Monday, April 07, 2008

Don't make your dreams wait

In my work as a life coach, I talk to a lot of people about their dreams, particularly about hidden desires that lurk deep within people's hearts. You know the ones, those things you've always wanted to do but have put on the back burner because it doesn't seem possible or practical or affordable - that trip to Europe, that MA, becoming a dancer, having your own studio, running your own business.

And often when people share them with me, these dreams are quickly followed by a "but" - but I have a mortgage, children, a partner, responsibilities, limited time, limited money, limited energy, limits of every kind. And when I have paid off my mortgage (my student loan, my credit card debt) and am financially secure (well-off, rich), the children are in school (off to collage, graduated from university, financially independant), my partner has a more secure job (believes in me, gives me permission) and I have more time, money, energy, opportunity then I will....

Does it work that way? The Get-it-Done Guy Stever Robbins lists this approach as one of the Ten Great Cultural Career Lies. Here's his take:

#6 of Stever Robbins' Ten Great Cultural Career Lies: I'll work now and do what I love when I've accomplished (made my first million, cured cancer, etc.)
  • Management consulting firms and investment banks use this lie as a recruiting tool.
  • Dangerous strategy, and I know very few who've pulled it off. If you don't do it, you're left at mid-life trapped in a career you don't like, with a non-transferable resume, and a network composed of people who are the last ones in the world who could help you do what you love. But boy, could they help you get even further in a career you despise.

Ouch, that last point really hit home for me. Every year you don't pursue what you really want to do, you're getting more and more firmly entrenched in that place you don't want to be.

So what do you do? I am not suggesting you neglect your responsibilities, your bills or your loved ones. But I am suggesting that even in your busy, responsible, debt-ridden, exhausted life, you find a small space for your dreams, for your own personal joy. Just open a little window and consider what might be possible now. If you don't make room on your plate, the Universe won't know you're hungry. It doesn't have to be big. Take 5 minutes one morning researching violin classes in your neighbourhood. Say out loud to your partner that you think maybe you'd like to go back to school. Read a library book about starting your own business. Stop in at the travel agent at lunch and get a brochure for Paris. Open the door.

When I was training to be a coach, I really wanted to take the certification program. It cost $3500, and I didn't have it. One day a friend I hadn't talked to in years invited me to come talk to a group of people at her work about the power of coaching. I ended up with a contract. You'll never guess how much it was for. Yep, $3,500. I am now a certified coach.

Open your heart to dreaming. Amazing things can happen.

PS A special thank you to Stever for giving me permission to quote from his work. Thank you!


Melba said...

Jamie I Loved this post!
Is that where the idea behind the name Open the Door Studios came from?

Sacred Suzie said...

Oh it's so true! People don't think of time and energy as an investment but it is and the more you put into a crappy career, the more you make it happen. Ugh! I'm getting closer to figuring it out Jamie and kicking that door open.

Your collages have inspired me to make one of my own and just figuring out what I want to manifest this month is an interesting challenge and first step to investing in my dreams.

Tammy said...

Jamie - your words always inspire, but this, right now, hit home. I posted about disappointment yesterday... but our dream of getting to the ocean is still there. I think we may need to make a leap instead of waiting. (For less bills, for less debt, for more saved money, for a job for Mike... and on and on.)

I'm going to share this post with him tonight. Maybe we can kick open the door of our ocean dreams!

daisies said...

its so very true ... i am witnessing it in my own life right now and it is amazing. i decided that i wanted to do weddings and i have two booked for the summer, it really was that easy :) while i can't quit my job tomorrow, i am working towards doing what i want to be doing full time and that is an amazing feeling : )

you are so wonderfully inspiring!! xo

Jessie said...

You know what, Jamie?

There was a day that I really, really wanted to sign up for Circe's Circle. I didn't have the money though and thought that I wouldn't be able to do it. But I decided that if the money were to show up then I would do it. I think it was the very next day I made an Etsy sale for the exact amount!

And so I signed up. It is now just over 3 months later. Last night we celebrated (with both happiness and sadness) our last Circe's call. And you know what I did today? I went and talked to my boss to tell her that she should hire another person because I wasn't sure how much longer I would be able to work for her because I really wanted to pursue my art dreams, but wanted her to know in advance so that she wouldn't be left in a pinch.

And you know what? She was supportive of my decision a 150%, thankful that I was honest with her, and hopeful that it would all work out well for me. She was truly wonderful about it and I walked away feeling like we truly hope that both of our dreams will be realized.

I came home and found a found a new commission in my in-box. Later that evening I took Louie to dog training and met 3 new dog trainers, 2 of whom want paintings done of their dog and plan on giving my business cards to friends that they are excited to tell about.

hmmm...that's pretty cool.

I'm glad that the universe worked in your favor that day that you made $3,500...because it's had a ripple effect.

I love you, dear Circe's sister! :)

Scarlett said...

OH my GOD girl you have no idea the timing of me reading this incredible for you and congrats!!

i am so 100% in the midst of a major life change....i have lost the 2nd job in two months (long story, but believe me, there IS one! well, ok, TWO!) and can you believe this? my roommate just lost her job yesterday...dang! all signs are pointing to something else, i think and i'm not sure what it is just yet. i think i'm frozen in fear...well i HAVE been and i'm fighting tooth and nail to get past the fear, and get to letting go and letting god and the powers that be guide me out of this (apparent) mess that im in.....

well thank you for the inspiration, lady! love your blog, as ever!

PS if you have a minute, would you read me and take my silly little poll?!?! anyway, thanks again!