The Caribbean, or Italy?

How would you like to move to the Caribbean? Perhaps spend six months in Italy? Maybe you’d like to complete an Ironman. What about working 20 hours per week, with summers off, while running a seven-figure business? Or, maybe you hate going into the office and wish you could work from home more often.

dream big

These are all real scenarios, being played out by people I know. I’ll share more of their stories in a moment but first, to steal a line from my sister: if you could do anything, anything at all, what would it be?

How about vacationing on a boat with a 30-foot slide off the top, that drops you into crystal-clear, warm water? How fun would that be!?

The problem is, at some point after we “grow up” we get too busy, stop dreaming, and accept life as it comes.

Nearly a year ago, I read Tim Ferris’s book The 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW). You might scoff at this as I did, just based on the title. But I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite that fast. It’s not really about working just four hours a week. It’s about lifestyle design, and identifying what you really want out of life and your business.

It was interesting, when challenged to identify some big, bold dreams, how hard it was for me to come up with anything terribly exciting. It was only after days, weeks, and even months of thinking about it that my mind became free enough to really imagine the possibilities.

Those scenarios I outlined earlier? They’re just everyday people who took time to evaluate what they really wanted, made a plan and went for it.

  • A new friend and her hubby decided that they wanted to move somewhere because they wanted to…not because they had to. They settled on the Caribbean, he found a job there, and they’re moving this week.
  • My sister, who I thought was crazy at the time, decided after college that it was time to get out of the country. She found a job as an au-pair in Italy and spent six months there as a nanny, studying opera on the side with a renowned opera singer.
  • A colleague is training for an Ironman competition. Do you know how hard that is? A 2.4 mile swim, 112, that’s one hundred and twelve mile bike ride, and then a full 26.2 mile run.
  • After my first child was born, I didn’t want to be in the office 8-6, Monday through Friday. Today, still in my corporate job, I work from home with flexibility most don’t even dream of.
  • Another friend has set a goal to work 20 hours/week, take two months off every summer when her kids are out of school, and be making a seven-figure income…in three years.

Ok now you’re laughing, but those are the kind of dreams you really need to think about. If you don’t, how can you possibly ever get there? Some of these dreams have been achieved, the rest are well underway.

Yes, it takes planning and effort, it’s not easy. But it can be done, and you can do it too if you first let yourself dream again. If you don’t dream it, you really can’t do it.

That’s your challenge today. So go ahead…write down three big dreams.

I mean, REALLY BIG dreams. If you’re having some trouble with it, use this great exercise from 4HWW. Think of things you’d enjoy:

  • having (like material things such as a house, sports car, etc.)
  • being (a great cook, fluent in another language)
  • doing (running a marathon, vacationing on a yacht with a 30-foot slide off the top)

Yes, I know it’s not as simple as dreaming, and then it just happens. It takes strategic planning and hard work to make it happen. But the reality is, all the hard work doesn’t matter if you don’t have a plan and know what you’re aiming for. So today, start with your dream. What’s yours? Share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter and inspire some others to dream big, too!


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