January 11, 2008

How to Make Your Dream Come True — Thought, Strategy, Action

published this at 8:49 am

You Decide

Personal Identity logo

Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Do you have a dream waiting for someday? What are you doing to make it happen?

You decide whether your dream will happen.

You can wonder. You can wish. You can wait for help. Say that you will, or say that you can’t right now. The most important key to a dream come true is personal investment.

Dreams that come true need commitment and action.

Wonders, wishes, and waiting without commitment are a whole lot of nothing happening. Folks who might help us won’t show up for “what ifs” and “could bes.” Their lack of support can be a convenient excuse. That’s the wrong reaction. If we want a dream to come true, we have to be able to explain it how it can be turned from a dream into a reality. That takes thought, strategy, and action.

How to Make Your Dream Come True

A dream needs more than a wish. Wishes dissolve in the mist. To come true, a dream needs a foundation of concrete not sand. When you offer a solid foundation, people listen. They pay attention because you’ve moved the dream into the realm of possibility.

Here’s how to get to the concrete foundation you need.

  1. Define the dream. Take the idea out of your head. Put it in front of you to look critically at it. How does the “dream come true” look? How does it work? Do you see a living example in the world? Describe it in the smallest details.
  2. Define where you sit. Is the dream a good fit to who you are, what you know, and what you can do? What seeds for the dream are in your life already? How might you nurture them?
  3. Plot your strategy. What’s the path from here to the “dream come true”? Start with the finished dream and work backwards until you’re where you sit.
  4. Detail your needs. What work have you already done? What can you do on your own? What sort of help and resources can you hire, borrow, or dig up? Sort them into three lists.
  5. Determine your commitment. What will it take to make the dream come true? Why this dream not another? What arguments will you face? How will you answer them? What will you be willing to give up and invest? Would you do it alone if you had to? Will you give yourself permission to go after the dream — even when the world says you should not?
  6. Enlist support and advocates. Who sees the same dream? Who wants your success? Who helps you think? Who can help you meet the needs you’ve outlines above?
  7. Write the story. Name the dream come true. Write one sentence about what the dream will do. Write three points that explain how other folks benefit from helping this dream become reality.
  8. Know how you’ll ask. Visualize yourself asking for help. Choose the words you will use. Write several kinds of requests based on benefits folks will get from helping the dream into reality.
  9. Define yourself by the dream. When people ask what you do, tell them about the dream you’re making come true. Think of your “day job” as support and supplemental to the dream. I’m an actor who works here now, not I’m a waiter who working to be an actor.

It’s willingness and determination to give ourselves over to our dreams that makes them happen. What’s the difference between me and the guy who got what I wanted when I didn’t? He wanted it enough to stick when it got difficult. I decided somewhere that something else was more important.

The dream is there. It’s not magic. It’s not the big break. It’s giving ourselves permission to pull out all stops. Surely you’ve known someone you would defend at any cost. Find a dream like that — one you’ll single-mindedly protect — and you’ll make that dream happen.

Got the dream? When will you make the investment?

– ME “Liz” Strauss

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Filed under Motivation, Successful Blog | 66 Comments »


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66 Comments to “How to Make Your Dream Come True — Thought, Strategy, Action”

  1. January 11th, 2008 at 9:01 am
    Tiffany Monhollon said

    Great post, Liz. I’ve been blogging around some of these same ideas lately, in a little different packaging. I really love the last point. There’s a lot of power in not waiting to define yourself by your dream until you get it. Because that just puts you back in the wishing, hoping, waiting pack, doesn’t it?

    I was just talking to a friend earlier today about how success comes after taking risks, and I think it’s also true that dreams come true after you put them solidly down into your realm of reality.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!

  2. January 11th, 2008 at 9:19 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Tiffany,
    That’s it exactly. When we say we “ARE” something, we walk, talk, and act differently than when we say “we’re going to be” that same thing. Our thinking changes. The way we see ourselves changes. We start learning what it’s like to be that new person and accelerate the process of becoming. :)

  3. January 11th, 2008 at 11:31 am
    Zakman said

    Surely you’ve known someone you would defend at any cost.

    I don’t. There’s nobody. Only me.

    That hurt. It’s like picking up an inspirational book when you’re in the sixth grade only to read it says, “Always look forward. And thank God you don’t stammer.”

    And you do stammer.

  4. January 11th, 2008 at 12:20 pm
    Sara said

    Liz,

    I love how you break this down. Excellent! If people used this guideline more often I think they would be less overwhelmed. I also wonder if some people would be uncomfortable with this process because it shows how achievable dreams really can be. We might all have to take accountability for our failures if a formula can be followed through to success.

    Does this mean I ought to actually open up a word document today when I start daydreaming about publishing my novel?! ;)

    Sara

  5. January 11th, 2008 at 12:34 pm
    Brad Shorr said

    You’re making lots of sense here, Liz. It’d be nice if dreams come true by magic, but for most of us it’s a matter of working it out one step at a time. Thanks for the road map.

  6. January 11th, 2008 at 2:59 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hey Zackman,
    I thought about that very thing when I wrote that sentence. I thought someone might believe that he or she didn’t have such a person.

    Then I realized that having such a person is a choice. The persons I would help without thinking of the cost don’t have to do anything or be anything for me to do that.

    People even do it for strangers, someone who is drowning, for example.

    Don’t choose to be hurt. You get to pick the person or cause you would be willing to give that much for.

  7. January 11th, 2008 at 3:01 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Sara!
    It means we stand face to face with whether we want to dream our dreams or actually live them. :)

    It’s a scary thing to admit that we have that choice. :)

    You’ll know whether that Word document is calling you and whether you are willing to answer. :)

  8. January 11th, 2008 at 3:13 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Brad,
    I guess the road of life is how we get there. A map is a nice thing to have on the way.

    Magic sure would be easier, wouldn’t it?!! :)

  9. January 11th, 2008 at 5:26 pm
    Robyn said

    Liz, thanks for great bite size pieces to make a dream a reality.

    When the clouds come and the rain pours and winds rip your umbrella inside out, figure out new possibilities rather than letting go! That’s what keeps me on the path. ;-)

  10. January 11th, 2008 at 6:48 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Robyn,
    Holding onto a dream to keep you on your path often means letting go of everything else, doesn’t it? :)

  11. January 11th, 2008 at 8:11 pm
    Rose said

    The last point really resonated with me. I haven’t been defining myself by my dream. I’ve been defining myself as a SAHM that works on a business in my spare time instead of a mother and a business person. Very interesting point. I do need to take that final step in my brain. Thank you for letting me see it in a new light.

  12. January 11th, 2008 at 8:40 pm
    MichelleVan said

    ….Define where you sit….
    I like that. Sometimes we have a dream, and the time is exactly right to make it happen. Maybe we can use that time to plan, learn new skills, research,

  13. January 11th, 2008 at 8:41 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Rose!
    I’m delighted that you heard what I was saying. That’s it precisely. How we see ourselves changes everything. :)

  14. January 11th, 2008 at 8:42 pm
    Dar said

    Liz, thanks for the gentle kick in the you-know-what. :-)

  15. January 11th, 2008 at 8:43 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Dar!
    I’m glad I could help, but I don’t believe you’d ever need one. :)

  16. January 11th, 2008 at 9:00 pm
    Dar said

    Yeah, you helped me come out of the closet… 9) I make the most beautiful soaps in the world. :-) Thanks, Liz!

  17. January 11th, 2008 at 9:58 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Dar,
    You only had to let yourself know. :)

  18. January 11th, 2008 at 10:16 pm
    Phil Butler said

    Liz – What about dumb luck :) Phil

  19. January 11th, 2008 at 10:17 pm
    Mihaela Lica said

    …and LOVE your dream. :)

  20. January 11th, 2008 at 10:27 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hey Phil,
    Dumb luck doesn’t work if you’ve got not a damn thing else. Luck doesn’t last. :)

  21. January 11th, 2008 at 10:28 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hey Mihaela!
    If we don’t love our dream, it doesn’t stand a chance. :)

  22. January 12th, 2008 at 12:56 pm
    Alina Popescu said

    Hi Liz,

    I know from experience that when you stop defining yourself by your dream, that dream disappears. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get it back unless you believe in it. And once you stopped believing it, it’s pretty hard to change your mind.

    Thank you for reminding me of all this, again and again! I have new dreams right now, I won’t let them fade away :)

  23. January 12th, 2008 at 4:07 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Alina!
    Yep, we have to believe in our dream and be determined to live it out — make it real. One of the best ways is to tell others that’s who we are and how we’re going to get the rest of the way there. :)

    Hold your dream. Wake up in the morning telling yourself what it is. Go bed at night saying who you are. :)

  24. January 13th, 2008 at 11:27 am
    Mihaela Lica said

    A dreamcatcher always loves its dreams. Even the nightmares: they teach us about beauty. Only by seeing the darkness we can really appreciate the value of the light.

    You shine.

  25. January 13th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Mihaela!
    You sparkle. It shows in your eyes.

    We dream of what could be and then we wish and work that into reality. :)

  26. January 18th, 2008 at 8:11 pm
    mina said

    Hi my names Mina I’m only nine years old and

    I want to have a horse some day.I’ve got a

    table with books,toys,statues,photo’s and

    drawings of horses.I’m waiting to get a horse

    but it wont happen.If only my family will win

    lotto.

  27. January 18th, 2008 at 8:27 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Mina!
    In all of the great stories, the girl hero makes a plan of how she’ll get the dream that she’s going for all on her own. Sometimes she doesn’t get there until she’s a full-grown woman, but if she’s determined that what she’s after is good for her, she gets to her dream after all, even without that lottery. :)

    Really. :)

    Keep dreaming!
    Liz

  28. February 8th, 2008 at 10:56 pm
    Tornando o Sonho Realidade - Empreenda JA said

    [...] “Successful Blog”, a Liz Strauss nos traz 9 ótimas sugestões para que você tome sua idéia e seus sonhos e os [...]

  29. February 9th, 2008 at 8:20 pm
    Tornando el Sueño Realidad at ConGestion said

    [...] el “Successful Blog”, Liz Strauss nos trae 9 excelentes sugerencias para que tomes tu idea y tus sueños para [...]

  30. February 21st, 2008 at 8:41 am
    Cheri said

    Iwould like for my mom, my three sisters, and mytwo brothers to visit me in Charleston. I wanted my dad and grandmother to visit but they left the world before they ever got a chance. This is something I really can’t afford by myself and my family is a little less fortunate than myself. Sometimes I cry because I really would like for them to see my wrold and share my world even if it is for a day or two. Do you think you can help or have a suggestion. Pls and thank you

  31. February 21st, 2008 at 5:38 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Cheri!
    I don’t know anyone who’s had a dream just handed to them. Wish I could do that for you, but I can’t either.

    But I know that when we work hard for our dreams and let people know what we’re working for. They often join in to help.

  32. March 11th, 2008 at 8:13 am
    Tamera said

    Thank you for this post! I love your header also, by the way. :o)

  33. March 11th, 2008 at 7:54 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Tamera!
    Thank you!
    My son made the header. I’m so smiling. :)

  34. May 1st, 2008 at 10:13 pm
    sand said

    Hi Liz, any idea why when I think of my dream I get very sad and rather not think about it?
    It is like I don’t want to want it; that way, I won’t get hurt if it doesn’t come true.

  35. May 5th, 2008 at 12:47 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi sand,
    I have some ideas. I think you might be right about what you feel.

    It makes me wonder why we live with hurt out of a fear that trying will hurt us.

  36. June 1st, 2008 at 6:59 pm
    Tornando o Sonho Realidade | [Algo A Mais] said

    [...] “Successful Blog”, a Liz Strauss nos traz 9 ótimas sugestões para que você tome sua idéia e seus sonhos e os [...]

  37. September 28th, 2008 at 1:21 pm
    Randy said

    Hi, Liz. This might suprise you or it might not, but i am 15 years old, and i am very inspired and motivated to go towards my dream, everyday and every night i wonder what i am going to to fulfill my dream. Your blog have helped me to understand more of what needs done, of what i need to know or understand to follow that golden path towards my dream. My dream isn’t fame or popularity, my fame is to be successful and to have an excellent job. My dream is to be a successful Chiropractor with my sister, she is in college and is training to be a masseuse. School is the beginning of what i need to do, i am trying my best to keep my grades to A’s and especially in Biology i am working hard in. I am going to try to get a college degree in Biology and will maybe get me into a goog college for the Chiropractic business.

  38. September 28th, 2008 at 1:23 pm
    Randy said

    Sorry i was typing fast, sorry about the spelling errors.

  39. September 29th, 2008 at 8:29 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Randy,
    Good for you! You keep going after your dream! Work and make it happen. If you want it, you won’t let anything get between you. Look around the folks who make it are the folks who do the work to get there.

    By the way, we don’t take off for spelling here when the ideas are good and the errors aren’t glaring. :)

  40. September 30th, 2008 at 4:28 pm
    Pama said

    Hello,
    I’m writing because I have nothing to lose except to not fulling my dream. I cannot allow my dream to just remain only my dream. I must make it into reality. About five years before 9-11-01 I had a thought, a way I could earn a living, travel and help our US Military families and our fallen hero families. I had defined my dream, worked up my plan of action, worked with success to make it all happen. Then as I was almost to seeing my dream to into reality two things happened to set me back lightyears. I was hit hard but not yet down. Rebuilt, regrouped and moved forward again. Life was helping me realize my dream again. Then like a bad storm, 2005 hit me slap in the face. Left with very little and a buring dream still not fulfilled. Its been years, stories, hopes, hard work and I am in my later fifties now. I have not giving up but the endless goals to reach my dream are showing its toll on me and my money stream. I have never once asked for money, nor have I asked for help from others out side of my mother (in her 80s now). I want to see my dream through to its highest potential. Any advise would be much needed and applied to my goal of realizing my dream. Thank you for your blog site and I have enjoyed your wisdom. Pama

  41. September 30th, 2008 at 4:41 pm
    Pama said

    Please forgive me for all the misselled words and bad grammer, half thoughts. I was typing straight from my heart, not my mind. I knew if I stopped long enough to make the needed corrections I would chicken out and never hit the send Submit Button. Hope you understand, writing here is a huge step for me. Thanks again, Pama

  42. October 1st, 2008 at 5:46 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Pama,
    I’m writing a blog post this morning in response to your question. I hope it helps in some way.

    Liz

  43. October 1st, 2008 at 7:12 am
    Would You Help Me Answer this Man Who Has a Dream? - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    [...] January, 2008, I wrote a strategy called How to Make Your Dream Come True — Thought, Strategy, Action. The article included these steps (abbreviated [...]

  44. October 1st, 2008 at 7:04 pm
    Giovanna Garcia said

    Dear Liz

    Please give my message to Pama

    I get the sense you are very passionate about your dreams. I don’t have enough information about you to give you an advise. All I know is the way I live my own life. Which is I never want to have regrates. I also think about at the end of my days, What would I talk about? Things I have done? Or Things I wish I have done? Hopefully I would be talking a lot about all that I have done.

    Well, that is my 2 cents.
    Good Luck
    Giovanna Garcia

  45. October 23rd, 2008 at 5:23 am
    Moving Forward and Standing Still . . . - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    [...] How to Make Your Dream Come True — Thought, Strategy, Action [...]

  46. November 9th, 2008 at 6:12 pm
    Sayed Mohamed said

    Deer Liz
    Thanks , there is no word can explain my pleasure to read your blog .
    My problem is multi-dreams . yes , I cant move any of my dreams to the real because they are very much . some of my dreams are national , religious , personal and a lot of them are social . I miss supporters in Egypt because most of Egyptians haven’t dreams because our governors killed all dreams.
    Thanks again

  47. November 9th, 2008 at 6:22 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Sayed,
    I wonder with you. Make little steps. Hope is a choice no one can take from you.

  48. November 10th, 2008 at 3:16 pm
    Giovanna Garcia said

    Dear Liz

    I couldn’t agree with you more about commitment and action is what makes our dreams come true. Every one of us has dreams. Why is it that some people are interested in reaching their dreams, while others go beyond interested and become committed to their dreams? It is these committed individuals who are able to reach their Dreams! They get what they want! They get to live out their Dreams! What turned interest into commitment? What took it to the next level? It is the Decision.

    These committed individuals have all made their decision to follow through with their Dreams!

    Some time I hear people tell me my dream is to do “X” but my real job is “Z”.
    And I would always tell them try saying this way, “My job is my vehicle to get me to my Real passion for life “My Dream” and my dream is “X”

    Giovanna Garcia

  49. January 21st, 2009 at 3:02 pm
    Middle Zone Musings » What I Learned From 2008 - Vicky Hennigan said

    [...] of all the things and events I am thankful for. Those special, sparkly individuals in my life who encourage me daily, whose support gives me strength, and who when I see the glass is half empty, they remind me [...]

  50. April 29th, 2009 at 8:37 am
    alexis said

    Ok i want to make my dream come true but i just don’t believe in making it come true…. I have good dreams everyday i just need some help… Help that will make me believe…

  51. July 3rd, 2009 at 6:06 am
    Salina Hayy said

    Still recovering after accident,near death experience,I have dream to write a book about it,but I Wonder it is so many books under same issue.

  52. October 17th, 2009 at 5:47 am
    Temitope said

    Life is beautiful

  53. July 13th, 2010 at 6:15 am
    Make your dream come true « Concert Blog said

    [...] are plenty of articles and books on how to make your dream come true. In her blog “How to make your dream come true: thought, strategy, action” ME Liz describes the 9 steps from defining your dream to defining yourself by your dream. [...]

  54. July 20th, 2010 at 8:45 pm
    Deborah Baynes said

    I need help with a very good friend and her mom has not much timeHer mom is from Minn.She has been sick for years with breast cancer and copd.Her daughter Jessica has been by her side since March 2010 till now. She took her home with her the laST of June to New Jersey where she(daughter) lives and mom is not doing good.I want to make a wish for both of them and that is to be able to go on a short cruise so because she has not been able to take her mom out of the house because of the weather. I need someone to Please respond to this I would really like to talk to someone ASAP. Thank you all for your help Deb Baynes

  55. July 10th, 2011 at 9:55 pm
    talyor said

    i have a dream and will it come true

  56. July 11th, 2011 at 9:58 pm
    Nicky said

    Hello Liz
    Once upon a time I made all my dreams come true. I married the man I loved,a beautiful home, two wonderful kids (a daughter and a son)
    however I was never happy because my husband did not love me and my friends and relatives were very evious. I had my own business and my sister and her husband stole it from me. Over the years after that, opportunities knocked on our door and I began to subotage myself over and over again. My marriage came to an end when my husband left with one of our cashier.
    I went back to college and got into accounting. I bought a Liberty Tax Franchise and within two year I lost everything, my home, rrsp. credit rating. Now I am 64years old and I have very little left except knowledge and skills and a whole lot of experience.
    I still have a couple of dreams that I would like to make them come true, however I am having a hard time getting them off to a start. I know I can make them come true, but how do I get them off the floor into realization?
    Do you have any suggestion?
    I call upon any of your readers if you could support me in finding myself as a creator of my dreams come true.

    I already prayed the Good Lord to help me pick myself up and I am sure
    that He will help me, however I am the one that is holding myself back… do you have any suggestions?

    however,

  57. July 11th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
    Nicky said

    I thank you all of you that wish to support me by sending me positive feed back and most of all Liz for having taken the time to create this website together
    Nicky

  58. November 26th, 2011 at 8:43 pm
    shamarah lorince said

    Liz,

    So I love the idea. Im looking forward to be an actress dancer and a singer. I will follow every step you gave me. Thanks for helping and again try watching disney channel its a popular network that Im auditioning for. You helped me success.

  59. December 22nd, 2011 at 1:23 pm
    YOLANDA said

    hey! i thnk you very much for the insiration and your tips.You have just gave me a push not to give up before even trying.

  60. April 6th, 2012 at 9:37 am
    Emma said

    Liz,
    I know what my dream is about it is about love. All my friends say give him up but I refuse to, and he is the person I would pertect but he does not feel that way. This other girl Emily likes him and sits next to him in class. I love him so much I cry every night I have a dream about him, do you have any advice?,
    Emma

  61. August 1st, 2012 at 12:12 am
    Des Walsh said

    Valuable post, Liz. I was reminded of Irish-American stepdancing wizard Michael Flatley of Riverdance fame, who as you may well know hails from the South Side of Chicago, and his admonition to “dream in technicolor”!

  62. August 4th, 2012 at 11:52 am
    Liz said

    Hi Des!
    “Dream in Technicolor” What a lovely idea!!
    Yeah, that’s worked for me!

  63. September 21st, 2012 at 8:05 am
    jayashree said

    Want to live my dream, I dont know how much time it will take but I desperately want fulfil my dream

  64. September 25th, 2012 at 8:20 am
    SJ_Mitchell said

    My dream to be a published author is so frustrating sometimes I wish that I had an affection for cars or cooking. That was a great blog post. I do a lot of writing and some of what I write people love and wonder why I’m not published. Others read it and tell me I’m committing “career suicide”. I don’t want to surround myself with people who blindly support me, but I also hate hearing the insults to my work. There’s a fine line between constructive criticism and insulting ya know?

    I hope your dream is realized someday and I see your name on Amazon. Currently I’m experimenting with a self-published book while also shopping a completed manuscript to agents. I want to explore all avenue’s and hopefully share my imagination with as many people as possible. I’m discovering though that my story is very niche and doesn’t catch the interest of many people.

    At what point do you sacrifice the story you want to tell, simply to write one that others prefer to read?

  65. November 23rd, 2012 at 4:15 pm
    lolo said

    You. Are. Lying

  66. November 23rd, 2012 at 7:31 pm
    Liz said

    Lolo,
    As you believe so it is.

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