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Some Ideas on Finding Your Dream - A Personal Quiz

From a recent interview I did with Cathy Severson at RetirementLifeMatters came this list of ideas about finding your dream. See what you think.
The new aging has given us 15-20 more years of life. What shall we do with this extra time? The answer is to express the gifts hidden in our dream. What have you wanted to do all your life? Find it and do it now.

What is the Dream?
• We come into the world bearing gifts of the true self. It's the ego's job to discover, develop and share those gifts. This is where our happiness and creativity dwell.
• Your gifts come from who you really are. Find that person, and you'll find your gold.
• It's your potential, your inborn talents and aptitudes, your vision of life.
• The dream becomes increasingly restless at two points in your life - the midlife passage and the latelife passage.

Does Everyone Have A Dream?
• Yes, but don't make it into too big a deal or you'll discourage yourself
• Don't arbitrarily define what a dream is supposed to look like, because you'll wind up believing you don't have one.

Why Pursue Your Dream?
• It's the reason you were born!
• It's the greatest source of joy and creativity
• It's your gift to the world
• It's you lifeline
• It's your calling, passion, unending curiosity

Helpful Questions: Here is a list of questions and ideas to think about. Put 1-3 stars by the ones that really hit really home for you, then review your starred items. What do you see?

How Do We Find Our Dream? We find it by getting to know ourselves, e.g. through the joys, disappointments and recurring interests of life. Ask yourself questions like…
• When was the happiest time in my life, the most excited time, or the biggest disappointment, what jobs you loved most, what classes were the most exciting in school
• Who your heroes are and why - what do they represent?
• If you were an animal which one would you be?
• What is a recurring daydream for you?
• What longing or interest keeps coming back to you?
• What kids of books and magazine are you drawn to?
• If you were released from all responsibility, what would you do?
• If you were to play as a child, in pure innocence, what would you do?
• Ask friends and family what your gifts and talents are - we often dismiss things we take for granted.
• What is your natural temperament? (learn about your temperament, e.g., take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator online)

What Stops People From Living Their Dream? It's all the usual things
• You don't know what it is (you haven't found your true self)
• You have wrong or pre-conceived ideas about what a dream should be - like being famous or rich
• You are already living somebody else's dream (not a good path)
• You don't have enough self-confidence (don't ever be afraid to dream big but don't make big your criteria for success)
• You are afraid to fail - what's wrong with failing?
• You think it will cost too much money (it's never about the money!)
• You set your goals way too high
• You have a generalized negativity toward yourself - finding fault with everything they want
• You cover up the dream with compulsive busyness
• It may not be the culturally-approved dream so you fear it's wrong (e.g., world travel, golf, etc.)
• It may not be your spouse's dream so you're afraid to risk conflict
• You use finances as an excuse not to risk anything - why do you even have to make money form it

What You Can Do To Develop Your Dream?
• Talk about what you love with people you feel are safe and supportive
• Write a list of possible dreams without censoring - make it long, then put 1-3 stars by how exciting item makes you feel.
• Join groups of people with similar interests - the sharing should stimulate you
• Start small - no risk - and see if the energy is really there
• Visualize yourself doing exactly what you love and doing it well
• Trust yourself - you are enough, you have all you need, you just need to water your gifts with loving attention, support and learning - and remember the person whose love you need most is you.

What to Avoid Doing
• Avoid negativity
• Avoid premature closure
• Avoid sharing with critical friends and family

Surviving and Thriving When Things Don't Go as Planned
• Things never go as planned!
• Everything that happens has gold in it somewhere. You have to find it. It doesn't make the problem ok but it offers a path of healing and redemption.
• Your gifts can be expressed in any event or tragedy.
• You need to have what Jung called the Religious Attitude - that everything has meaning and that every event offers its wisdom. Ask yourself, what is your opportunity here? or Where is God in this situation? The divine is in everything - events just tear off the misleading covering.
• It's all in how your respond. You have to avoid the negative self-talk and search for the path again.
• Look back at the worst events in your life. They were awful at the time but what do they show you now? How did they push you to grow? How did you express your gifts at the time?
• The big events are the biggest teachers. You don't get to choose. But it's by living authentically that we are grown and transformed.

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