Poet Mary Oliver asks a question that stirs me to dream bigger and to imagine the infinite possibilities of my life. Here it is:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I love that quote!
Do you still dream about what’s possible for your life?
When was the last time you daydreamed about what else this “one wild and precious life” has to offer you?
Many of us stopped dreaming about what else is possible long ago.
Let me share a secret with you: Imagining and dreaming BIG are vital to your well-being!
In one of the workshops I lead called The Bigger Game, we talk about Hunger. Not the “let’s get something to eat” kind, but deep Hunger. Something you yearn for. In this workshop, we equate Hunger to a dial.
When we were little girls, our Hunger dial was off the charts. We KNEW we could do anything we wanted with our one wild and precious life. As we became adults, however, we turned our Hunger dial way down. We become so afraid to want anything because we don’t want to be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.
We stop imagining what’s possible for our life.
So in this segment, I’m inviting you to turn your Hunger dial back up.
When I coach my private clients, one of the first assignments I give them is mandatory, uninterrupted daydreaming time.
I’m serious. I encourage them to set a date and time in their calendars to sit alone and imagine, to ponder what’s possible, and to let themselves get lost in “what if …”
In our culture, daydreaming and “doing nothing” are something to avoid at all costs. In fact, we have this fear of being labeled “lazy” or “a loafer.”
I couldn’t disagree more with this limited thinking.
Imagination is a powerful tool. Even Albert Einstein agreed that it’s more important than intelligence.
In our work environments, we tend to focus on left-brain activities and we’re rewarded for that behavior.
Our creativity and imagination live in our right brain and, in my opinion, we don’t hang out there enough.
Think about it. EVERYTHING begins with an idea. Any invention, innovation, or medical cure came from possibility. Someone believed it was possible.
I loved seeing this play out with Mikayla, one of my private clients. When I first gave her this assignment, she really struggled with it. She found it hard to give herself permission to have fun with this.
However, once she started to dive in amazing things began to unfold. She was coming up with ideas that were so powerful they literally brought her to tears. She honed in on one of them and continued to expand on it. She just let herself brainstorm possibilities without any judgment.
When she was done, she had conceived a revolutionary concept that would change the landscape of one of the most pressing challenges of our time.
Using your imagination to dream gives your mind a chance to explore what’s possible, and it’s a vital component in creating the life you want.
Here are some tips that I use and continue to coach my clients to use every day.
Tip #1 – Embody
Imagine who you want to become and what you want to create and begin to embody what it’s like to BE that person. Allow yourself to look down the road for three years or five years. What do you want your life to look like? Really put yourself in the experience of it.
Before you know it, you will BECOME that person without any forethought.
Tip #2 – Write it out
Imagine the most outlandish, impossible, and impractical goal you can, and then write about it in your journal.
Give yourself permission to go there. Think WAY outside the box.
After you imagine your audacious goals and write them out, ask yourself why you chose THOSE particular goals and write about that, too.
Why do these goals appeal to you? What are you attracted to in them that you don’t currently have in your own life?
For example, do you dream about going on a safari to Africa and seeing wild animals in their natural habitat?
Great. What about that dream is alluring to you? Is it freedom, adventure, or escape? Is it communing with the natural world and experiencing something wild and free?
Maybe you have a dream to start your own business or charity. What’s the impact you would like to have on the world in this new way? Why is it important? Who will be served because you chose to make this a reality?
There’s power to committing your thoughts in writing. They become more real when you can actually look at them.
Tip #3 – Take action
After you do your required 30 minutes of imagining time, pick out ONE small action you can take to get you closer to your dream.
You don’t have to change the world overnight. In fact, smaller steps are best.
If you dream of being a painter in Paris, then go out and buy a canvas, some brushes, and paint.
If you dream of running a marathon, sign up for a gym membership, jump on the treadmill, and run for 5 minutes. The next day, run for 8. Build up slowly.
The key is to follow the breadcrumbs. Decide what activities feel good to you and do them. Every day, take one purposeful step toward your dream.
Daydreaming isn’t a do-nothing activity. It can change your life!
Which tip most resonated with you? Why? Share with us below!