Have you ever wanted to pursue a big goal or bring a dream to life? Do you currently feel stuck like you're drowning in shallow water where it seems like you have it together on the outside, but internally you feel lost or uncertain? Our co-founder Chanel Dokun recently wrote a book to help women experience greater clarity and confidence in their life by exploring and discovering their life purpose. Check out this excerpt on dreaming out loud from Life Starts Now: How to Create the Life You've Been Waiting For by Chanel Dokun.
Download a free chapter from Life Starts Now here or buy your copy of the book today to start creating your strategic life plan.
(adapted from Chapter 10)
I want you to take a moment to feed your fantasies.
What does that mean? To feed your fantasies is to give yourself intentional time and space to indulge the desires sitting latent in your heart. It is pausing to think about what you think about when you daydream. (It’s very meta, to be honest.) But in this space of imagination, we allow a part of ourselves to run free—to push beyond the status quo of what we’ve come to accept as our reality. Do you ever do that, or are you all business all the time? How often do you allow yourself to dream and envision new possibilities without editing yourself or shifting into planning mode?
As much as your past matters in activating your heart, it’s crucial to allow your hopes for the future to give you some direction as well. When you let your heart play, little fissures open in your brain, permitting new ideas and possibilities to settle in and shape the plans you have for your life. In that space you can generate new solutions and creatively carry your talents into new territory.
I owe almost all of my success to the fantasies I permitted myself to have when I was young. While I know my talents and tapping into my life equity helps me, the fantasies I hold for my future have continued to inspire and pull me along. I am intent on making my dreams reality.
What about you? What kinds of dreams do you have for the world? Or let me ask that another way. If you could set the world right on its axis, what would you want to see change or develop? You get to be God for a moment. And just like when God created the earth by speaking everything into existence, imagine all you need to do is say the word and things will be put in their proper place. What does your perfect world look like? What gets you excited? I’m talking about the whole world, not just your life.
You don’t have to figure out a plan for how to accomplish anything right now. You don’t need specificity, and metrics don’t matter. Go ahead and let your mind run free. Spend time imagining what you’d like to see exist in the world, and write it down. Create a laundry list of ideas you can edit later. See what emerges. You might surprise yourself.
Women so frequently censor themselves. In life planning sessions, I’ve trained myself to always take the extra beat. By that, I mean that when a woman is mentioning something she longs for, I try to pause and give her one more beat to verbalize the thought and get it out into the open. Because I watch women leave most of their best ideas on the table—life- changing stuff that would be radical in helping the world—because they have already shut themselves down or decided they are being “silly” or “self-indulgent” with their desires. How many of your dreams have been stunted because you cut off their wings before they could attempt flight?
Here are a few practical ways you can feed your fantasies:
Through the seasons, as you continue to stoke the fires of your dreams, the direction for your life will evolve and become more nuanced. Let it grow over time. You don’t have to make this your day job or focus all of your energy on solving a problem or trying to redeem the world. It’s not all on your shoulders, so don’t take the full weight of the world on yourself.
Carve out some space to imagine the many different ways you might want to have impact in the world. Dream of what could be and explore the ways in which you might influence our society. Just be sure to dream out loud so these gems don’t stay trapped in your head.
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