I looooove New Year (dare I say it ...) even more than Christmas! It's like receiving a blank cheque from an extremely generous benefactor and told you have the next 365 days to make your dreams come true! Can you imagine? I can and I do.
As you already know, I am an only child and as such, I live in my head a majority of the time. The house that I grew up in, No.15, was the family HQ and home to at least nine people at any one time so I was far from lonely. However, I am an introvert so as a young child I spent many hours alone on the staircase of my home playing with my dolls and soft toys creating a world for us that was far beyond my reality. In this world I was always in love with someone handsome and depending on what books I had borrowed from the library that week, I would be a nurse, a policewoman, a teacher or a stamp collector! From an early age I had a vision for my life that could not be confined to what I saw around me and picture books from the library simply fuelled my imagination. I was and I am still a dreamer.
Fast forward many years to 2015. I had started the year in my dream job working for an extremely successful businessman and entrepreneur and my plan was to be invaluable to him because that’s the kind of administrator I am! Yeah but no. It wasn’t long before my days were akin to an episode of the US version of The Apprentice and just like the show, my employment ended with those two words “You’re Fired!” after just two months! I guess it wasn’t my dream job after all.
I spent the next 10 weeks at home. The first few weeks were spent recovering from the emotional and mental assault I had endured and then it was time to … err … what? I didn’t have a plan of action for my life (besides dying my hair fuchsia pink when I got out of this pit) - I couldn’t dream. I couldn't even dredge up an old dream. How I was feeling made sense to me when I learned Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Maslow’s Pyramid.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s theory comprises of a five-tier model of human needs - from the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualisation (capacity to dream!). Maslow believed that needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.
For example, at the lowest physiological level are your basic needs for food, clothes and shelter. When these needs are unfulfilled then these will be the only needs you become preoccupied with. Once these needs are met you can move up to the next level.
In 2015 I was stuck at the second level Safety needs which includes employment. With no job how was I going to pay my mortgage? If I’m evicted where will I live? No wonder I was unable to dream - I was a long way off from Self-actualisation!
Where are you on Maslow's Pyramid? Maybe you're struggling to dream like I was because of other needs in your life being unmet. If you're ready to dream again here are some tips for recovering your dreams:
1. Look through journals, notebooks etc. to refresh your memory
2. Make a list of all the things you have done that excite you – essentially, ask yourself "What gives me life?" 3. Set up a Pinterest account and create a board for the things you would like to do in the future
4. Make a dream or vision board from pictures/quotes from magazines clippings (or google images and print).
5. Prepare for your dreams. Recently, I have been asking myself “Where do I need to be or what do I need to have in place when X happens?” What can I do now to be ready for when I receive a call from someone looking for a TV host? If your dream is to be married - what kind of wife do you need to be for the man you want to have? Just about everyone I know dreams about winning the lottery but not many have a plan for what they will do with their life-altering win (I admit I have and I don’t even play)!
We’re almost at the end of January - resolution (or dream) season - so take some time out to dream and plan what you would like the next 340 days to look like. Don’t be afraid to dream big audacious dreams but do prepare - anticipate what life will be like when your dreams actually happen.
My life now is very different from my life in 2015. Who who needs a lottery ticket when you have a blank cheque?!