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November 13, 2015

How to Build Your Dreams.

Matthew Kalapuch/Unsplash

Your “9 to 5” Ain’t Got Nothing on Your Dreams.

For most of us, work is the place we spend most of our time. This is why enjoying what we do is of the utmost importance.

But rare are those who have managed to create this sweet reality.

Unhappiness at work has almost become the norm, and, to make things worse, it’s often accompanied by a certain level of shame.

We ask ourselves: Why must we complain so much? Can’t we just be grateful to be able to put a roof over our head? And retirees are quick to remind us that our generation is spoiled, because we all know that back in their day… [insert inflated tale of hardship].

If this sounds like your reality, I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with wanting more joy, freedom and success out of life. In fact, your current job shouldn’t become a barrier to you reaching your dreams.

Just as Mark Twain told us to not let schooling interfere with our education, I’m telling you to not let your current reality interfere with your wildest dreams.

I love music, especially the kind that speaks to finding your purpose and doing what you love. This is how I came across this 80s gem from none other than Dolly Parton, entitled “9 to 5.” Some of the lyrics:

Workin’ 9 to 5,

What a way to make a livin’

Barely gettin’ by

It’s all takin’ and no givin’

They just use your mind

And they never give you credit

It’s enough to drive you crazy

If you let it

Thirty years later and this song still rings true. She touches on the issues shared by many about office work, where you don’t really feel appreciated and even feel exploited. The work-pay ratio rarely tips in your favor, no matter your credentials.

Even worse is the feeling of never accomplishing much, like you’re just running in circles until Friday comes and using all your energy to build someone else’s dream in the process. Depressing right?

But Dolly has some encouraging words for us:

They let you dream

Just to watch ’em shatter

You’re just a step

On the boss-man’s ladder

But you got dreams

He’ll never take away

You’re in the same boat

With a lotta your friends

Waitin’ for the day your ship’ll come in

‘N’ the tide’s gonna turn

And it’s all gonna roll your way

And it’s true, we all have something that nobody can take away from us: our dreams. These dreams are there for a reason. They remind us that we have a purpose in life, bigger than we can imagine. Our challenge then becomes to stay focused and not lose track of what our dreams whisper to us.

I know it can feel like time is slipping you by, but think about this quote:

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” ~ W.H. Murray

So here are steps you can take now to start building your dream:

1. Write down your dreams.

What do you feel you were put on earth to create? Writing it down forces you to acknowledge it and make it real. Read it out loud every morning.

2. Identify three small actions you can take now to get your ship—your dream.

No matter how far you’re aiming to sail, you just need to start paddling. It can be doing research on your business competition, for example. Whatever these actions are, they will give you the courage to take bigger strides and eventually put yourself out there.

3. Celebrate every time you had the courage to take action.

Whether it’s investing time to work on your business or finally putting your art on Instagram when you could’ve been doing anything else, you need to celebrate it! It can be as simple as taking a few minutes to dance to your favorite song. Celebrating, not how you celebrate, is the key. It creates a habit in you where you become your biggest cheerleader.

Like Dolly Parton sang some 30 years ago, people have been hating their jobs for a long time. The difference now is that we have more tools to help us do something about it and live our dreams.

But, we need to be disciplined. The key is to take small, manageable but steady steps and celebrate each and every one of them. That way, when the tide turns, our ships will be ready to sail us away.

What are the challenges preventing you from realizing your dreams? How do you manage to overcome them and pursue your dream? Share by leaving a comment below.

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Relephant Read:

1 Essential Step to Living Your Dreams. It’s Not a Secret.

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Author: Stéphanie Dauphin

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Matthew Kalapuch/Unsplash // Hatim Belyamani/Unsplash

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Stéphanie Dauphin