How to Catch and Hold on to Your Dream

By Ann Gatty

What do you wish to become when you grow up? What's your life long-passion, an ever-present yearning for you to fulfill? Many of us have such dreams and lifelong desires but find that time is slipping by and our dreams are ever allusive.

Here is the secret. Turn time into a friend rather than an enemy. It is not helpful to catch and hold on to a dream if you are racing against a clock. Let's learn how time can be an ally. Let's find ways to use the hours of each day as a backdrop against which you can create masterpiece upon masterpiece.

We need to appreciate and enjoy life now. Let's catch the dream and start living it today. You can find that there are many things you can do right now to start enjoying a journey of a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

  • Identify your passion. Ask yourself, "What do I love to do?" Have you considered how you can make money pursuing this passion? When you identify what you really love to do, then pursuing the passion will bring you the most satisfaction and allow you to stick with the ensuing tedium without losing your enthusiasm. I believe that by pursuing your passion you will shine! And people will notice. They will notice competency, self-confidence, and a smile.
  • Create some joy every day. When you wake up in the morning and begin your day, notice the people around you and find ways to make their day a little better. Maybe you can assist a co-worker to complete a task. Or help a shut-in with grocery shopping. Be happy that you are capable of helping others. Again, the lesson is to appreciate and enjoy your life everyday, starting with now.
  • Share your talents with others. Everyone has a different set of skills, abilities, and knowledge. What are your best talents? How can others benefit from your abilities? Start to notice the skills that you possess that others find helpful. Sharing your talents allows you to focus on others and leave your worries behind. “Self-improvement comes mainly from trying to help others.” —Sir John Templeton
  • Develop goals. Simple and straightforward. Goals don't have to be complex. They have to be motivating stepping stones that keep you on the path you are designing. Let others help when they can so that you can share the joys of success. Keep moving forward, and always have something in your life that inspires you to reach those goals.
  • Do something different each day. Often our time is spent navigating through our days on auto-pilot because we get into routines. By finding opportunities to change something in our routines, we allow ourselves the opportunity to notice the world around us. Living in the present allows us to appreciate and enjoy life. Leave auto-pilot behind.
  • Read. Yes, you need to read more. Read different types of news and different types of books. If you read The NY Times, then read The Wall Street Journal. Get different perspectives. Know what is happening in the world around you. Read novels from the newest authors. The more you read, the more you shape your personality. And you become more interesting to people.
  • Nurture the child within you. Just because you are all grown up doesn't mean that you have to be adult all the time. Maintaining a sense of curiosity, wonder, and adventure keeps a fresh perspective of the world around you. Take a walk in the woods, ride a bicycle, enjoy a board game. Play. It's a wonderful stress management strategy.
  • Play nice. Give back to those who helped you. Don't make enemies. You may need them and never know where they will end up in your career path. My son is a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One of the most important messages he has learned is "cooperate to graduate." He and his classmates have learned that it is much better to work together to accomplish goals. And this work strategy doesn't just apply to the military. It applies to all facets of life. And this is a good networking tactic. People notice whom they can trust and rely on to get their work done.
  • Be a lifelong learner. Most of your learning occurs outside the classroom. And learning never stops. Remember that life is a journey? There is always something new to learn. Learning new skills allows you to follow your passion and make your dreams a reality.
  • Believe in yourself. You were given your abilities, talents, and passions to make a difference in this world. Let the journey begin today, and live each day practicing your passion and experiencing the construction of your dream. You will enjoy the journey, and stress will take care of itself.

Dr. Ann Gatty coaches individuals in stress management strategies and building life transitions to balance personal and professional goals. Visit her website,, to learn more about stress management tools, stress reducing tips, and information to help women, moms, and teens effectively manage their daily stressors so that they can reach their full potential in their personal and professional lives.

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