It has taken many years and a lot of time doing what is popularly called "personal development" work to get where I am today. Along the way I feel I have grown as a person. I have made changes, not just been in my career, but the things I have learnt during that time and the perspectives I have gained as part of that journey.
I come from a small town in West Yorkshire, the area is traditionally a mining community, though this being the main industry ceased long ago. Growing up I was surrounded by salt of the earth people who told you things as they were. The notion of personal development would not have been on their radar at all and I don't remember many of them ever talking about the dreams or ambitions they had. I grew up, like so many others around me, in a working-class environment. The values instilled in me from my parents reflected the time period and environment. I was encouraged to be independent and make my own choices. These are values which influence me today, and my drive to grow comes from wanting to do better in all areas of my life on my terms.
Whilst at school my aim was to be a police officer, when this didn't happen, I can't say I had a dream to focus upon. In looking back now, being a police officer probably wasn’t a dream because if it was, why didn’t I apply again in the years that followed? Up until about five years ago, I don’t think I felt I had the dream career I was striving towards and I certainly wasn’t ambitious in anything other than wanting to be as good as I could be, in whatever role I did. As I have previously spoken about, my careers really flowed from one to another through necessity rather than following a particular dream.
As kids we used to have dreams all the time. It didn't matter that people around us told us it wasn't possible. We used our imagination to create these dreams with no idea how to make them come true. Now as adults, we have the ability to know how to find a way but have given up on creating our dreams. We have become bogged down by the trappings of life, following daily routines of living in the moment, that we don't even really think about our future lives.
Let yourself dream again just like you did as a child. Dream big because you can. It doesn't matter if it seems unattainable right at this moment, there will be a way to achieve it. I never imagined being involved with two businesses five years ago. Whilst I didn't know every detail on how to build them, it soon became apparent once I started what I needed to do, how to do or where to get the knowledge from.
My dreams now are to keep building the businesses because I love what we do, to eventually live by the sea and write a crime fiction book. I know what I need to do that so it's a case of working on it step by step. My dreams aren't that big in terms of them requiring lots of different or complicated elements, but they are big in their importance to me.
It’s possible to share a dream with someone else; a partner, a family member or a friend; doing so will strengthen the connection between you and you’ll provide each other with support. If you do share a dream, I think it makes it even more special.
What are your dreams, and have you figured out your journey to achieving them? Your dreams are worth having but they also require you to put the effort in and keep working on them. At present, we live in an on-demand society; everything is at our fingertips, food we order by pressing a button, endless tv shows right when you want them, items delivered within an hour of being ordered. Your dreams won’t be achieved instantaneously, but they will happen if you remain focused and work hard on them. They will be worth the wait. A word of warning though, make sure you are following your dreams and not someone else’s.
And, if you don't have any, then bring out your inner child and create some new dreams.