Anatomy of a Dreamer: Four Components to Achieving Success
In August I spent a day with my honey and five kiddos at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. I wasn’t in the park more than fifteen minutes when I heard the enchanted words of Mr. Disney flood through the intercom system and resonate in my soul…
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Pretty sure I bowed my Mickey ears at that very moment and said a resounding, AMEN! (I knew I liked this guy, and not just because of my love for roller coasters, beautiful singing princesses and talking animals).
You see, Walt was a dreamer—a visionary, an idealist, and most especially, an optimist…and so am I, or at least it’s the direction I’m striving for. And though I’ve yet to fulfill my dreams to the magnitude of Mr. Disney, I’ve realized several dreams in my life, continue to dream on a daily basis and have come to the conclusion that the anatomy of a dreamer—from Walt Disney, to Martin Luther King, to the entrepreneur down the street, to me—is universal.
Whether your dream is to make the football team or lose fifty pounds, run a 10K or earn 100K, be a movie star or vacation under the stars. Everyone’s dreams are different, but the anatomy of the dreamer is the same. Here are four components—the “Anatomy of a Dreamer”—to help you achieve success:
The mind of the dreamer is awake…because this type of dreaming doesn’t happen while you’re asleep. In the words of Stephen Richards, “To dream by night is to escape your life. To dream by day is to make it happen.” Don’t relinquish sweet dreams to those unconscious hours. Invite them into your everyday. Productive dreamtime happens for me during those moments where my body is occupied—driving, washing dishes, walking, doing any monotonous task—while my mind is free to explore. Allow your dreams to take sprout and develop during such occasions.
The eyes and ears of the dreamer continually observe life around them, watching, listening for opportunity, inspiration and motivation. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already a dreamer snatching onto a morsel of online motivation. Just as our bodies need to be continually fed, so do our dreams. With our minds open and “awake,” life’s random observations will nourish the dreamer within us. Depending on our attitude and outlook on life, even negative aspects of life can fuel our dreams (an unfulfilling job, a bad grade on a test, an empty bank account). Generally I seek out positive stimulation, but I’m open to learn not only from my own mistakes or misfortunes, but others’ as well.
The arms and legs (as well as blood, sweat and tears) of the dreamer stand for action. Five years ago when I set out to lose fifty pounds, I could dream and visualize myself looking thin and fit, but without my feet and legs making that five-mile trek around the neighborhood every night, and my mouth taking in the proper nutrition (translation: denying my inner Cookie Monster), I never would have lost the weight. Likewise, my eight published novels didn’t magically write themselves. Two written pages a day, after a hundred days equals your average middle-grade/YA manuscript. This was my formula for the first draft of the majority of my books. Sounds easy? Hardly. I’m the mother of nine and my life is beyond hectic. But writing has always been my passion and dream. Dreams plus hard work equal the realization of your dreams.
Lastly, we have the heart of the dreamer—the vital organ that fuels every facet of our dreams. Much like our physical heart keeps our body alive, the same concept holds true to keep our dreams alive. Whether an Olympian or a spelling bee champion, it’s the heart—the will to succeed—that makes dreams come true. Dare to dream!