How To Prioritize Your Dreams So You Can Finally Make REAL Progress On Them

How To Prioritize Your Dreams So You Can Finally Make REAL Progress On Them

Do you have so many dreams that the overwhelming immensity and diversity of those dreams makes it hard for you to make any real progress on them?

Are “too many dreams” getting in the way of you fulfilling that “one dream that matters”?

If this is a problem you are struggling with, then don’t worry. You’re not alone.

The One Dream That Matters

If you struggle with having “so many dreams” that you don’t know where to start, then you must know this:

Among all your many dreams, there is one dream that matters the most.

Many different people have called The One Dream That Matters many different things throughout the ages. Some have refered to The One Dream That Matters as your “purpose.” Others say it is your “calling.” The Bhagavad Gita calls it your “dharma.” The Tao Te Ching calls it your “true nature.”

Whatever you choose to call it, it doesn’t matter.

But what you do need to know is that the one dream that matters is what should take priority over all your other dreams.

The One Dream That Matters doesn’t need to “overshadow” or “nullify” your other dreams, it just needs to be your highest priority.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

I have TONS of ideas for novels and short stories. I want to realize my dream for all of them. I really do. But first I have to prioritize all these writing dreams or else I’ll never make progress on ANY of them.

So, I have chosen to focus on the novel I am currently working on because I realized that it was The One Dream That Mattered. It was my purpose, my calling, my true nature, my “dharma.”

The One Dream That Matters Exercise

Why don’t we try a little exercise, shall we?

Let’s imagine that you have limitless wealth and unconditional support from family, friends, and society. You have security, you have health insurance, you have everything that an average, modern-day person constantly worries about having. It’s all yours.

Now, in this ideal circumstance, imagine that you can pursue your dreams 24/7—you don’t need a day job to support yourself.

Now, as you imagine this alternate reality, list 10 things you would do in that situation. Please don’t think hard about it, just go with the first 10 things that come to your mind.

DO THAT RIGHT NOW.

Now, look at the list you’ve just created.

If you did this exercise right, #1 on the list should be the one dream that matters (this is your “purpose,” your “calling,” your “true nature,” your “dharma”).

This is your highest priority.

From now on, you can “table” all you other dreams and simply pursue the dream you listed as #1.

Hey, What About My Other Dreams? Don’t #2-10 Matter, Too?

Your other dreams may matter, but they don’t matter the most.

At least not right now.

You really need to understand the importance of prioritizing your dreams.

If you don’t prioritize your dreams, they will become a block to your progress. The sheer diversity and volume of your dreams will become so overwhelming that you won’t be able to make any real progress on any of them. You will feel that taking a step toward one dream means that you have to take a step towards all of your dreams.

If you don’t believe me, then take a good look at that list of dreams you created. Now, imagine having to make progress on all of them today.

Did you just become paralyzed with fear?

Yeah, that would be a natural reaction.

Asking yourself to make progress on 10 dreams all at once is a whole lot more stressful and terrifying than simply asking yourself to take a step toward a single dream.

So cut your list of 10 dreams down to 1—the one dream that matters—and see how much easier it is to make progress.

What If Number #1 Is The Wrong Choice For Me?

It wasn’t the wrong choice.

Usually, our first “gut response” to a question requiring our honest answer is the right response.

So, whatever came to your mind as soon as you were asked what dream you would pursue in an ideal situation is closer to your truth than anything else would be.

What I am trying to say is that the one dream that matters is in your very nature. You will naturally do it without any external prompt. It will come from an internal, organic place within you. In fact, you do not need to take a step towards this dream; you simply need to become aware of the natural impulse to fulfill that dream.

“I Uncovered My ‘One Dream That Matters,’ But I’m Still Paralyzed By Fear and Indecision! HELP!”

If you put into practice what I just taught you, and trust the results, then you will realize that the practice will work for you, too.

However, if you go on trying to deny or reject what I am trying to teach you, then you will only create new labyrinths of difficulty for your dreams—and this will stunt any progress.

You’ll only further entangle your One Dream That Matters with your other dreams, creating a sort of “dream pretzel.” That “dream pretzel” will continue to leave you with no clue as to how to begin the journey.

In other words, you will become “stuck.”

The longer you remain stuck, the harder it will be to get you “unstuck.” The shame and guilt and self-hatred that emerge when one is stuck only provides further fuel to the flame.

To put it another way: the longer you dig your own grave the harder it will be for you to crawl out of it. So, stop digging. Instead, trust what moves you the most right now and go with it.

Your Mind and Heart Are Working Together To “Entangle” Your Dreams

You may not realize it, but both your mind and your heart are working together to entangle you dreams so that you don’t make any real progress on them. This “entangling” buys them time—time enough so that they don’t have to live in a world of risk and vulnerability.

So, if you want to move forward, just tell your mind and heart that risk and vulnerability is what makes your dream worthwhile. It’s what makes your journey an adventure and not just another predictable, boring part of your daily routine.

This strategy works wonders because your heart likes an adventure. An adventure gives your heart a thrill, which is a pleasant emotion. Your mind also likes adventure because an adventure gives it something to master. (The mind thinks it’s pretty clever and welcomes any opportunity to test its sharp wits.)

Once you’ve convinced your mind and heart to join you on the adventure to fulfilling your dream, ask your soul to be your captain:  the fearless leader that leads the way home.

Today, Make Some REAL Progress On Your Dreams

If you want to start making some REAL progress on your dreams, know that you don’t have to walk through 10, 000 doors in order to do so.

You just need to walk through one door.

What door is that?

I just gave it to you. It is the door you wrote down for #1.

You see, before today, you had 10 or more doors to choose from, and you were putting all your energy behind trying to decide which “dream door” to open first.

But now that you’ve narrowed all your choices down to one, all that energy you were wasting on indecision will be re-channeled into opening door number #1.

And, trust me, you may need all your energy just to open that one door.

much love,

Ollin

Feel free to share your results from “The One Dream That Matters Exercise” in the comments below. I’m curious: did the exercise help you uncover something unexpected?

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Categories: Writer's Journal