From the moment we are able to have abstract thought achieving our dreams becomes a reality. This challenge will have it's ups and down throughout the course of your life but one thing will for certain. It is your dream. I have worked with Vanderkamp Center a summer camp and retreat center Central New York for the past eight summers in some capacity. A key ingredient to our programming has included helping the children achieve their dreams while at camp. During the first night the campers are asked to write down their dream or dreams that they have for the week on slips of paper. As a staff we help them accomplish these dreams whether that means some staff dressing up as unicorns or Taylor Swift and walking around camp during free time. 

By focusing on what their dreams are for the week we are challenging the campers to think about what they would like to experience in their lives. For those campers that come back week after week or year after year this creates the opportunity to find more creative and more personal dreams to be accomplished. For example, who wouldn't want to play basketball as part of Space Jam? That's right; staff members took on the personas of the various cartoon characters and played some intense basketball as part of a sports activity period.

Here are some steps for unlocking your dream:

1. Take time to explore and find out your interests, strengths, and areas of growth.

Your dream job, your dream home, or any other dream that you might have will require exploration and research. This might include some practical ideas such as researching on the internet, asking someone who has gone through a similar experience, or taking a strengths/interest inventory such as StrengthsQuest or the Myers Brigg Type Indicator. This could also include going out of your comfort zone to experience something new and intriguing.

2. Take classes, workshops, or expeditions that will help you develop the skills to achieve your dream

Check out meetup.com for events holding some of your interests, check out organizations that teach what you are interested in. Want to be a lifeguard? Check out the American Red Cross. There are organizations that teach, train, and certify for almost anything that you can think of. Including Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School for those who are interested in learning more leadership and outdoor skills. 

3. Test out your dream

Once you have developed the skills that you have found to be necessary put them to the test. Find a job or volunteer opportunity where you can test your skills and gain some experience. 

4. Evaluate and re-imagine each step of the way

Whether there is success or failure take time to evaluate your progress towards your dream. Don't believe that your dream can never change. One day you might want to use your skills to be the President of a Company but the next you might want to do something else. Let your dream morph with your interests and go back through these steps as needed.