As an adult, have you ever thought back to or reminisced about your childhood dreams? Take a moment right now, (yes right now), to think of one of your childhood dreams. It doesn't matter how small or silly it is (or was).
After some reflection, how did the memory make you FEEL? Were they positive emotions, I hope? If not revisit what you considered a 'childhood dream'. For those who had a positive reflection, what were the emotions? Did you feel loved, happy, or energized? Did they make you smile or laugh (in a good way)? What was it about that particular childhood dream, that made you feel so good?
When we are very young we tend to have passionate but honest dreams and goals. WHAT we want to be (i.e. occupation), WHERE we want to LIVE, WHO we want to be (physical and personality traits) and HOW we want to live (lifestyle) are all wrapped up in these dreams. Some of us dream in a grand scale like wanting to be a rockstar and traveling the world. Other dreams are simple like getting married and having children. And sometimes we come up with dreams like, wanting to be a rainbow Unicorn, that just aren't feasible even though they seem doable to us at the time.
But then we begin to grow older and that's when reality sets in and life adds filters to our dreams. We begin to believe our dreams are childish and not realistic. We tell us ourselves:
* we need to grow up
* we aren't WORTHY of our dream
* it's too much work
We may also may tell ourselves that our "interests" have changed. And yes, sometimes our interests do change. But what DOESN"T change are the FEELINGS we get from the desired who, what, where and how of our existence.
Embrace your INNER childhood dreams.
It's the WHY behind our dreams that represent who we really are. Our inner self is actually closer to the surface when we are little. So it's important to listen to these dreams. They can act as a guide as we maneuver through life.
If you dreamed of being a fireman as a child, it could be because you have a desire to help people. It could be because you see yourself as a hero or maybe you just enjoy the danger and excitement of that occupation. If you asked 10 children who wanted to be a fireman, WHY they wanted to be a fireman, you would get a variety of answers. Their WHY is personal and speaks to what's important to them.
The WHY represents what we are looking for in life. What we sometimes don't realize is that we don't HAVE to become a fireman to accomplish the same set of feelings. If our WHY is that we want to help people, there are many occupations that provide that need. Or if the real reason was the excitement of being a fireman, there are plenty of careers that provide that same stimulation. Working for a non-profit organization which services third world countries, building homes, water reservoirs and feeding the hungry would be a perfect fit for someone who wants to help people AND provide a little excitement.
I'm sharing my story as a way to show specificity in this process.
I was an extreme introvert when I was a child. This shyness was the perfect fertile ground for my sensitivity, mindfulness and creativeness. On most days, you would find me writing short stories and poems, about life. Once I got enough nerve, I began acting in high school and college. I didn't realize it at the time but my true passion, aka dream, was just to have the opportunity to be creative.
Half way through my 4 years of college, I had switched my major from marketing (utilizing my creative side) to computer programming. What was I thinking you might ask? It's a long story for another day. So after graduating I began my life long career as a computer analyst.
As you some of you are aware, computer programming requires a logical mind. The tasks behind it are absolute and orderly. I spent most of my time coding "IF then", "ELSE this" program statements. Every once in a while I was able to use my creative juices when it came to a new project but it was definitely an 'inside of the box' type of career. 40 years in a logical world, when my brain was screaming for some creativity, was interesting to say the least.
Now that I'm retired, I reflect back on WHO and WHAT I wanted to be so long ago. My childhood dream was to fully embrace my creative side. But for some reason I kept it bottled up for decades. My creative juices have always been there but it took a conscious decision to release it in retirement. I'm finally "popping the cork" on that old and weathered champagne bottle. I feel like I've come home again. I've come home to where I started and it's a wonderful feeling.
No matter how old we get we think about that little girl or boys dream. What was YOUR dream?
We forget HOW we felt when we were younger. What used to bring about the spark we once had? Where did it go? Is it still in our life? Or did it go dormant? It still lives within us but we have to pop the cork and let it out of the bottle!
We spend years in jobs or situations that don't serve us or don't provide us with what we originally intended or wanted for ourselves. The WHY and FEELINGs behind our dream have been diluted by our adult life, i.e. the decisions we made and the paths we took. Maybe it's time to revisit those feelings and see if there is a way to bring them back. Even if it's only a LITTLE pop we can still enjoy and feel some of the effects.
I'll end with this quote below (one of my favorites). Just remember, you are worthy to bring back the sparkle.
When we have a childhood dream that still burns and tugs at your heart when you are an adult, you owe it to yourself to pursue and achieve this dream. ~Robert Cheeke
BONUS: Below is an audio which can help step you through finding your childhood dream and the WHY behind it.