Act on your Dreams

How to Protect a Fragile Dream
By Suzanne Falter-Barns

If you've got a dream, sooner or later, it may come under attack by
colleagues, worried family members or friends who just don't get it.
But no worry - you can, indeed, protect this very important thing you
are meant to do. In fact, not only is protecting your dream critical
self-defense, but your dream, itself, is important. Think of it as a tiny,
newborn child -- one who will thrive, but only if you give it proper
nurturing and protection.

In the meanwhile, here are some tips for taking care of that dream.
And may we recommend the lining up of a support group or buddy
who will buck you up, when your dream pursuit has you down? (See

  1. Remember that you're not here to live up to anyone else's
    ... save for you own.
  2. Hold your work as sacred. Believe it or not, it really is sacred. If
    you want to make sure, give it this test: at the end of your life, what
    will you be proud that you did. What will your regret?
  3. Interpret criticism, jealousy, and sarcasm as a good sign. It
    means you're pushing buttons and sounding true and loud. Not only
    that, it means you're making a difference.
  4. Don't snipe back -- rise above it. Save your energy for the
    important stuff, like your dream. And make a point of avoiding anyone
    who has a habit of attacking you or your dream.
  5. Try a little empathy. Those who take issue often lack a dream
    themselves. But don't waste too much time feeling sorry for them ...
    you've got work to do!
  6. Assume a happy mask of detachment, like a seasoned customer
    service pro. This is simply one of life's 'difficult customers', and not
    your permanent problem (thank God!)
  7. Stop hoping for acceptance. Chances are it will never come from
    some corners... and that's OK. (See point #1.) Ultimately, being loved
    by every soul on earth is not what matters.
  8. Don't be smug. You don't have to be -- you've got the joy of doing
    your dream!
  9. Go have a good primal scream when you're alone. If you're in
    an apartment building or have nearby neighbors, close doors and
    windows and scream into the pillows on your bed.
  10. Remember to breathe. You really are doing just what you're
    meant to be doing.
  11. Find an ally. This is the support group we mentioned above. For
    every negative voice in your life, there should be at least one bonafide
    cheerleader, as well. Get these folks on your side, and make sure you
    can contact them whenever you need support and, of course, offer
    to provide the same for them. One woman we know gets up and does
    yoga every morning at 6AM... and then emails her support buddy to
    report in. (This has gone on for years!)
  12. Limit your contact with the nay-sayers. Who needs `em?

To learn more about how to find the time, money and energy to live your dreams,
read Suzanne Falter-Barns' new book, Living Your Joy: A Practical Guide to
Happiness (Ballantine). Her free ezine, The Joy Letter, you a crisp, fresh burst of
inspiration for your dream every week or two. Check it out at, 2002 Suzanne Falter-Barns..