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Do you know your dream? Not just what you tell other people what you'd like to do, but what you truly want for your life?

TACTIC: Brainstorm your dream by quickly answering hypothetical questions and examining the pattern they reveal.

Answer the following questions honestly and quickly with the first thing that comes to your mind.

What would you do with your life if...

  • You won $1 million?
  • You had to return to college to get a four-year degree?
  • You won $1,000 a week for life?
  • You lost your present job?
  • You had a disability that prevented you from walking?
  • You had six months to live?

Answering hypothetical questions can give you insight into your true motivation. Is there a pattern in your answers to the questions?

These questions should force you to look behind what you might assume to be your dream. For example, you might assume that your dream is to have lots of money--but what do you want from that money? What do you want to do with your time? With whom do you want to spend your time?

TACTIC: Generate more dream ideas by looking at your priorities and past.

  • What has been the work or lifestyle that you have chosen to return to again and again?
  • What do you routinely say that you will do "someday"? What life change or way of life are you putting off?
  • Would you be willing to live with very little money and pursue a dream? Or would you rather work in a job that means nothing to you in order to have all kinds of material comforts?
  • Are you willing to live in the world, in the moment? Or do you seek to build a cocoon that meets all your needs?
  • What could you imagine getting up in the morning for? What could you imagine being in your life so that when you go to bed every night, you think, "I can hardly wait for tomorrow!"?
  • If your dream involves creative or performing arts, would you be willing to live frugally to follow your passion?
  • If your dream is travel, would you be willing to get a job involving travel?

The answers to these questions should reveal to you more about what you want to do. What are you are willing to sacrifice? How you are willing to live in order to follow your dream?

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