When I entered 2014, it was with the intention of focusing on taking the steps I need to achieve my dreams. I have a lot of "someday I'd like to" in my life, and I decided that "someday" was no longer good enough. I've been studying a lot of different ideas and methods for achieving your dreams and goal setting, and combining that with my art journaling.
One of the exercises I did talked about the qualities you want to have when you reach your dreams. Unless you develop those qualities on the way to your dream, you aren't going to be happy once you get there. That's why, when a lot of people reach certain goals, they're still unhappy. I can attest to that feeling of unhappiness with reaching goals. I stopped setting goals at one point because I was tired of getting what I wanted, but not being any happier. So this exercise asks you to focus your attention on what qualities and feelings you want to have when you reach your goals and fulfill your dreams.
I started thinking about what I wanted to feel, what qualities I wanted in my life, and, going back to those things that didn't make me happy, I thought about what I thought getting those things would make me feel, and I put those down as well. As I looked at the things I put on paper, I realized something very powerful. Getting my dreams was less about having certain things as it was about the kind of person I wanted to be. More importantly, I realized that I could be that person and have those things without ever accomplishing any of my actual life goals. Even if none of my dreams every came true, I could still be content with my life. That's not to say I don't have dreams. But I realized that my worth is not dependent on the outcome of my dreams.
Many times, when we set goals, we think that by achieving that thing, we're going to get something else. Maybe it's love, acceptance, confidence, happiness, success, peace, or some other amorphous thing we can't really define. A lot of times, it really isn't about the goal, but about that underlying quality we want to get. As I thought about my goals and the underlying emotions and qualities, I realized that I would probably reach my goals faster if I actually worked on the qualities I want in my life first. Even better, though, was the realization that this journey is a lot like the Wizard of Oz. Whether it's the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, or the Scarecrow, the very thing we seek already resides within us. We just need to dig in and make use of it.
What are your dreams?
What qualities do you hope to gain when you finally reach your dreams?
Is there something you could be doing now to bring about those qualities? What's inside of you that you need to bring out?