Do We Dare to Dream?

in Goal

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." – Louisa May Alcott, American novelist, best-known as the author of Little Women (1832-1888)

Do we dare to dream? Have we allocated any time during our day to think about, mull over, fantasize or envision a future that we aspire to realize? If we overlook this opportunity to see past any current situation, we may not be doing ourselves any favors. The fact is that all of us need to see beyond the here and now, if for no other reason than to broaden our horizons and to give us a motivation for pushing harder and tackling ever more challenging tasks.

What should be our highest aspirations? For those of us in recovery, this may seem like something that we shouldn’t even think about until we’ve had years of solid sobriety. But the truth is that even the newcomer to recovery needs to have a reason to keep moving forward, to identify and work toward some set of goals, even if they are small ones to begin with.

We shouldn’t be worried about categorizing or even listing what our highest aspiration should be. Instead, start writing down things that we’d like to do, to accomplish, to realize, and to achieve in both the near- and far-term. This is actually sufficient to get us started. The good news is that we each have daily things that we can put on our to-do list, and mark them off as complete as we finish them. This helps us see, physically, that we have made progress. It also helps boost our self-esteem, add to our self-confidence, and make us more likely to want to do more.

Nothing succeeds like success. We grow as we learn new things, accomplish a succession of tasks, and achieve a series of goals that we’ve set for ourselves. The more we do, the better we get at it. That’s a fact of recovery that many of us don’t give much credence to, but we should.

Let’s look for a minute at aspirations, what they can mean for us and our future in recovery. It’s good to have an overarching goal, one that spurs us on and motivates us to continue doing whatever effort it takes to achieve them. Suppose we want to become a doctor, to help others heal, or a teacher, to help others find inspiration and grow? We need to first envision ourselves as that doctor or that teacher. See how it looks, and imagine how we’d feel doing the work that we want to do.

Then, start jotting down the steps it will take for us to achieve that goal? What kind of education or degree or training do we need? How much money will it cost to finance our continuing education or training? What other changes in our current situation will be required?

Suppose, as we’re making progress toward an identified goal, even if it is one that is far off on our horizon, we have a change of heart, or something happens to remove that goal from our list? It may be that we decide on a different goal, or that we encounter a financial difficulty that precludes our continuing toward the goal at this time. Does this mean we’re a failure? No, it doesn’t. What it does mean is that our goals will fluctuate based on new information, new opportunities, new directions that we decide we want to take.

We never know where our future will take us. All we can do is to dream about where we want to go, make plans and do the work required to help us get there, and revise those plans and goals as we go along. We may not achieve that far-off goal, but we will learn a great deal in the process. We are constantly evolving, learning and growing. This makes us better people, more self-confident, more satisfied, more optimistic about our lives in recovery.

The other point to be made about our highest aspirations is that they reinforce our belief in ourselves and our abilities. Aspiring to reach a certain level or realize a particular goal is both inspiring and galvanizing. There is great beauty in seeing the goal stretching out before us, and tremendous satisfaction in our efforts to achieve it. Learn from that and enjoy the process of discovery.

Addiction to drugs, alcohol and other substances destroys lives. Addiction Recovery Group at Zion Park and Addiction Recovery Group for Women restore lives one step at a time. Call us now 888.91.REHAB

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Addiction Recovery Group focuses on restoring lives one step at a time through intensive residential treatment. We provide 60 days of residential treatment and 90 days of aftercare for adult men and women. Our programs focus on the whole person – mind, body and spirit. We have a powerful healing environment where our clients participate in 30 hours of group work and 2 individual therapy sessions a week. Our beautiful locations in the Wasatch Mountains and at Zion Park give our clients the opportunity to engage in rich experiential activities and therapy. As they engage in peer-related experiences they find the accountability and empowerment to begin to overcome their addictions.

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Do We Dare to Dream?

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This article was published on 2012/02/04