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7 Steps to Making Your Dream Come True

Pursue your dreams. Reach for the stars. Take a leap of faith.

Pick your cliche; we’ve heard them all before. Our minds are flooded with motivational proclamations and anecdotes about following our dreams and accomplishing our goals in life. And inspired we are! We hear romantic stories all of the time that get our blood pumping and compel us to do whatever it is that we always wanted to do. We read the book; we watch the movie; we hear the song on the radio. And we get excited. We’re going for it this time for sure!f

And yet, most of us never move a muscle. We feel compelled to pursue our goals but can’t seem to get past the compulsion. Our hearts are filled with wishes and dreams, but our feet are paralyzed with uncertainty. Great, we have a dream! What do we do with it?

If you haven’t seen Disney’s Tangled, you’ve got to make it a priority. The revised version of the classic “Rapunzel” fairy tale is all about making your dreams a reality. Embedded in this whimsical adventure is an outline for us on how to get from dreaming a dream to actually living it. Whether it be finding someone to fall in love with, creating a great work of art, or landing your dream job, these seven steps can get you there.

It’s time to stop dreaming and start living; here’s how to do it:

#1. Dare to Dream

No, I’m not being redundant. To achieve a dream, you have to first be willing to dream it. Some people never get this far.

For Rapunzel, the great dream is to reach the origin of the “floating lights” she sees every year on her birthday. Although her “mother” never lets her leave the tower, Rapunzel still lines her walls with murals of the lights and clings to the hope that someday she’ll be able to see them in person.

What about you? Do have the courage to dream? Or, are you constantly telling yourself, “That’ll never happen?” You can’t reach a goal that you don’t have. And it’s much easier to drift through life aimlessly than it is to risk suffering the pain and disappointment of failure. But, are you willing to go beyond “easy” to realize a dream? That’s where it starts. Having a dream is table stakes for dream-fulfillment.

#2. Get a Guide

You don’t have to do it alone. It is your dream, but there are many who will be willing to help you achieve it. All you have to do is ask.

Or, in Rapunzel’s case, threaten! Flynn, Rapunzel’s eventual love interest in the story, happens upon the tower accidentally one day with a crown stolen from the King and Queen’s palace. Naturally, Rapunzel does not know the way to the “floating lights.” Determined to get there, she hides the crown from Flynn and agrees only to return it after he guides her to the lights.

Who have you adopted as your guide? Even if you do know where you’re going, a second perspective is always useful. It can be a family member, friend, teacher, coach, or manager. Find someone who knows the way and enlist them for help. You won’t regret it!

#3. Leave Your Tower

To make your dreams come true, you’ve got to get started.

Eventually, you need to move from the realm of thinking to the realm of doing. You need to make a “no turning back” decision that sets you in the direction of accomplishing your goals.

For Rapunzel, this decision is to leave her tower for the first time in her life. Once her feet touch the ground, she realizes that she’s taken the biggest step that she’ll need to take during her entire journey. “I can’t believe I did this!” She keeps shouting as she experiences her newfound freedom.

Have you taken the initial step? Or, are you still stuck in your tower dreaming? Nothing will ever happen until you get started. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and burn the bridge leading back to it. Break off the unhealthy relationship you’re in. Buy an expensive set of paints for your first masterpiece. Quit your job. Do something that sends the signal that you are serious and you’re not turning back.

#4. Shun Criticism

Cynics will abound. For every person willing to help you, there will be a hundred telling you why you can’t or shouldn’t go after your dreams. In fact, this is why many people don’t ever try–because they don’t want to disappoint others.

Rapunzel, in order to fulfill her dream of seeing the “floating lights,” must defy her mother–who is always telling her why she can’t succeed. As much as it hurts, Rapunzel’s determination outweighs her doubts, and she pursues her dream despite her mother’s critical remarks.

Who is holding you back? Is it your parents? Friends? Colleagues? No matter who it is, you must learn to disregard anything they say that discourages you from your pursuit. In seeking to accomplish your goals, you will disappoint people. You have to live with that. But the real question is whether or not you’re disappointing yourself. No one else is living your life but you. Thrive on encouragement, and wash criticism off like the filth that it is.

#5. Face the Ruffians

If you aren’t doing what scares you, you aren’t doing enough. Challenges will await you as you pursue your dream and, if your fear outweighs your desire to succeed, you aren’t going to get anywhere. You have to be willing to take risks.

The first people that Rapunzel encounters on her quest are the “ruffians” her mother warns her about. Rapunzel and Flynn enter into a bar full of burly, grotesquely frightening men who leave Rapunzel paralyzed with fear. However, when these men seize Flynn and threaten to turn him in to the authorities, Rapunzel bravely intervenes, crying out in desperation, “I need him to take me to see the floating lights! It’s something I’ve been dreaming about my whole life. Find your humanity! Haven’t any of you ever had a dream?” Stunned, the most frightening of the “ruffians” approaches Rapunzel and, just as you think he’s going to strike her, he bursts into song about how he always wanted to be a pianist. Soon, all the men in the bar are singing about their dreams and the “ruffians” end up helping Rapunzel escape.

Ask someone out. Display your work at the local art gallery. Give a presentation to a prospective employer. Do something scary. If there is no opportunity to fail, then there really is no opportunity to succeed. To make progress, you’ve got to face your fears. When you do, you’ll find that the “ruffians” aren’t quite as intimidating as you imagined them to be.

#6. Enjoy the Journey

The process of fulfilling your dream shouldn’t be a chore; it should be an adventure. There will be obstacles, yes, but you can still have fun along the way. The realization of your dream will last for a moment while the journey to realize it can be rather lengthy. Don’t waste that time in frustration; enjoy yourself.

Upon arriving in the city of the “floating lights,” Rapunzel and Flynn spend the day exploring the city while they wait for nightfall. The moment Rapunzel has been waiting for her entire life is only hours away but, rather than gawking at the sky in anxious expectation, she spends the remaining hours having fun. She paints on the street, she dances in the square, and she reads in the library. She does not let her end-goal take away from the opportunities in the here-and-now.

What about you? Are you having fun yet? Or, are you tired and burnt out from your journey? Determination is one thing; exasperation is something else entirely. Stress is a dream-killer. If you don’t love the journey taken to realize it, the actual fulfillment of your dream won’t mean as much. You’ll find yourself questioning whether or not it was worth the trouble. So, do yourself a favor and have a little fun.

#7. Find a New Dream

What happens when you actually achieve your dream? What then? What if it isn’t all that you dreamed it would be? And what if it is? What do you do after you’ve already attained that which you’ve been wishing for your entire life? At this point, you’ve got to find another dream.

As Rapunzel is waiting in a boat on the river for the floating lights to appear, she poses this very question to Flynn. His reponse: “That’s the good part, I guess. You get to find a new dream.” Of course, Flynn and Rapunzel fall in love and Flynn himself becomes her new dream.

What will your new dream be? Once you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, what will you do then? If you don’t develop a new ambition, you’ll be sticking yourself back into a tower all over again. You see, life isn’t about one huge success; it’s about a series of successes. The successful person is the one who never stops pursuing dreams. You’ve achieved your dream? Great! Now, what’s next?

Dreaming is great. But nothing really happens until you wake up. Are you ready to wake up and do something? Are you willing to put in the work it takes to be successful? If so, what are you waiting for? The realization of a dream awaits you.

Doug Rice is an Internet Sales Consultant for a large automotive group in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania. He has a degree in economics and is working toward an MBA. As a sales and marketing enthusiast, Doug blogs regularly and actively participates in social media. He enjoys coffee, wildlife, church, and conversation.

  • Glad my previous comment gave you the push you needed to complete this post.

    Funny how all it takes sometimes is to take that one step, in your case a gentle kick in the arse questions chuckle.

    Ready for my next one?

    When was the last time you  rewrote your dream so that who you are today is growing into who you want to be tomorrow?

    • Great question, Michele! A dream is not stagnant; it is malleable. As our understanding of life evolves, our dreams should adapt as well. A dream, goal, ambition, target, mission, whatever word you want to use, needs to be constantly reassessed. I’ll give this one some thought, and surely there will be something else in the future (sans the Disney characters). Thanks for the continued insight!

  • Hey Doug,
    I agree that inspiration doesn’t always lead to action. Sometimes while I am in the process of acting inspiration does occur which leads to more action.

    Since we spend most of our time in the process of things It would be wise to learn how to enjoy the journey.

    • Thanks for your comment, Justin! And great point about action leading to further inspiration. Sometimes, we don’t understand the entirety of our dreams until we begin to pursue them.

  • Great advice, taking action is key thanks!

    • “Taking action is key.” Couldn’t say it better myself. So many people die with ideas still in their heads. What’s the point of living if we aren’t really going to live but instead are merely going to think about living?

  • This is a great article!

    I especially like the bit about shunning critics. As you said, for every person willing to help you, there are many more willing to criticize you.

    The strangest thing is, most of these people that are criticizing you aren’t actually doing anything themselves. Quite strange, indeed…

    Hope to hear more from you.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Fred. I think we’ve got to be prepared psychologically for the critics. It’s easy to accomplish a goal with everyone cheering you on. But, sadly, we are deluding ourselves if we think that will be the case. And you’re right, “most of these people that are criticizing you aren’t actually doing anything themselves.” Perhaps this is the exact reason that they are being critical: they are jealous that others are taking the initiative that they are afraid to take. It’s a lot easier to make yourself appear better by tearing others down than it is to make yourself appear better by actually being better.

  • olise

    Thanks for the good job, your words are so inspiring. 

    • Thanks, that’s so kind of you. I greatly appreciate it! I hope it gets you moving in the right direction.

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  • Ray

    Who is the girl in the photo?

    • No idea, but it looks like she’s living the dream!

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  • Anonymous

    1.  Laughter increases the speed of manifestation

    2.  To Have an Opinion, is to Drive with your Foot on the Brake;
     though you make noise, you go no where fast

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  • jay

    Thank you.

    • Kavyasnair99

       may i know your full name?

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  • Amyalzidanahoo

    good way to put it i think

  • Dreaming&Pursuing

    Thank you.  Just what I needed. 

  • Jodie

    I’m a nursing student in Scotland, but all I want to do it study musical theater. Theater has been my whole life, but now it’s too late because I can’t afford training on my own, as I already receive funding for nursing, and I won’t get help with another course. I only really wanted to do nursing because it’s what my family expected of me. I’m only 20, but it’s soul destroying to know I’ll probably never be on the stage.
    So moral of the story is, don’t do something to please others. If you have a dream, follow it; don’t suppress it, because it can turn you into a bitter person :/

    • Nadzirah

      Are you enjoying ur self doing nursing ? I just want to know ? Perhaps u could answer my question

    • Life is short. Seize the day. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Cheer Lye

    I don’t get it 😳

    • Neither do I. I just started typing and this is what came out ;-D

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  • Balbeer

    Hi Doug…Thanks for writing such an amazing article..

  • nicepersoninlife

    Dreams are great when you take action to get them. I would never criticize anyone’s dreams unless it was illegal.  I have achieved a lot and am pretty successful. I have a relative that has all these dreams but the reality is they are spending their day on facebook or messing around partying with friends instead of working on the dream. They keep posting watch me do it. I’ll show you and so on. I don’t criticize them but I just stop listening as I know they have no intention of really doing anything. 

  • fay18

    my dream is to go out with this boy but when i go around him i always go shy and i dont know why so i am going to wish that i will have the courage i wil dream and dream and dream until i get him i will never stop i will even go to his house if i have to thanks great inspiration

  • fay18

    my dream is to go out with this boy but when i go around him i always go shy and i dont know why so i am going to wish that i will have the courage i wil dream and dream and dream until i get him i will never stop i will even go to his house if i have to thanks great inspiration

  • fay18

    my dream is to go out with this boy but when i go around him i always go shy and i dont know why so i am going to wish that i will have the courage i wil dream and dream and dream until i get him i will never stop i will even go to his house if i have to thanks great inspiration

  • fay18

    my dream is to go out with this boy but when i go around him i always go shy and i dont know why so i am going to wish that i will have the courage i wil dream and dream and dream until i get him i will never stop i will even go to his house if i have to thanks great inspiration

  • fay18

    my dream is to go out with this boy but when i go around him i always go shy and i dont know why so i am going to wish that i will have the courage i wil dream and dream and dream until i get him i will never stop i will even go to his house if i have to thanks great inspiration

  • fay18

    my dream is to go out with this boy but when i go around him i always go shy and i dont know why so i am going to wish that i will have the courage i wil dream and dream and dream until i get him i will never stop i will even go to his house if i have to thanks great inspiration

  • Kavyasnair7

    thanks thanks a lot , i was searching for this kind of articles ! but still can any one help me ? i have many doubts!

  • lauzaaa

    i want to be a singer so badly, im only 13 years old, and i know im absolutely crap i dont even want to put videos on youtube cause i know ill get so much hate. someone please helo me

    • Silvia69

      Never give up yre dream you’re still young and have a lots of chances in you’re life my dream is to sing too but I’m 34 and I’m married I’ll convince myself that if I reborn I’ll become a singer, which is an impossible dream so pls don’t have an impossible dream like mine keep going cs once you live once you die hope my words helps you

  • cynthia justus

    thank you for explaining the journey of dreams in an easy way i will keep in my mind and will follow it as Rapunzel did my dreams will have no end but destiny

    • Although it utterly crushes any sense of manliness left in me, I’ve got to admit it…Rapunzel is a good role model.

  • Rizz1975

    your right…good points.

  • AriesCottrell

    Wonderful motivation, thank you. Glad Michele kicked you in the arse and you in turn did the same for me. All the best!

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  • Beakyril19

    I’m shy but I want to be an actress and I don’t know about my parent….

  • Crystal Torres 23

    What is that word that describes an idea becoming a reality???

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  • LoremaeAlbano

    A superb and inspiring article! I’m actually in the middle of depression and fear that I might not be able to reach my dream due to my sickness and lack of support, I did my best and worked so hard to reach my dream, I was about to reach it but then again, my parents held me back and left me things I do not wish to do.  I’m 17 years old, I was given a chance to study BS Animation (my dream!) from an expensive school but can’t make it due to financial crisis and problems, took a course of what my mother wants (Information Technology), supposedly shift to a new course to make my father proud (Civil Engineering) but end up to a course I never ever wished of, being a Teacher.I won a lot of  art competitions, mostly 1st places locally and regionally, held and participated many art exhibits inside the school and outside the school, contributed so much art to others and schools. But there is always inside of me, a dream since I was a child, 5 years old to be exact, I’ve always dreamed of being an animator in a Disney/Dreamworks or any company that would help me to challenge myself to improve my talent and skills with so much fun and build my own gallery with my art and build a room inside for people (make it as an art therapy) to draw whatever they want if they feel sad,angry or happy. A lot of people said that I’m so different and too advanced which led me being isolated since Elementary , they are afraid of me of such skills. I’ve been drawing since I was 5 and drawing has been ALWAYS my life.. and am in this point of giving up, running over impossible things, but, inside my heart, since I was a child, there’s a burning passion of me to reach it no matter what and I WILL NOT GIVE UP! Thank you so much for posting this. You’ve helped a lot! 

  • sara


  • truthseeker77

    Wow. Most of the motivational/inspirational crap I read online, is just that. Not worthy of wrapping my fish guts in. That said, I actually took a piece of paper and a pencil and put these words on the paper that I will post to my computer. It reads “You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and burn the bridge leading back to it.” THAT, is power and powerful!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • elena


  • elena

    you people have No talent

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  • Excellent article! I’m going to add a link to this to my Wednesday’s coming blog post about making your dreams come true.

    I have personally made a huge dream come true, moved to China three years ago, and the most important step for me was to decide to do it. The timing is never perfect so could as well do it now. I left my unfinished history major and moved accross the globe to make the dream come true. Haven’t regretted at all!

    But now as I’m getting towards my next big dream, I was suddenly feeling afraid of leaving the tower. But luckily I met people who encouraged me and made me realize what it is that I’ve always been passionate about. I’m slowly making the steps to make this dream true too.

    Thank you again for the great post!

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  • Swetha NC

    Thanks Doug…dreams do come true ..its just that you should have the right spirit and positive attitude….

  • WOW! I have to say that I am definitely thinking I am ready to try to start my own business! Especially after I have been, literally, BOMBARDED by messages SO similar to yours that it can’t possibly be coincidence.

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  • Stephanie

    Best article I read in a while. I LOVE it! So, so inspiring. Thank you so much for writing this. 😉

  • Have to follow your dreams!!! It’s the best feeling ever! If you want to help me follow mine please subscribe to me!

  • dreamskaper

    Great article. The first step is always the hardest in turning your dream in to a relaity. I have written my own article on keeping motivated while working toward your dream. It would humble me if you could check it out. All the best. Get motivated and pursue your dreams!