How to Shoot for the Moon, and Hit the Stars

What did you want to be as a kid?

If you’re like most kids, you probably had some vague concept of what you wanted to be, based on role models, or characters you’d seen in books or on TV. Perhaps you wanted to be a cowboy, astronaut, superhero, rock star, or maybe a princess. Maybe even all of the above.

Unrealistic or fantastical as these ideas may seem now, they were our first dreams.

Very few people aspire to be the mid-regional assistant to the assistant manager of some company, pushing papers in the prime of our lives – yet a lot of us find ourselves in exactly that place as adults.

The world’s a different place when you’re older.

Dreams of being a superhero are crushed by reality. Other dreams are sapped by daily responsibilities.

But there’s that little part of us that still dreams big. That part of us that wants to be a great writer, an actor, an artist, a successful entrepreneur, or musician. Maybe our dream isn’t wrapped up in a job or title, but rather a destination or an achievement.

Even if our dreams have grown up, many of us treat them them the same as we treated our childhood dreams – as something we’ll someday do.

Well, if that’s how you’re treating your dreams, you can be certain you won’t ever realize them.

Someday NEEDS to be now.

Below are some tips to make your dreams come true and live the life you want.

Define what you really want. Vague dreams don’t get accomplished. Firm GOALS can be. To say you want to be rich or famous isn’t the same as saying, I want to write a bestselling novel about vampires. While we can’t always control the outcome of our efforts, we’re more likely to hit our targets when we know what we’re aiming for.

Know what it takes to achieve your goals. Every ladder requires steps. Find out what steps are needed to achieve your goals. Do your homework, study people who have done what you want to do. Then, and this is the important part, write down the steps. Even though it seems like a no-brainer to write your goals down, a lot of us get put off, distracted, or just don’t take the time to do so. Having written goals helps us stick to them and steers us on the right path when we get lost.

Examine your dream. Is it really possible to fulfill your dream? If your dream is something beyond your reach, or just plain impossible given your time or resources, you need to re-think your dream. For instance, I’m a 6’4” 300-plus pound guy – I’m never gonna be a ballerino, no matter how much I want it. Find something you can do or will be happy trying to do. This isn’t to say give up, but there are times it’s better to recognize reality before we waste too much time trying to re-shape it.

Break down the steps. Once you know the larger steps you need to take, break the items down into smaller actions – daily, weekly, and monthly goals which you can achieve. Saying I’m going to write a 700 page novel is one thing – and easy to give up on, as the end result is so far out. However, saying I’m going to write   70 pages a week – that’s something tangible and immediate.

Make the time. It’s easy to say you’re going to write a book. But actually putting the pages down takes dedication. Setting a certain number of hours per day you’re going to devote to your craft and putting in the time – even on the days you don’t feel like it – is the difference between a pipe dream and an accomplished goal.

Feed your brain. What do you need to know to be in your desired position? Read the basics of the field you plan to go into. Even if you plan to be a rebellious trailblazer, you still ought to know the rules before you break them. Learn from those who have paved the way, and the road will be much smoother.

Get support. Dreams are a lot easier to achieve when you have a supportive team behind you. This is especially true if your dream requires others to take up your slack. For instance, if you need to go back to school, but you’re raising a family and working a full-time job, perhaps your spouse can help take care of some of your duties while you’re chasing down your dream. Support can also come from co-workers, friends, or other people doing what you want to do. Knowing the right people can not only help your climb from a networking standpoint, but these people can also be great for feedback and questions along the way.

Don’t forget to dream. Think about living your dream. Envision yourself doing what you want to do. Many athletes and professionals find that visualization before an important event helps them when it comes time to physically perform.

Perhaps it’s too late for your childhood dreams to come true, but it’s never too late to dream new dreams and make them your reality.

Have any tips on how you achieved your dreams? Or what you’re doing to currently make your dreams a reality? Please share them below, we’d love to know what works for you.


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David Wright is a ghostwriter who is chronicling his year in self improvement at Project 30 Days starting in January.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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