Think back to your childhood. What did you want to be when you grew up? How did you picture your life? Where would you live? Where would you travel? How would you spend your days?
Now be honest, how many of you are living the lives that you dreamed of as a child?
For me, as a young boy, all I wanted to be was a professional football player, something which I achieved, if only for a short period of time. I never thought I would be anything else and looking into other careers that I was passionate about didn’t ever cross my mind.
As you get older, you stop dreaming. Our vision for our lives tends to narrow as we are influenced by the messages we get from our family, peers and media. Some of this shift comes under the guise of “practicality” but too often we end up discarding dreams that could be worth pursuing.
Now I’m not saying that everyone should quit their jobs to try to become professional sportspeople, singers, astronauts or dancers. But I am going to suggest that you use the ‘Why’ method to find out the deeper meaning behind those dreams.
Ask yourself ‘why’ 3 times.
I wanted to be a professional football player – Why ?
Sport is so important to me - Why?
Anything and everything to do with sport is my passion – Why?
You can see that every question you get to arguably makes the outcome far more practical and actionable.
Do I play enough sport these days – No
Should I play more – Yes.
And that has just become actionable. I will now make a far more conscious effort to play more sport, even at a friendly and non-competitive level (anyone that knows me knows the Non-competitive side will last about 30 seconds).
By using why’s though, I’ve been able to get to the core of each of these in a way that makes them achievable regardless of my situation.
“I said I wanted to be a stand-up comedian, but what I really wanted was to bring people joy - to make them laugh. I get a chance to try this with my wife and kids every day (much to their chagrin) with my cheesy sense of humour.”
“I said I wanted to be a teacher, but what I really wanted was a chance to share knowledge and help others. I get to do this through this article - sharing what I’ve learned and learning from my readers as well’.
As you look for inspiration and for dreams worth chasing, think back to what you wanted as a kid. Dig into each possibility with the goal of finding the heart of what that dream was really about. When you get there, you’ll likely find a world of opportunity and excitement for the future.
By: Ben Davies, Performance Coach