Perhaps you want to make a big change in your job or your relationship. Maybe you want to improve your health or your financial well-being. You might want to take up a new hobby, learn a new language, or make more time for something you’ve been neglecting. Or possibly, things have been going really well, and you just want to keep it going.
But behind every resolution, however specific or vague, is a dream. An idea of who we are, and who we might be.
And the bigger, the more exciting the dream, the more motivated we are to do something about it.
The Power of the Stories We Tell
We tell ourselves stories all the time. They assure us we’re right, or on the right track. They challenge us to make choices, sacrifices, and next steps. They cast us and the people around us as heroes, villains, supporters, victims, and perpetrators. They give us permission to do what we want to do, and they let us off the hook when we’d rather not be bothered.
When it comes to the stories of our lives, there can be safety in not being altogether clear about what we really want. We don’t get our expectations too high. We don’t risk disappointing ourselves or others. We can claim success when good things happen, even if they don’t bring us closer to our ultimate goals.
Here is an audacious story for you this year: You are capable and worthy of a future you might not yet have the courage to dream.
In a message to his followers, Jesus talked about how to orient our lives in light of our worries, desires, and day-to-day needs. His advice? To aim at the highest things we can, and see what happens from there. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33).
You may not realize a future – a faith, a family, a vocation – exactly as you currently imagine it. But there’s no telling what might happen if you dare to dream a little bigger.
Four Questions to Get Clear About Your Future
- What do I really want? Allow yourself to imagine a future which might seem impossible or far off. If it gets your heart racing (from excitement and/or anxiety), you may be on the right track.
- What would help me get there? List clear, specific choices that would help you get from where you are to where you want to be. Remember, big dreams often get realized through small actions.
- What is causing me to lose hope? Be honest about what might derail you from realizing the future you’ve identified. Maybe you’ve failed in the past. Maybe you don’t have the motivation or encouragement you’d like.
- How can I invite God and the people around me into the conversation? Don’t dream alone! Admit what you want, and what you’re aiming at, to those who know and love you best. Ask for their insight, their wisdom, and their support.
Need some help getting your thoughts in order, or putting them into action? Unravel: GO is designed to help you dream big and start simply – on your own time and pace!
If you’re feeling motivated or lost in the process, lean in and let the words of Martin Luther King Jr. motivate you: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”