One of the most moving and inspiring talks for me at WDS was Daren Rowse’s talk on following and listening to your dream. He also had some great thoughts and advice on making those dreams equal the future.  No, I don’t think for a second that I can control everything or fully bring the future I desire into existence, but I do believe I play the largest role in helping to shape it.

I don’t know Daren at all, but he seems like such a humble and down to earth guy. If you get emotional or feel tears come to your eyes as you watch, listen, and take it all in, you’ll have had the experience of many of us there.

Quotes, Questions and Suggestions

“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating.  The paths are not to be found, but made.” John H. Schaar

1) Are you investing your time in areas that look towards your future?

2) What do you want your future to look like?  Paint a picture in your mind of where you want to be. Once a year Daren writes out his dreams for the year and then sets aside time to  revisits them each month.

3) What needs to change–Take more risks? Developing new skills?  Put yourself out there and meet new people? Change your physical location?

4) Look for sparks

  • At the end of each day write down the things that gave you energy.
    • Spotting the things that give you energy and following them is different and more sustainable than “following your passion.”
    •  If we only do what we are passionate about our focus can be too narrow and exclude us from other things that we might love doing.
    • Passion develops as a result of following the things that give you energy. Learn to see what gives other people energy (when you do things)?  This often comes from experimentation

5) Examine the reasons for the big things that have happened in your life.  Pursuing similar things could be a key to the future.

6) In contrast, “A lot of people look for their next big thing.  The reality is your next big thing might be the small thing in front of you.”

More Suggestions

  • Become hyper-aware of your problems and the ones around you
  • Become the blog you’d want to read.
  • Become obsessed with being useful
  • Create space to observe–stop broadcasting and watch.
  • Structure your day in a way that you get more ideas–Daren takes a shower in the middle of the day because that’s when he gets good ideas.
  • At the end of the day do “daily examen”… create space to ask yourself questions… what gave me energy today? what sucked energy out of my life today?  what problems did I see? Who was I today?  how did I react to other people?
  • By being mindful of yourself and those around you, you start to see those sparks.
  • Inspiration without implementation is empty What are my dreams… in vivid detail?
  • Choose one small thing every day that will take you closer to your dream to the best of your ability.
  • Set aside time to create and complete
    • Darren got up 15 minutes every day for 3.5 months to create a site to launch his product.
  • What kind of future will you create?
  • Tell people your dreams and ask them to follow up in a couple of weeks to see how you are doing.

Share Your Dreams

Darren had everyone share a dream with the person sitting next to them. I found I had nothing to share. The person next to me didn’t either.  We both realized we had stopped dreaming.  That made me profoundly sad and at the same time gave me the encouragement to start again.

I think I’m still resistant to the idea of sharing my dreams for fear I’ll look foolish for not achieving them or that others will think they are unrealistic.