“I want to move, but I need to have a job in the new city first.” “I want a relationship, and I’ll get one as soon as I lose ten pounds.” “I’ll pursue my passion, as soon as I have enough money in the bank.”
Again and again I hear my clients stifle their dreams before the dreams are even fully imagined. Seemingly insurmountable road blocks and obstacles extinguish all hope until what is desired becomes a meaningless and feeble wish. They have lost before they have even begun to play the game.
What if you sat down to a game of Monopoly and said, “As soon as I have three hotels on Park Place, then I’ll start playing.” Yet you never roll the dice. You never move off Go. You never land on a Free Space. You never receive an opportunity from the Community Chest. You are immobile, wishing to be the tycoon of Monopoly and never taking one iota of movement to get you there. You are stuck and stifled.
Dreams are just wishes if you do not take action. Receiving your dream life starts with movement. Big or small doesn’t matter, as long as it is movement.
Life is like a board game. Roll the dice. Move forward. Act on chances that come your way. Roll again. Move a few steps forward. Move a few steps back. Not everything needs to be in place before you get started. You don’t need to have a fully baked plan before taking action. You only need to know which way you are headed, not the whole picture, to begin moving.
I talked about this concept in a recent interview. When my husband and I moved to Mexico last year, everyone thought we had taken one big leap at one point in time. The truth is we had taken babysteps over the past six years to get us where we wanted to go. We started with what we wanted to experience. We did not start with a step-by-step sequential timeline. We did not use logic, organization, and planning. We defined what we wanted to experience and then took small movements to bring us more and more of that experience.
When we took our first trip to Cabo San Lucas, we loved the sun, the warmth, the people, the food, and the ocean. It felt right to us. So we came back again. Babystep.
We thought our enjoyment of Mexico was just a vacation high. However after three years of trips we learned we were not just tourists. We loved the community and felt awkward when we were treated as visitors. Cabo was starting to feel like home and maybe somewhere we would like to retire. Babystep.
My husband was very rooted back in Illinois. The thought of leaving was not easy for him. Then he was courted for a job in another city. He did not take the offer, but in exploring it as an option showed us that we were both ready to make a change. Babystep.
Step by step we moved toward our dream, toward the life we want to experience. We moved forward even when we didn’t know what the outcome would be. We took large and small risks to continue our forward movement. We said yes to our first trip to Cabo. We said yes to exploring the job in another city. Saying no to either would have delayed or blocked our dream. We supported each other through the unknown and celebrated the unexpected opportunities which came our way.
Picture the experience you want. Don’t define it down to the last detail. Just determine the important elements and be open to how those elements come together. Then start taking tiny steps toward what you want. Look online. Ask others who have experienced what you want to. Research. Watch for opportunities to take the next little step. Say yes when opportunities arise. Be grateful when things begin to line up for you. When opportunities you did not expect or plan for come your way say “thank you more please.”
What is your dream? What is the life you want to experience? What is the one little babystep you can take today to start you down your path?