You will have heard this phrase many times in your life, but when did you last sit still and think about what it meant?

Last week I talked about dreams that we have all given up and suggested that you should do the exercise that I’ve done and find out what dreams you’ve had throughout your life. What did you write down? What dreams did you have as a child of 12-years old or under? What dreams did you have as a teenager? Were these dreams the same? What changed between these two ages groups? Lots of questions but yes us coaches are great at asking them.

One of my dreams as a teenager was to travel to the northern hemisphere. My father was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and my mother in Bloemfontein, South Africa of Scottish/Irish descent. To those of us born outside Europe with a European heritage, there is nothing more romantic than the thought of travelling ‘overseas’ to experience the places and meet those we’ve heard so much about and exchange Christmas Cards with. The year before I left school my parents took my brother and I to Europe – Cyprus initially for a week’s family holiday, and then onto the UK to see some of the places they travelled to and meet some of the family we had heard so much about. We had a fun-filled and very busy few weeks, and I loved the experience. The year after I left school my parents had organised for me to go to college in the UK. On my return to Malaŵi, I can remember asking myself ‘had I fulfilled this dream of mine’? A few years later, when I was 22 I was able to answer this question. A friend asked me if I wanted to ‘travel across Europe’. The saying ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ comes to mind and of course I said ‘yes’. We saved for our trip; we pulled together some vague plans and agreed a departure date. We were planning this trip from two different countries in Africa – my friend in South Africa and myself in Malaŵi. No email, no text messaging – we were planning our trip by writing letters! A week or so before our departure date I received a phone call from my friend who was at that point unable to travel with me. Should I still go? Should I cancel my ticket and my plans?

I can remember asking myself what the draw to go to Europe was. To us in the southern hemisphere, Europe is a feeling of romance, of history, of culture, of family-ties, of emotion, of information learnt/discussed in school lessons becoming real. Europe sounds more exotic and more appealing than more of ‘the same’ at home. It can also be an opportunity to spend time with family – often family we have never met, but have been receiving Christmas Cards from for as long as we can remember. The draw of Europe to those of us, who grew up so far away from it, is also the promise of freedom, no responsibilities, of learning, of experiencing something so very different.

So no, I didn’t cancel my ticket; but yes, I had to change my plans. My annual travel allowance didn’t allow me to stay in any country in Europe for any length of time without plans, so having landed in the UK on a drizzly grey day with my rucksack on my back I went off to stay with a friend from college. From here I made new plans and started to work in Windsor (or Royal Windsor as it’s really named) – a vibrant town throughout the year with loads the tourists.

Had my dream been fulfilled? Looking back now the answer isn’t really clear – in some ways my dream was fulfilled and in others it wasn’t.

Looking back at what you captured last week, ‘what dreams did you have’? Find a quiet place to be and taking just one segment of the Wheel of Life, look at the dreams you had listed against this segment. Looking at the segment on your Wheel of Life, regard the centre of the wheel as ‘0’ and the outer circle as ‘10’. Select one dream at a time and ask yourself the question ‘on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is low and 10 is high, how important is it that I achieve this dream?’ Write down the first number that comes into your mind. It is important that you write down the first number that comes into your mind and that you do not question it. Work through each dream in this segment. Once you’ve completed that segment, work through the next one, and the next until you complete all the dreams you had.

In the next article we’ll discuss how to progress what you’ve just captured.

© 2010 Barbara J. Cormack
First published under Cormack’s Capers in Magna Intuitum