How to Dream the “Impossible” Dream … And Prioritize It.

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When I was young, I wanted to be Annie. I wanted to sing, dance, and get adopted by a billionaire. The best my parents could do was buy me the Annie soundtrack, an orange wig, and a red dress. Since my name was Angie – one letter away from Annie – I came really, really close to fulfilling my dream. 

And then, of course, the dream changed. 

I wanted to be Madonna. Much to my mom’s displeasure, I’d belt out “Like a Virgin” all day long. (I was too young to really get the lyrics.) When I learned Madonna went to the University of Michigan, my eyes locked on the prize: I knew that I had to attend UM! And I did. 

And then, of course, the dream changed.

My dreams throughout life continued to change – each a reflection of certain stages and inspirations of my life. As I think about it, my younger dreams focused on fame, fortune, and material success. 

Today, my dreams are much simpler:

  • have fun
  • become immersed in interesting conversations
  • spend more time reading and writing

What’s paradoxical is that the fantastical dreams of my youth feel just as plausible as the simpler ones I have today. 

Does this ring true for you, too? 

Making Big Dreams a Priority

I’ve concluded that fun, dialogue, and creative pursuits involve a luxury item hard to come by these days: time. Since I can’t make more of it, I’m determined to restructure my days so I can stitch my spare minutes together to dedicate to these worthy pursuits. Here’s what I’m doing:

Clarifying my dreams.

I shared the three dream categories I have – I’ve also taken time to develop what’s contained in each bucket. As an example, fun is riding my bike, playing pickleball, and watching HGTV. I also know what books I want to read and what I’m hoping to write. Getting clarity helps me take a vague idea and put some substance into it. 

Dedicating time for progress.

I know my brain’s best early in the morning. I’m being very purposeful in waking up even earlier than normal and using these sacred moments to write more. I’ve also looked ahead to my weeks and weekends and reached out to some friends to hold the time to get together. Planned fun seems forced because it lacks spontaneity, yet there’s a lot of room for surprise when you’ve got dedicated time on your calendar. 

Getting better at saying no.

This seems so obvious to do, but it’s hard to say “no” to opportunities. For me, it’s FOMO. Last year I was offered to serve on a Board with an important mission – I soon discovered that what the organization needed was a lot of time, something I didn’t have. Passing on the opportunity was really difficult, but necessary to make room for opportunities where I could add value and contribute to my fullest potential (and use my time for my own, personal dreams). 

I’d love to hear from you – what are your dreams today and how are they different? What are you doing to prioritize them in your life?


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