that you do what they didn’t do or vice versa. Of course, you may fall into this category at one time or another. That’s OK. Let someone take a positive away from your negative.

10. Freedom - I am thankful to live in the USA. What’s more, lately I have experienced new-found freedom - freedom to be fully me, freedom to take more risks, freedom to not have all the answers along the way, freedom to try new things - What freedoms are you thankful for? What freedoms do you take for granted?

At this point, I think you get the idea. It takes other people to make a dream a reality. Who did I forget on my list? What does yours look like?  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you, Dreaming Made Simple readers!

Dreams: “That one’s done. Now what?”

We have reached that time of year again.  It’s time to transition.  Whether that means you are graduating from school or simply starting the summer season, there are some changes ahead for you and me.

I’m wondering, how do you get fresh vision after you have finished a significant season and are facing an uncertain future?  
 
Here are some suggestions.  Leave a comment below with what works for you!

Think about your dreams, or perhaps just one to focus on now. Why is it a dream of yours?
In his book “Start with Why,” Simon Sinek looks at the Wright brothers. Orville and Wilbur had stiff competition, but they succeeded while others failed. How come? “One man had a dream team of talent and resources as he sought to be the first pilot. Orville and Wilbur Wright had none of that. Why did they succeed? Their ‘why’ was their belief that an airplane could change the world.”

Diversify your dreams.
A lot of my dreams are event driven, meaning I don’t have a way to make them happen now. Working The Masters golf tournament, for example. Furthermore, a dream like that is kind of a one-shot deal. This leads me to think, are there long-term dreams that I can make steady progress on now? Saving money weekly (even if I can’t stash away a whole lot at this point) is an example.

Pray.

“Just keeping swimming.”
In the movie “Finding Nemo,” a father is separated from his son. The dream of being reunited is all but impossible. Fortunately, Dad has one of those optimistic friends named Dory nearby him.  “Just keep swimming,” she says over and over again.  Yep, sometimes you just have to keep going, no matter what circumstances would lead you to believe. After all, father and son were reunited in this case. Who’s to say your dream can’t happen too?

Think about how your dreams connect with your overall life goals or purpose.
How often do you think about why you were put on this Earth? If you don’t stop and think about it at least once in a while, life can seem fruitless or disjointed. People reflect on what they would do or not do if they knew they only had a certain amount of time to live. Are you doing things that matter? If no other technique boosts your focus, this could provide a jumpstart.

Now get back to dreaming and doing those dreams!

This post was originally written for Sam’s Dream Blog.

What Do You Expect?

We hear it all the time: “You get what you are looking for,” and so on. But do we really believe that type of statement?  If so, prove it.

Recently, I got a reality check when I checked into my hotel room.

 

“Open doors you never knew existed,” the envelope for my key read.  Now, I’m not sure, but chances are that phrase is on every room key envelope at that hotel, and it’s been on them for some time.  It would be easy to miss.  It’s certainly not the norm to travel on the basis of hotel rooms and their inspirational messages, but I happened to catch this message.

Why this message, and why me?

Perhaps because I was looking for a confirmation of the open doors I sought.  My question, then, is how often do we find or miss what we are seeking, as a result of attentiveness?  What can we do about it going forward?

Don't wanna miss a post?  Sign up to receive Dreaming Made Simple updates on the homepage!

Partying is Serious Business!

I did something unusual for me last week.  I celebrated twice.  First, I rejoiced in the launch of Dreaming Made Simple.  Then I reveled in my hometown girls basketball team winning its second straight state championship.
 
Now you might say, “Of course you celebrated.”  Actually, taking delight in something like that is a bit out of character for me.  Let me explain.  

You see, for me, there is a difference between thankfulness and celebration.  For me, thankfulness usually comes easily because I realize I’m not entitled to anything.  (Occasionally I need reminded of that.)  

But in my mind, until recently, in order to celebrate I had to first accomplish something worth that pleasure. Simply put, I had to have done something.  As in finished what I set out to do.  

Therein lay the problem.  I didn’t celebrate because I was still in process.  According to my understanding, there wasn’t much room for celebration, was there?

The truth is, as a friend told me, we never finish.  We will be in process for the rest of our lives. 

I had to re-evaluate.  Thankfully, I have.  As a result, I now realize the difference between expectation (results oriented) and expectancy (process oriented), as detailed in the Dreaming Made Simple Starter Guide.  That re-evaluation and understanding itself is a process, isn’t it?  

It occurs to me now, maybe that classic song was got it right:  “Celebrate good times, come on!”
 
Questions:
 
What’s something you can celebrate this week?
 
How do you celebrate?  It could be as simple as calling a friend to share about a breakthrough.
 
Is there a development in your life which calls for celebration?  Think about the progress you have made.

 
I’d love to hear about your favorite celebrations.  Leave me a comment below or on the Dreaming Made Simple Facebook page.

 

Miller's Musings: New Beginnings

This week marks the debut of my business, Dreaming Made Simple, which features practical strategies and resources to help make your dreams happen.

Announcing the launch has me thinking about new beginnings.  Here are some questions going through my head:  
 

How do you know when to begin?  If you have a story about starting a business, relationship, trip and so forth, I’d love to hear your thought process.


When beginning, how do you start?  Do you ease in or go all in as fast as possible?


Why do you start?


Is there something that you need to start?  What are you waiting for?


Do you have examples of previous beginnings that are still going strong?  How do you keep going?


Are new beginnings exciting, scary or both?  How do you manage your emotions?


What causes a good or a bad start?


What is the effect of starting vs. waiting?
 

I’d love to hear about your experiences with new beginnings.  Leave me a comment below or on the Dreaming Made Simple Facebook page.

Dreams: What Gifts Await You?

Believe.png

Editor's Note: This was originally posted last year, but it rings just as true a year later.

Wow, have we reached that point already? It’s Dec. 22, and you know what that means. Three sleeps till Christmas. All the excitement about this most festive time of year caused me to think about when I was younger. For weeks, there would be a pile of presents in front of our family Christmas tree. Many of the gifts had my name on them! Hopefully you can look back now with similar memories.

These days, the gifts I really want usually can’t be wrapped in a box - The best gifts at this age are either people or experiences. You know what I mean by experiences? I mean hopes and dreams.

Let me share a thought with you. What if our hopes and dreams are like those presents under the tree? What if there are hopes and dreams with my name on them, with your name on them, that are securely yours? It’s simply a matter of time before you are able to open them. How would that change your perspective on dreams, if you knew you were all but guaranteed to get specifically what you hoped for, or better? For example, did you ever ask for a piece of a Lego set for Christmas, only to get the whole set instead? Imagining dreams as Christmas presents sparks me to dream bigger and to keep dreaming where I have perhaps hit the pause button. How about you?

What "gifts" are waiting under your tree?

Thankfulness: The Game-Changer

DSCN0351.jpg

Some might think it’s easy to be thankful this time of year. There is delicious food, magical sights, holiday parties, days off work. The list goes on. But maybe you don’t have any of that to enjoy. Choose to be thankful anyway. No matter what is going wrong, my guess is you have something or some things going very right. Do you have food and shelter? Those are two big items right there.

Two blessings I’ve been particularly thankful for this year are friends who provide a safe place to grow in my gifting/strengths and their encouragement to pursue my dreams. As Walt Disney said, “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” You will be reading more about that in an upcoming post. For now, a special thanks to Matt and Blair for their leadership and business expertise. Thanks, too, to Ray, who has helped me get free from some limiting beliefs so that I am freer than ever to go after my dreams and to help you with yours!

What do you have to be thankful for?

Thankfulness is a game-changer. Writing down what you are thankful for is particularly powerful. My outlook changes dramatically when I do that. Give it a try!

DSCN0351
DSCN0351

My Parents and Me

Here is my list of things I am thankful for, related to my dreams, along with some questions to get you thinking:

1. My God, my friend - Have you made Him your friend?

2. My parents - What things have your parents done for you that you take for granted?

3. My extended family and close friends - Who do you allow in your inner circle? Why?

4. My pastors and mentors - Who can provide you with unbiased counsel and opinions?

5. My elder and younger friends - Who can you take lessons from and to whom can you show the way? Also, keep in mind, people are watching you. Have you asked them what they see? Don’t assume.

6. My buddies and female friends - Who is helping you become a better man or lady?

7. My longtime friends and new friends - I'm living in an environment that attracts people from all over the world. Interacting with different cultures makes me come alive unlike anything else. What’s more, no matter where I go from here, I’ll always have friends all over the world. How cool is that?! Who is someone you should befriend? At the same time, few things are better than striking up a conversation with an old friend. Which old friend have you called lately?

8. Doubters - We all have had people say there’s no way we would succeed with something, only to prove them wrong. Who is a doubter you have disproved?

9. People who have made mistakes - I’m a firm believer that you can learn something from everyone. That may mean that you do what they didn’t do or vice versa. Of course, you may fall into this category at one time or another. That’s OK. Let someone take a positive away from your negative.

10. Freedom - I am thankful to live in the USA. What’s more, lately I have experienced new-found freedom - freedom to be fully me, freedom to take more risks, freedom to not have all the answers along the way, freedom to try new things - What freedoms are you thankful for? What freedoms do you take for granted?

At this point, I think you get the idea. It takes other people to make a dream a reality. Who did I forget on my list? What does yours look like?  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you, Sam’s Dream Blog readers!

Questions are the Keys

questions-post.png

“He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers.” - Cameroon Proverb That’s how Awaken the Giant Within author Tony Robbins opens his chapter entitled “Questions are the Answer,” and that’s a big reason why I started Sam’s Dream Blog. You and I might share the same longing to maximize potential.  Similarly, you too might be in the early stages of that success journey.  Of course, on any trip you need fuel and at least some idea of where you’re going, so I thought why not seek pointers from fellow explorers who have been at this a little longer than I.  Tony Robbins, for example.

Here are five of my favorite thoughts from the chapter:

1. “Our questions determine our thoughts.” What makes some people succeed, whereas other more accomplished people fall short?  Robbins realized, “It's not the events that shape my life that determine how I feel and act, but, rather, it's the way I interpret and evaluate my life experiences.”

2. “Questions determine everything we do in life.”   They are responsible for our action or our lack of action.  How many people never take action because they keep asking questions that create doubt? Robbins wonders.

3. “Questioning our limitations is what tears down the walls in life…” Robbins follows that statement with a quote from George Bernard Shaw: “Some men see things as they are, and say, ‘Why?’; I dream things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’”  In other words, “Who says it can’t be done?”

4. Ask questions that support your goals. You are made to find answers to the questions you ask.  The key, then, is to ask questions that help you, rather than hurt you.  Walt Disney, for example, would not consider questions about possible failure.  Instead, he consistently asked how improvements could be made.

5. All human progress is preceded by new questions. If questions are what move you and me forward, what questions do we need to be asking?  Robbins makes the point that evaluation is simply asking and answering better questions, and questions guide our focus.  So where do you go from here?  It sounds like it depends on what questions we are willing to ask.

Thanks for reading!  Let me know your thoughts, and feel free to pose a question

Book Review: "Silver to Gold"

Book Review: "Silver to Gold"

You know it is summer when people start talking about summer reads. Whether you need an excuse to stay inside or you need something to take to the beach, here is a book sure to encourage you on your dreaming journey!

Dreams: The Importance of Your Core Team

IMG954656.jpg

This past Saturday, I celebrated my birthday on the heels of graduation earlier in the week.  It was a blessing to be surrounded by some of my closest friends.  Of course it gave way to a time of reflection, and that is what I want to share with you in your pursuit of hopes and dreams.

Here are five reasons why you need a core team on your dream journey:

1. You need encouragement First, most of the people around me Saturday have played a prominent role throughout my last few years. There was not anyone at the dinner who I had just met recently. Nothing against making new friends; you need to continue making new friends to grow in knowledge and influence, but you also need friends who know you. You need people with whom you have history in order to have a broader context and perspective. You need friends who can tell you how much progress you have made and also what you need to do to arrive at the next destination in your journey.

2. You need consistency Along those lines, you need a consistent core. I remember the first celebration I had with this group three years ago. Again, my birthday falls when everything is in flux – graduation, Mother’s Day and so forth – May is one of the busiest months of the year, and there is no avoiding that fact. As a result, three years ago, I was more than a little bit worried that I would have to celebrate my birthday by my lonesome. Instead, this group, that would become my core, carved out an evening for me in their schedules. This year, I had no doubts. They would be there. My core team made time for me, and yours will make time for you.

3. You need vulnerability Now you may be asking, “How did you find this group of friends that you can count on?” I would suggest two keys. First, you have to consistently make time to pursue what you want. Significant friendships and accomplishments don’t just happen. Second, when you are making time for your inner circle, you need to choose to go beneath the surface. To be clear, the idea is not to be vulnerable with everyone, but with your core group, you need to share both your highs and your lows. That’s what builds trust. That’s what builds relationships.

4. You need momentum If you have made it this far, you are well on your way, and that’s the point – momentum. We have already established that building relationships takes time and effort. It wouldn’t make sense to keep stopping and starting the process, then, would it? Find your group to focus on, and don’t spread yourself too thin.

5. You need variety Finally, if you look at the above picture closely, you will notice that there appears to be a variety of personalities and ages. That is not entirely by accident. Different ages and personalities keep you on your toes. They help you to see points of view you might have missed. In particular, older people can offer wisdom about the road ahead. Younger people can remind you of ideas you might have forgotten.

Do you have a core team?  What’s one step you can do to build your friend group?

Miller's Musings: Making Time to Dream

What inspires you?  What are your hopes and dreams?  Recently I had the privilege of traveling with a team to another country.  Again and again, while meeting businesspeople there, we felt compelled to ask those questions.  Furthermore, what is the effect of dreaming vs. not dreaming?  The people with whom we interacted were without question hard workers, but a number of them had yet to be awakened to their dreams and passions.  Or they had been silenced.

This led me to wonder, is it possible that working too hard is a problem?  Is it possible that an outcome of working too hard could be that you forget to dream because you are so busy doing?  Is that the way we are meant to live?  Perhaps the answers to those questions depend on the person and the situation.  Perhaps there are seasons to simply put one’s nose to the grindstone and work hard.

Personally, I find that getting away from routine and making space to ponder questions like these to be illuminating.  Repeatedly, when our team encouraged our international friends to dream, light bulb after light bulb went on for all of us.  It was as if they, as if we, all knew we were at these events in part to evaluate our lives.  Since we had given ourselves permission to explore possibilities, there was no better time to take advantage.

Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  It’s in pursuing your passions that you do your best and find the role you were designed to play.

Thanks for stopping by Sam's Dream Blog!  Have a great day, and check out the next entry on Tue., April 14

Dreams: What “Shoes” Do You Need to Buy?

Dreams
Dreams

OK, Sam’s Dream Blog readers, I have a confession to make.  Normally I don’t care too much about fashion.  Don’t mistake me – I like to look nice, and I think looking good is important -  It’s just at this point in my life, being on the cutting edge of fashion or wearing certain brands is not paramount to me.  That is, with one exception.  I am particular about my running shoes.  I often go through several stores without finding a single pair that interests me.  Sometimes this produces a couple extra months of wear on my already smooth soles.  Thank goodness Nike usually saves the day, including in the case of my latest pair.  That Nike came through was not atypical; what was surprising, however, was that I purchased what I would consider a daring pair.

You can see from the picture how bright they are.  It is not inaccurate to call them eye-catching, because that has been their effect for me.  I get a handful of comments about them every week or so, whereas you could probably count the number of comments I have received about my previous shoes on both hands.  At first all the attention made me uneasy.  Then I started pondering what all the fuss was about.  It reminded me of Helen Keller’s quote on risk: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

To me, my blue shoes are a metaphor for dreaming and doing something with those dreams.  Going through life conservatively might keep you safe, but you won’t make much of an impression.  Isn’t significance what we all long for?  As author and entrepreneur Seth Godin said on his blog, “Hint: lots of random pokes in many different spots are unlikely to leave much of an impact. And hiding out is surely not going to work at all.”

What “shoes” do you need to buy?  Where have you blended instead of standing out like you were designed to do?  Leave a comment below, and check back for the next post on Tue., Feb. 17

Dreams: Where to Start in 2015

It’s the first full week of the New Year.  If you are like I am, that realization can be overwhelming.  You have a blank canvas. You want to make every stroke count.  Above all, you yearn to churn out a masterpiece with your dreams. But how?  Where do you start?

Not long ago, one of my mentors talked about implementing change.  So many times, something sparks us to make a huge shift in our lives – We suddenly find ourselves with what Good to Great author Jim Collins calls a "Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal" – living a healthy lifestyle, for example - We identify about 153 things that need to happen before we reach the summit of that mountain.  And we want to be at the peak tomorrow.  We expect to be.

The first day we even do all 153 things to make our healthy lifestyle happen. So far, so good.  Day one, out of weeks and months, is in the book.  Then something happens.  The sun rises on day two, which is also a pretty good day, but not perfect like the first one.  We only accomplish 151 things on our list.  Five or six days in, if we are honest with ourselves, we can only check about half the boxes on the to-do list toward our Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal.

Soon it gets to the point when we have all but forgotten about that larger-than-life goal.  Except we haven’t forgotten.  We haven’t forgotten because there was a reason we perked up and set the lifestyle goal in the first place.  Now, all we are left with is shame.  “It was a stupid goal anyway,” we say or “I was dumb to think I could do that,” we tell ourselves.

Fortunately for me and for you, my mentor offered a way to avoid this disappointment.  His solution for 2015?  Instead of a huge list of changes to be made, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do to show I am serious about change?”  Then do that one thing every day.

Simple enough, right?  Now, what are you going to do?

As Tony Robbins says in Awaken the Giant Within, “More than anything else, I believe it's our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.”

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below or share this with a friend. Check back for the next SDB post on Tue. Jan 20.

Dreams: What Gifts Await You?

20131221_1736481.jpg

Wow, have we reached that point already? It’s Dec. 23, and you know what that means. Two sleeps till Christmas. All the excitement about this most festive time of year caused me to think about when I was younger. For weeks, there would be a pile of presents in front of our family Christmas tree. Many of the gifts had my name on them! Hopefully you can look back now with similar memories.

These days, the gifts I really want usually can’t be wrapped in a box ? the best gifts at this age are either people or experiences. You know what I mean by experiences? I mean hopes and dreams.

Let me share a thought with you. What if our hopes and dreams are like those presents under the tree? What if there are hopes and dreams with my name on them, with your name on them, that are securely yours? It’s simply a matter of time before you are able to open them. How would that change your perspective on dreams, if you knew you were all but guaranteed to get specifically what you hoped for, or better? For example, did you ever ask for a piece of a Lego set for Christmas, only to get the whole set instead? Imagining dreams as Christmas presents sparks me to dream bigger and to keep dreaming where I have perhaps hit the pause button. How about you?

What "gifts" are waiting under your tree?

Thankfulness: The Game-Changer

IMG_2265.jpg

Typically, at Thanksgiving time, I post a reflection called "Thankfulness: The Game-Changer." As I reflected on a potential post, I wondered, "What has changed this year? Why has thankfulness been a game-changer in my life this year?" If there’s one truth that sticks out above the surface of life’s daily current, one thing that leads me to take a pause out of going with the flow, it’s this: I’m thankful I get to be in process. For most of us, our dream journey is not about dreaming it one night and doing it the next day. Well, occasionally it might be, but normally that means the dream is too small. Yes, dreams are about the long haul.

Maybe you can chalk it up to youthful exuberance. Maybe it’s simply a mark of dreamers, but for almost as long as I can remember, I have battled guilt, shame and doubt. I should be doing more, I should be more in pursuit of my dreams. As the founder of Sam’s Dream Blog, I should be doing big, earth-shaking stuff on a daily basis, right? Well, without meaning to get in the way of people who are accomplishing dream after dream right now, I am reminded of an insight I’ve heard a few times in this Facebook age: What you see on social media are people’s highlight reels. You don’t see the times when those same people are in the dark, waiting for the next movie to roll. The reality might be closer to what Will Leitch said on SDB: "There’s no point where you hit a finish line. That’s something I didn’t realize when I was 25 or 26. I always thought I’d hit a point where I made it. You never hit it."

Dreams, then, are often about the process of who you are becoming in pursuit of a goal. During that process, we encounter others who are on their dream journeys. We help and encourage them and vice versa. We learn that we are not meant to do this alone. No doubt you have gathered tools and wisdom along the way that are meant to be passed on to others, and they have tools meant for you. What’s more, we need people to ensure we have not lost focus. At one time, an idea leapt in you. What was it, and why did it matter to you?

Howard Thurman had this to say about the process of becoming: "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

So again, what’s your dream? What makes you come alive? What are you thankful on your dream journey?

Miller's Musings: Decisions, Decisions

Redding-for-93014-musing.jpg

As it says on the Sam’s Dream Blog Web site, "From the personal realm to the professional arena, no dream is too small or insignificant. On the other hand, no dream is too big or unreachable. You just have to start somewhere."  OK, that’s established, but let’s say you have already started.  Let’s say you are well underway with your dream pursuits.  In fact, let’s say you are facing options on your dream pathway. You are at the crossroads.  How do you know what to do? Chip and Dan Heath have this to say in their book Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work:  "Success emerges from the quality of the decisions we make and the quantity of luck we receive. We can't control luck. But we can control the way we make choices."

If you haven’t read the book, it’s worth picking up.  In the meantime, here are some questions I use to guide my decision-making process:

1. Would you regret it more if you did what you are contemplating and it did not work out as planned, or would you regret it more if you did not try in the first place?

2. Why are you doing this?  Are you running from something or trying to prove something?

3. Similarly, are you making a decision because you or others say you should do it?

4. Is this the best timing?  Notice I did not say perfect timing.  I’d argue ?perfect timing? does not exist.

5. What is your support system of family, friends and mentors, whether or not this works out?

I hope those questions help you.  What’s your process?  I’d love to read about it in the comments below!

Dreams: Freedom to Dream

Dreams:

In the days surrounding Independence Day, I found myself asking, "What does it mean to be free to dream?"

Dreams
Dreams

Does freedom to dream mean having no time constraints or financial pressures? To be to free dream, must you be able to call all your own shots, controlling when and how you are going to do something? Apparently that’s not what it means to be free to dream, because, after all, how many of us have unlimited time and money?

Does freedom to dream mean not having any conflicting voices telling you why you cannot or should not do something? Seeing that we are exposed to hundreds of messages each day attempting to influence us, freedom to dream must not be all about peace and quiet, either.

None of these factors needs to restrict our freedom to dream. Whether you’re young or old, affluent or struggling or somewhere in between, dreaming comes down to a choice. The key is to make that choice. In the words of American novelist Henry David Thoreau: "If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

Go for it!

Dreams: "That's done. Now what?"

In a previous edition of Miller’s Musings, I asked this question: "What do you do if you're stuck in the midst of pursuing your dreams?" Similarly, how do you get fresh vision after you have finished a significant phase of your life and are transitioning to an uncertain future?  For example, you might be a recent grad and not yet know what is next.  

Here are some suggestions.  Leave a comment below with what works for you!

Think about your dreams, or perhaps just one to focus on now. Why is it a dream of yours? In his book "Start with Why," Simon Sinek looks at the Wright brothers. Orville and Wilbur had stiff competition, but they succeeded while others failed. How come? "One man had a dream team of talent and resources as he sought to be the first pilot. Orville and Wilbur Wright had none of that. Why did they succeed? Their 'why’ was their belief that an airplane could change the world."

Diversify your dreams. A lot of my dreams are event driven, meaning I don’t have a way to make them happen now. Working The Masters golf tournament, for example. Furthermore, a dream like that is kind of a one-shot deal. This leads me to think, "Are there long-term dreams that I can make steady progress on now?" Saving money weekly (even if I can’t stash away a whole lot at this point) is an example.

Pray.

"Just keeping swimming." In the movie "Finding Nemo," a father is separated from his son. The dream of being reunited is all but impossible. Fortunately, Dad has one of those optimistic friends named Dory nearby him.  "Just keep swimming," she says over and over again.  Yep, sometimes you just have to keep going, no matter what circumstances would lead you to believe. After all, father and son were reunited in this case. Who’s to say your dream can’t happen too?

Think about how your dreams connect with your overall life goals or purpose. How often do you think about why you were put on this Earth? If you don’t stop and think about it at least once in a while, life can seem fruitless or disjointed. People reflect on what they would do or not do if they knew they only had a certain amount of time to live. Are you doing things that matter? If no other technique boosts your focus, this could provide a jumpstart.

Now get back to dreaming and doing those dreams!