Episode 3: When Did I Stop Dreaming and How Can I Dream Big?


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Links to Books Mentioned in Episode 3

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[00:00:02] Hi I'm Victoria Hefty and Welcome to Activate Purpose, where I talk about finding purpose through action while balancing motherhood and career.

[00:00:11] Today I want to talk to you about dreaming big and actually believing in those dreams. Over the course of this episode I'll share my struggles to dream big and the actions I'm taking to overcome my limiting beliefs. I am also going expose a little bit more and share three of what I'm calling my "Dare to Dream Big" goals. I'm also excited but nervous about today's topics so let's get this show started.

[00:00:39] So what do you want to be when you grow up? Remember that question when you were a kid. Well, it's similar to the question in last week's discussion in Episode 2 "What is Your Greatest Strength." The whole "what do you want to be when you grow up" thing is one of my least favorite questions. Why is that? Well, again, I have the same response. Because I genuinely don't know the answer and I doubt I'm alone. So does this sound like you? In high school, you thought about getting accepted to your dream college. Then you thought about getting your dream job. Then maybe you thought about getting married to your dream wife or husband. And then purchasing your dream home. But then what? What comes after that? I feel really awful admitting this but somewhere along the way, I've really stopped dreaming about what I want from life and dreaming about what I want to accomplish professionally. Not only did I stop dreaming. I've actually stopped dreaming big. Because wanting a promotion is not exactly dreaming big if you know what I mean...I didn't even realize that I had all of these issues until I started reading this book that I've talked about before and I'll continue to talk about the next few episodes called the Success Principles by Jack Canfield. So how am I overcoming this whole dreaming issue? Well, the Success Principles outlines a set of timeless principles designed to increase your confidence, tackle daily challenges, and realize your ambitions. Among many things, the focus of today is actually principle number three which is called decide what you want.

[00:02:11] So the chapter states that "in the name of being sensible we end up numbing all of our desires. The sentence really made me pause. However, when I was reading there was actually another quote that really got my attention and it said one of the main reasons why most people don't get what they want is that they haven't actually decided what they want. They haven't defined their desires in clear and compelling detail. I really hated to admit this at first and I was sort of rolling my eyes at this but if I had to admit that this statement was true. So I kept on reading. One of the items that we had to do in this chapter was to create a list of 30 things that I wanted to do. Me. Victoria. And these were the things I wanted to do without fear, without shame, without inhibition. I couldn't worry about anyone else's opinion. I was just focusing on what I wanted to do. So I'll share three of those things later. But first I'll tell you about some of the hurdles I ran into creating this list. So as I mentioned before I had a hard time thinking big. So anytime I started thinking of something big, like a big goal, my mind would say Victoria that is completely unrealistic or you know this is silly. In fact, this is silly. Close this book and close it right now. This whole purpose thing is stupid. Just stop while you're ahead.

[00:03:30] But fortunately a few pages ahead one of the chapters or one of the sections in the book said if you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise. So when I read that I realized all right...maybe I should just ease up a bit. Take a breath. But then I ran into my second struggle. I actually didn't really know what type of future I wanted. I know it's OK to dream big. But then what does that actually mean. Once I get over the fear of trying to dream big. What kind of future did I want to create if I had this sort of blank slate? So I really love this book because it's very practical. As you can probably tell from this podcast, I am a very practical person. So the book had another exercise that really helped me figure this out. Part of this exercise was writing out what your ideal day looked like in a perfect world where you didn't have to worry about money or time or limitations. As I was getting started I was a little skeptical because I imagined that my ideal day would read like a vacation. I mean isn't that what an ideal day really looks like? But I spent about almost two hours in the morning writing after I meditated and did my morning routine. I spent two hours writing down in very specific detail what this ideal day would look like. And I started really warming up to it. By the end, I sort of took a step back, read it out loud again, and I was really surprised that a couple of things.

[00:05:06] First, work was still very much a part of my life. And I think this made me realize for the first time, in a very sort of direct way, that having a professional component to my life is not something that I have to do but rather something I actually enjoy with the right set up. I really do thrive when I can be creative solve problems, be challenged, and help others in a work environment. So I think that was important for me to recognize. And another thing that surprised me was that again while vacations are amazing, in my ideal world my day to day life was actually full of joy, balance, beauty, and laughter. And I didn't need a vacation to try and escape that. Instead, my ideal day already had that sort of fresh, adventurous feel to it that a lot of vacations have. And I think seeing that written down made me feel really happy and it also kind of made me feel really empowered. The act of sitting down and at first carefully writing but then writing some more and writing in vivid details like what my coffee cup was like, where I was sitting, where I was overlooking, what country I was in, was letting my imagination flow and bringing out new possibilities. It just made me feel pumped and ready to go. So with that, I was ready to move on. And really attack this list of 30 things that I wanted to do. So I started writing. I told myself,  remember this is your list without fear or shame or inhibition, a no-holds-bar. It's not too bold. It's not too crazy. It's not too arrogant.

[00:06:41] Just write down what you want Victoria. So it actually took me a couple of days but I finally completed the list. And one of the things that the book recommends is sharing your vision. So are you ready to hear the three goals that I wrote down? Well first let me just say my heart's beating right now. It's a little scary sharing this because you know once it's out there in the universe good or bad it's out there. But I am going to trust that you can support my vision or at the very least that I'm daring to dream big for this exercise and you know, there's something good about that. All right so we're cool? Here goes. So one of my goals, deep breath, is to be a keynote speaker at the annual TED Conference otherwise known as a TED Talk. So I'm not talking about Ted X or franchise versions or like a little city version which are all great. I'm talking about the TED Talk show. Furthermore I want to deliver such an amazing presentation that I get a standing ovation. So if you don't know what a Ted Talks is Google it, but I'm absolutely obsessed with them. I love learning and many of the people that I look up to, like Brene Brown, have given amazing talks. The funny part is for my goal I don't actually know what my TED Talk would be about. I have no idea why they would invite me in the first place. But the book says don't worry about the how just yet. Write down the goal and dream big.

[00:08:01] So I did that. That's my first goal. And again this is one out of 30 but I'll share two more. Two, I want to publish a book that becomes more popular and regularly outsells the book What To Expect When You are Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. Whether it's my current book, The Insider's Guide to Maternity Leave, or something else, I want to write a book that is the first thing that any working woman in the world buys when she finds out she's pregnant. So like millions of other women the first book I bought when I was pregnant was What to Expect When You're Expecting. Many of you listening probably have had that same experience. I want to create a book that elicits that same level of immediate sort of gut reaction. And then this is the last one. I want to create a globally recognized brand and this brand focuses on the intersection between motherhood, career, and finding your purpose later in life. So I'm not talking about this podcast. I'm talking about worldwide conferences workshops products books, you name it. The whole big thing you know I told you I was dreaming big. So there you have it. I do strongly feel that there are a lot of mothers who feel lost in the shuffle as they transition to motherhood, try to balance their career, and also figure out what it all means. And these moms like me are sitting on untapped potential and I want to help uncover that with this brand in a big way.

[00:09:29] So now that I've shared my journey to dreaming big, I'd like to challenge you and see if you can answer these questions. First, in a perfect world what would your ideal day look like? Write it down in detail. Don't get caught up in not knowing what type of job or career involves or you know who's in it. Are you married or are you not. Just what does it look like. Use that childhood imagination that we all have. And remember, when I did this exercise I didn't even know what type of job or career I had in my ideal day. I just knew I wanted to spend a certain amount of time throughout the day on work-related things so I wrote down, for example, like spend an hour a day meeting someone new and talking about business to brainstorm. So stuff like that where you're in detail but you don't have to worry about where you are. And then the second exercise is what is one thing you want to accomplish in life? Remember dream big and forget realistic. So write it down and take one small action towards it no matter how silly it sounds. I'll share a little secret. So, for example, I mentioned one of my big goals is to be invited to speak at the annual TED talk conference and to blow them away with my awesomeness and get a standing ovation. Simple right? Well, actually one of the principles I think at least in the Success Principles is titled Act As If. The premise is that and I quote one of the best strategies for success is to act as if you already are where you want to be.

[00:10:58] So one of the ways the book recommends this is to start preparing now and act as if the opportunity is coming. So what does that mean for me? Well, it means I have to act as if I got an invite to speak at the TED conference next year. I have to start preparing now. Like today. So this is no lie. This is what I'm actually doing right now. I'm being serious. Two weeks ago, I joined a local Toastmasters group which is a worldwide organization that helps people with public speaking. I did it for accountability and to really you know I like speaking but I haven't really taken the craft of public speaking seriously. And so this was a great opportunity to I think have a structure and meet new people that would allow me to do that. Second I bought and have been reading a book called TED Talks The Official Ted Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson. Once I finish up the book, I'm going to start outlining and actually writing what this dream presentation of mine looks like. Again I'm not worried about the topic. Worst case you know I'm not necessarily going to make it up but I'll say OK what do I want this topic to be about. And write that. I know it sounds foolish. I'm sure it does sound foolish but I'm actually honestly a little bit excited. All right. I'm a lot excited about it. I think the possibility of what if this actually happens has brought out the inner child in me who really loves to dream and really the possibilities are endless with this method.

[00:12:27] So have fun with the challenge and in case you forgot it's one right what your ideal day is in a perfect world and write one thing you want to do without fear or shame or inhibition. As a bonus, write down what is the one thing you can do to act as if this goal is already going to happen.

[00:12:44] As always if you're up for sharing I would love to hear about your experience. Send a note to Victoria at ActivatePurpose.com. And if you want to find show notes and links to all the resources that I talked about in this episode visit activepurpose.com/episode 3. And lastly, if you enjoy today's episode make sure to leave a review and subscribe to receive next week's episode. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen and support me. Until next time.



I'm Victoria, your host.jpg
Activate Purpose