On my best day, my dreams are gargantuan. Big, bright, bold, & powerful. And sometimes downright CRAZY! So ridiculously over the top that they make me giddy with delight. Dancing around my living room, doing "JAZZ HANDS," and pre-celebrating what I will feel like when they come true. I love those dreams! Those are the kind of dreams that set my soul on fire!
On my not-so-best days, I dream much smaller. Safe, tidy, achievable dreams. Ones I can say out loud to people because I won't be laughed out of the room. I won't be called impractical, silly, or downright stupid for thinking such things can happen. Sometimes it just feels less risky to dream small. But those dreams don't set my soul on fire. In fact, those dreams only douse the flames of my passion. Yuck.
I used to think it was better to dream small and avoid the pain of being called silly. But then one day, in a coaching class I was taking, I discovered something really important. I AM silly. And fresh. And playful. And to deny myself those awesome qualities wasn't serving anyone. Not me, and not the people in my life.
So I went back to dreaming big…and to being my silly, fresh, & playful self!
One night, as I entered my dream big phase, I was trolling the internet when I found an amazing group called the Transformational Leadership Council (TLC). Founded by Jack Canfield & other leaders in the personal & organizational transformation field, it was a place where they could gather to support each other's contributions to the world.
But they don't take applications. And to be nominated, you have to know someone in the council.
Wait. This can't end with "ugh."
Playful dreamers don't do "ugh." Playful dreamers make it happen!
And so, in an attempt to merge a little Law of Attraction magic (think it, feel it, and then it will happen) with a little playful dreamer ACTION, I made my own version of the TLC…as cut outs on my bathroom mirror!
We had some wonderful conversations over the next few months. They saw me at my best as I got made up to go out. And they saw me at my worst when I'd go to bed crying because I felt like a failure at life. But they never stopped smiling. And they always accepted me for exactly who I was in that moment.
I was really starting to dig these people on the TLC. I think we'd hit it off if we ever met outside my bathroom!
The event was life changing. It was way more than a conference…it was an experience. A lifestyle. Something magical that's just beyond what words can describe. Including one moment that defined my week…maybe even my life. (Click here to read about that very naked moment).
At one point, in an introduction for one of the speakers, I heard, "As a member of the Transformational Leadership Council…" I sat bolt upright in my chair.
Until that moment, I had forgotten about my circle of paper council members. I had forgotten about our morning meetings over tooth-brushing & make-up application. I had forgotten about experimenting with the Law of Attraction to see what I could create. I'd forgotten about the smiling faces…no matter how much I failed in life. I'd forgotten about the acceptance of me just as I was. But most of all... I'd forgotten about how big I had dreamed.
I got to talk to Lee Brower about running endurance races. I got to spend a few hours with Lisa Nichols in her suite asking questions & picking her brain. I got to participate in sessions with Terry Tillman…not as a speaker, but as a fellow participant. This is exactly what I imagined being on the TLC would be like. And it was happening.
I may not be on the TLC…but I'm now part of a tribe where elbow rubbing & idea sharing with brilliant people twice a year at events in exotic locations is the norm. And since TLC members are regularly in attendance…I say I get to put a check mark in the "win" column on that dream!
And so now it's time for new dreams. Big, crazy, ain't-never-gonna-happen-but-OMG-what-if-they-did kind of dreams. Because clearly the last one I had worked out well…so why not go bigger?!
I've got three dreams I'm aiming for in 2014 (or before 2013 ends if you know someone), and since you're here…you get to be the first to hear about 'em!
DREAM #1: I want to happy dance & do jazz hands with Ellen DeGeneres. Happy dancing is a family tradition in the Stein household. We happy dance & do a lot of jazz hands BEFORE something goes right so the Universe knows we mean business. Click here to see my dad's pre-heart surgery happy dance or here to see his jazz hands photo with the nurses before his surgery (like…JUST before…gowns & cpas on...about to wheel him in for surgery). Ellen is the undisputed queen of dancing. And if I'm gonna happy dance, I want to do it with the best (and teach the world about pre-event happy dancing to ensure better outcomes)!
DREAM 2: I want to cook sticky toffee pudding with Gordon Ramsay. Yeah, I know…everyone wants to cook with Gordon Ramsay. But I don't just want to cook with him, I want to cook up recipes for endurance athletes that go beyond nutrition…I want them to be delicious too! He just did the Kona Ironman and I am DYING to pick his brain about what he ate during his training…AND...learn how to cook it!! And then there's the sticky toffee pudding. He puts it in every one of his restaurants & I need to have something to look forward to as a reward after my next Ironman event…and this is the BEST dessert I've ever had. EVER!!!
DREAM #3: I want to get a Lincoln picture with the President…in the Oval Office. I mean what good is dressing like a president all over the world, if a girl can't get a picture with her own president?! My Lincoln Log has some pretty incredible Lincoln pics with people all over the planet (including Penn Jillette…such a good sport for someone stuck next to me on a plane for 5 hours while dressed like Lincoln). I'm in DC all the time to visit my sister. Someone must have a way to make this happen. I mean, really…
So there ya have it. Dream Big. Not just because it will actually happen some day (really…it will…and it's gonna freak you out! Especially if you're like me & forgot you'd dreamed it!). But because it feels good NOW! And NOW is really all we have.
Cut out the people you want to meet & stick them on your bathroom mirror. Have witty conversations while you floss. Take pictures. Share them with people who will cheer you on (and no one who will try to talk you out of it or tell you it's unrealistic). And in every phase…enjoy.
Because in reality, THAT is the dream…to enjoy what inspires you, take action that moves you a little closer to your ain't-never-gonna-happen-but-OMG-what-if-it-did dream, and to know that the journey to get there IS your dream coming true.
DARE TO DREAM
- What have you been too afraid to dream because it felt too silly, ridiculous, or over the top?
- What dreams snuck up on ya…coming true while you had forgotten you dreamed them?
- What small, safe dreams are you ready to replace with the dreams you REALLY want to come true?!