career advice, career management, Careers, entrepreneurs, leadership, personal brand management, Personal Branding, self employed

Dream Big: Design Your Future

Mary Rosenbaum | November 5th, 2010

Do you dream big? How BIG? In a leadership training class I am taking I was recently given this assignment: write your own aspirational obituary. This was an intoxicating idea. To actually put on paper all of those dreams I have that I would love to enact.

Once I began this process it reminded me of what it was like cleaning out my closet. I would go in there and find something that I once loved. It generally triggered some memories of when I wore it and how I felt at the time. Maybe it was a first date, the first corporate client I pitched, or maybe a first anniversary. And suddenly when I look at it in the light of day I realize how faded and worn it looks. And worst of all, it no longer fits. Well, the same holds true for some of your dreams.

When I first started the assignment I thought this would be a piece of cake. But what I realized in the process of putting words to paper is that some of the dreams I have always held dear were no longer at the top of my list. Although I am still the same person, the passions, vision, and values I lead with today have shifted and my aspirations are somewhat different than they once were.

I am still working on my obit but I have already redefined some of my personal and career goals. I know that I will continue to change and lead with different values and strengths that will emerge in the natural course of my life. And I also know that if I were to write another aspirational obit in 5 years it would be very different than the one I write today. But this doesn’t diminish the value of having gone through the process. After all, it’s good to periodically clean out that closet and make room for some new clothes.

To help you go through this exercise yourself, here are some thoughts and tips to get the most out of this valuable exercise.

1. Be honest about your dreams. This isn’t a goals oriented exercise but rather a time for you to dream big.

2. Go beyond the who you are today. Unlock those doors that keep you tethered to the present.

3. Ask yourself if the values you lead with today are the ones that will get you where you think you want to go?

4. Are the goals you set for yourself big enough?

5. How will your purpose impact the vision you have for the world?

Once you have written this aspirational piece look at the direction you have set for yourself. The next step is to design your future and turn those dreams into reality.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru