Have A Dream. You deserve one!

Many of the most extraordinary achievements of mankind have started as impossible dreams. Only a few short decades ago, running a sub four-minute mile seemed like an obscure, distant achievement. In the modern era this once impossible athletic barrier is achieved almost routinely. When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in the early 1960s, the thought that he might one day be the president of a free, inclusive and democratic South Africa would have seemed preposterous. It happened. Once travel into outer space had become possible, the seemingly impossible dream of a moon landing became a reality. The list goes on.

People have achieved remarkable things when they work together. More critically perhaps, many ordinary individuals have fulfilled personal dreams overcoming all kinds of obstacles                                and setbacks.  Countless  individuals have  triumphed over difficulties                               including  chronic illness, relationship problems, loss of employment,                               disability,  poverty,  addiction,  and  prejudice. These  individuals  had                               the vision  and  courage  to  dream.  As a  result,  they  have                                           discovered happiness,  respect and  lasting success. A  dream is                                     just a tiny first step.  However  humble  or  ambitious  our  dreams                                  may be, they are critically  important.  Their impact  should  never  be                               underestimated. Dreams  have  their  own  intrinsic  value  but  they                                 also provide a pathway to other things. 

When life is unkind, one of the initial effects may be a sense of despair. Some days it feels like we are drowning in an ocean of disappointment and shattered dreams. Do not drown. Think of better times, opportunities and happier moments. At these moments, it can certainly be difficult to shift our focus on to positive thoughts of a better tomorrow. There are several ways that dreaming of a better and brighter days ahead can help your cause. Let your mind wander freely. You might just be surprised. Let us examine some of the ways that dreaming of a better future may help us.

1.   Our thoughts are concentrated on positive things
2.   Self-esteem is maintained when we need it most
3.   Our sense of meaning and purpose is maintained
4.   Plans and goals are made to fulfill those dreams
5.   A sense of creativity is stimulated
6.   We can perceive future rewards
7.   Dreaming helps maintain our spirits during difficult times
8.   Life becomes a challenge again
9.   We are reminded that life includes good things, not just problems
10. Indulgence in harmful feelings including guilt, anger or frustration is reduced.

How can we find the strength and inspiration to dream again when our spirits are at their absolute lowest point? It is never easy to begin and patience is important. There are ways that we can kick-start the process to dream again. Often we will need to make a conscious effort to take some time out and clear our thoughts. Spend time with positive people who make you feel loved, valued and supported. Learn more about stories of the large number of individuals who have overcome adversity and achieved their dreams. Feel inspired and uplifted by their stories. You will find a large number of excellent role models within the 'In The News' section of Rediscover Hope. Many people have found that listening to certain uplifting songs or involvement in certain activities is helpful. Everyone has a unique set of buttons and switches to set those dreams in motion. How you do it does not really matter. It is the result that matters most. Dream positively and feel better.

Having a dream opens up a wonderful pathway to a better future. It is however only a simple first step. Fulfilling a long-held, cherished ambition provides an entirely different level of satisfaction. The fulfillment of such a dream is not unlike harvesting a bountiful crop from a field. Achieving this reward does not come easily. It requires a high level of courage, organisation and effort. Realising a dream almost never occurs by chance alone. In almost all cases fulfilling a dream requires a clearly defined plan or strategy. Another absolutely critical element is commitment which gives us the strength and determination to survive inevitable setbacks and disappointments. Goal attainment and detailed strategic planning are different issues for another column. The absence of a detailed and specific plan does not diminish the importance of having simple dreams and ambitions. Without a tiny seed and the courage to plant it in the earth, there can be no bountiful crop to harvest. Dare to dream and hope for a better tomorrow. You deserve a better future.

Hope all of your dreams come true from all at Rediscover Hope!

By Dr Andrew Rylatt (Medical Doctor)
13th April 2004
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