If I had to pick a personal motto, it would probably be this: always dream big. Dreaming big is the whole reason I’m here. And by "here," I mean being an author with a blog that friendly neighbors like you read. I never stopped believing that my heart’s desires would be reality. People said that the things I wanted were impossible. They said I’d never reach my goals. A lot of them even said that I would never have a book published.
I went ahead and did everything they said I couldn’t do anyway.
Imagining all of the amazing things that could happen in my life makes me happy. Of course, it’s easier to dream big when you know what you’re meant to be – when you know what you are. I knew I would be a science teacher when I was 12. When I was 16, I started thinking seriously about writing children’s books. I didn’t yet know what kind of science I wanted to teach or what kind of books I wanted to write. I just had a Knowing that these careers were meant to be my reality.
Dreaming big is how I created the life I have. And it’s how I continue to create the life I want.
So when I saw a feature in Seventeen about dreaming bigger, I was stoked. Dreaming bigger is badass. Dreaming bigger means that you have a goal you want to reach, but you reach beyond that goal. Like how Oprah didn’t stop at wanting to be a journalist. She reached way beyond that goal to become a media queen. Seventeen interviewed some other successful ladies about dreaming bigger. Their responses totally resonated with me and I knew I had to share them with you. Here are some excerpts from the Dream Bigger! feature of the October 2010 issue.
Seventeen: How can a girl figure out the difference between a dream that’s achievable and one that’s a fantasy that will never happen?
Tyra Banks: By being honest with yourself. I wanted to be a singer, but I couldn’t really sing. I wanted it so badly, and I did everything to make it happen, but it was my fantasy. My true calling was TV production – creating shows and being a businesswoman. That’s what my heart and soul has wanted to do since I was 9 years old. The day that I came up with America’s Next Top Model, I knew that I had discovered my true journey. It’s what I’m supposed to do. You have to know who you are and find your strengths, and work as hard as you can to develop them.
Seventeen: How can girls set themselves apart to achieve their dreams?
Rachel Zoe: The more you stay focused, the more you prove to people that you’re good at your job. When you find something you love to do, success will come because you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll work that much harder. You’ll want to put your whole self into the thing you love, and nothing else will seem to matter as much as going after it – even the stuff you’ll miss out on when working toward your dreams. I’ve missed birthday parties and things in my personal life, but I think it was worth it. There are going to be a lot of sacrifices along the way. Just don’t lose patience, don’t give up, and don’t take a job that you don’t like – you’ll ultimately resent it.
Seventeen: What does every girl need to know to be able to follow her dreams?
Lisa Ling: Making mistakes is okay. They are the best lessons. And never think that you are above anyone. Treat everybody as important, no matter who they are and what they do.
Seventeen: How can girls figure out what they’re really passionate about?
Kara DioGuardi: Write down all the moments in your life that you’ve felt happiest. Not because of some guy, or because your parents took you on a vacation, but when you were doing something. And that’s where dreams come into play, because dreams are what your inner voice is telling you that you really want to do. Maybe your inner voice is saying, I love music, which means there are many things you could do. If you have the talent, you could be a singer. Or you could work in a studio. You could do PR at a record label. There are many different avenues that you could follow, but your core would be music if that makes you happy.
All of this good advice has inspired me to give you a weekend project. If you’re still trying to figure out what you’re meant to do, make a list of things that inspire you. These are the areas you’ll want to research to identify a possible future career. If you already have career goals, how can you take steps every day to move closer to achieving them? Write these down in a way that works for you – in your journal or day planner, or on Post-its – and make a strong effort to work toward your goals in some way every day.
The journey really is a series of small steps. If you keep moving forward, eventually you’ll end up where you want to be. And never, ever stop dreaming bigger!