A Dream Without a Plan is Just a Wish

This quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry holds a special place in my heart.  I’m a dreamer and as a child I used to make up pretend futures for myself.  I would dream of living in big cities, by the ocean in a surf town or high in the alps where I could ski every day.  I would dream of sailing around the world and living on the beach. As I got older, my dreams turned to working in an office and wearing nice clothes, having a house, a husband, some children and a dog.  My future depended on me, and I made a plan every year to get closer to my dream.

One winter I was really down and couldn’t seem to get out of my funk.  I was in law school and just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. My brother called one night and I shared my mood with him.  “Chris, what is your plan? You always have a plan.” Well, other than being in school, I hadn’t been looking at my future and where I wanted to be or what it was I wanted to do with my law degree. I didn’t have a WHY.

After a few weeks of introspection and many interviews with adults who had the jobs I might ultimately want, I quit law school right before finals. Chicken? Maybe, but I knew then that my future wasn’t in the law from the legal side.  It was advocating for children from the psychological side of life.  Getting my Master’s of Social Work enabled me to help hundreds of children and teens pursue the lives that they wanted. I have always loved my job. Now with Coaching, I get to help teens make their dreams come true and pursue the lives they want.

How do you turn your Dreams into Reality? By looking inward. By discovering your true values. By aligning your goals with your values. You see, back then pursuing a legal career for a woman meant spending little time with my future family. That goal was and always has been my highest value. I believe in children, mine and the ones I serve.  I believe in a life with balance: hard work and lots of play.

I believe that teens deserve to learn the best of what the research and theory about goal achievement has to offer.  They’re not going to read the many books or listen to the podcasts that I have, but I can sure summarize these golden nuggets, tools and theories in a way they can understand and use for themselves. They can learn the steps to living with purpose and aligned with their values while achieving their dreams.

I believe that teens can achieve great things when they’re given the tools. I’ve seen them in the past, and I see them now.  Even in a pandemic, I’m amazed at what kids can do and how they can change direction.

Let’s work together to help our kids reach their dreams, live according to their values, without stress, without regret. Let’s help them reach the stars.