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How to Dream

What if you didn’t know how to dream?

We learned as kids how to dream…we pushed the toy boats through the carpet pretending we were captain of the ship. We used transformers to be speeding cars and then turn into a superhero defending our city and its citizens.

Did we lose our ability to dream? If so, when? Why?

Recently I was speaking at a conference. It was heavy in health care and logistics so the organizer thought a financial talk might be a needed break. Pressure was on as finance is not usually considered a break but I made sure I added some joy and laughter to our talk. Money is supposed to be fun!

At the time for questions, I was pleased to see a few hands go up. I called on one lady who was approximately in her early 30’s. After doing this presentation pretty consistently for the past year, I was stunned that the question shocked me. “Can you give examples of what bucket list items are?”

At the moment, I didn’t know why this took me back but it did. I asked the rest of the room who else wasn’t sure what would be on their bucket list and about half the room raised their hands.

Now that I have had time to reflect, I think there were 3 things that struck me from this:


1.  We, as women, are afraid we are going to do it wrong

Often, I held back in life from saying or doing what I really want because I’m afraid it’s wrong. To who? I’m not sure. Maybe my family, my husband, my friends or a complete stranger. I’m afraid I’ll be criticized for it or be seen as a certain evil thing, like selfish or egotistical. Maybe we will be seen as not caring about those we do love and care about.

This can go with our bucket list for sure. We put things on it like that trip to Europe your husband wants to go on because we want to make him happy. But would that make you happy? Would you rather lie on a beach in Jamaica with a cocktail in your hand rather than pushing through to see a glimpse of the Mona Lisa?

Now you might be thinking, well life is about compromising and I agree. Sometimes we do what our partner wants or our family wants, but how often are we really telling them what we want? My husband used to ask me where I would want to go for dinner and I would say wherever. I really didn’t care. After awhile he was getting mad at me for that answer and I realized that he wanted me to have a voice too. He wanted me to decide on something sometimes. He didn’t want all the pressure on where to go all the time.

So again, when is the last time you told someone what you wanted whole heartedly and took action on it?

2.     We aren’t really allowing ourselves to dream like we used to

A comedian Steve Byrne has a routine where he talks about why women are so much more mature than men. He goes back to when we are kids and the first toy we as girls are given is a another baby to take care of. We are told to go into our fake kitchen to make brownies for the family. Meanwhile the boys are being superheroes and dragons. [His set is much funnier than this, I promise].

Why do we as women stop ourselves from really dreaming? It might be because we are afraid it doesn’t work in reality. While going to Vienna is a dream, that isn’t something that is logical at this point in time so I just won’t get my hopes up. We might be afraid to tell people that we really long to go out and do karaoke on the weekends because we love singing in public. That’s not what logical women do. Maybe on occasion with a friend but now in the every day world.

How can we get past this? Maybe it’s a vision board or maybe its following more inspirational dreamers and doers on Instagram. There is a way but if we don’t have dreams to go after that are ours, then I have to ask, what are we truly living for? Others? That’s a hard thing to maintain.

3.     We don’t know really where to start

Great. I’m dreaming. I have my list but there are a lot of things on here and I don’t know what is practical or not practical or where I should start.

You can tackle this like debt repayment, go with the smallest on your list and live out that dream and then move on to the next biggest or choose your favorite and go all in.

If your shy to get started, maybe the smallest one is the best to focus on. Then you need to get a strategy and, most importantly, take action. We do bucket list planning with clients at One Vision Retirement and the joy we see when they get to live out a dream vacation, get the dream job, play on the golf course they have dreamed about, seen an old college roommate that they never had time to visit, or whatever is on your bucket list, it makes what we do worth every moment.

If you want to help and guidance with your bucket list, set up a no obligation call:

Don’t be afraid to Dream. Be afraid to not dream big enough.


Investment advice offered through Integrated Financial Partners, doing business as One Vision Retirement, a registered investment advisor. The information in this material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Integrated Financial Partners does not provide legal/tax advice or services. Please consult a qualified legal/tax advisor regarding your specific situation.



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