When was the last time you sat down and took a blue-sky look at your future, unencumbered by the urge to be "realistic"? Have you let your dreams run free lately?
One of the biggest obstacles I see people encounter as they look for a career they love is an urge to be prematurely realistic. Don't get me wrong, reality has its place. Ultimately, it's the place where our dreams and visions have to unfold. But far too many people bring it into the process too early. They let their perceived "reality" define their dreams, restricting their vision to what seems reasonably within reach.
I want to encourage you to do the opposite. Expand your sphere of potential by giving your dreams free rein. See where they go, without judgment about whether or not they are feasible or practical. The minute you say, "No, that won't work," you're right.
As a vision starts to form, then you can start asking reality-based questions: "Is this possible? If I can't do this immediately, could I do it over time? What is getting in my way? What are some of the ways I could overcome those obstacles?"
I'm not a big fan of the think-happy-thoughts-and-hope approach to dream fulfillment. It takes work, time, and it can sometimes be messy. But I am a big fan of starting with free-range dreams, and then turning your attention to the down and dirty work of bringing them to life.
After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book "101 Ways to Get Wild About Work"and his E-book "The Occupational Adventure Guide" offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker, explores how to craft a life of Meaning, Abundance, & Passion.