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“Dreams are like stars … you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.” Anon

We all have our dreams. Take yourself back to your primary/preparatory school days – how many times did you find yourself day-dreaming about what you wanted to be ‘when you grew up or ‘where you wanted to be’. Were those dreams still true when you changed schools and went to your high/secondary school? If not, what happened to those dreams – did you give up on them or did you change them? Either way, what dreams did you have at school about what you wanted to do when you left school? What dreams have you had since you left school? Of all the dreams you’ve had, how many have you achieved?

Frequently we find that our dreams are not taken seriously by teachers, by lecturers, by parents, by friends, by colleagues; and we find that they are discouraged. I know from my own experience after a year at college gaining my secretarial qualifications my parents ‘encouraged’ me to follow a more practical career than the one I wanted to follow. Hence I joined an accounting firm, articled and became an auditor then an accountant How many times does this happen?

Having worked as an Auditor in Malawi and then an Accountant in the UK for several years I realised that I didn’t have to stay in a career that I wasn’t enjoying. Job opportunities came my way and over a short period of time I moved away from being an Accountant, into being an Analyst in the City, and then into the IT profession. Changing my career again, once I had trained as a Coach I started to understand that dreams fall in every aspect of our lives and that often we discouraged from following them or frequently we do not recognise them.

As someone born and brought-up in the southern hemisphere (Central Africa), I saw a lot people experiencing their dreams. They came to work and to live in a country and culture that was very different to the one they grew up in, had been living in, and was working in. Whether this experience and achievement was part of their dream or not, I have no idea; but what I do know is that I agree with Anais Nin who says ‘Dreams are necessary to life’.

I qualified as a coach nearly 10-years ago and as part of working with people defining their own dreams it brought home to me that I hadn’t thought about my own for many years. I know from my own experiences that I have given up on my dreams and only in the last 8-years have begun to recognise them and open up to them again, which was a wonderful experience.

Take the Wheel of Life (a tool used by most coaches to determine each aspect of a persons life), an example of which is found here, and think about the dreams you have in each area of your life.

Spend a few moments asking yourself ‘what dreams have I given up?’ It is an interesting exercise, sitting quietly and recapturing the dreams that you’ve had throughout your life. Find a quiet space in your environment, take a clean page in your journal or just a clean sheet of paper, grab a pen or a range of coloured pens, and using the Wheel of Life, think about the dreams you’ve had in each element of your life.

In the next article we’ll discuss how to progress what you’ve just captured.

© 2010 Barbara J. Cormack
First published under Cormack’s Capers in Magna Intuitum