It’s 4am, and no I am not doing a breakfast show this morning. Well actually, I am. Weekend Breakfast, which starts at 7am, so why am I wide awake, totally wired and brain exploding at 4am… because the universe is a jerk and I can’t sleep, that’s my reasoning right now anyway. My head is swimming with ideas, I am in the middle of opening my first business, I have a Breakfast Show to do in a few hours, I think I committed to lunch with some friends this afternoon, I haven’t worked out for three days, other friends arrive from Interstate to stay with us this week, I still have to paint the outside pylons at the gym and don’t even get me started on how many times I have started to try and learn how to use Xero Accounting Software to run my business. (I am not a numbers girls, unless it’s on sale, I don’t care).
Oh and you thought this BLOG was going to be some BS wishy-washy head in the clouds nonsense about how to achieve your dreams? No, this is the honest truth. Your dreams don’t happen unless you make them and for the most part that means getting messy, being tired and yes, waking up at 4am with a hundred ideas.
When I was a teenager I went through many phases, I guess we all did. I wore boys skater pants until I was 14, I think my mum had a conniption the day I decided to start wearing skirts. I had a silk-worm farm, a pet rabbit, I loved making up dance routines to Janet Jackson songs and I had a huge crush on MacGyver. All phases that I have since grown out of, except the Janet and MacGyver ones. A phase that I can’t explain was an obsession with dream catchers. I am 90 per cent sure that the trading name then was ‘Indian Dream Catcher’ and I am 99 per cent sure that is culturally insensitive, so let’s just call them Dream Catchers. This was a time in my life where the things that I could control, I did and everything else was up to my parents. I chose which Video Hits Posters I stuck on my wall and I decided that a giant circular webbed ornament decorated with feathers would hang above my head as I dreamt of my teenage crush and finally being accepted into the cool group at school.
Dream Catchers, the purpose, according to Native American tradition, was to filter out any bad dreams or as I understood it, catch the bad stuff before it got to my cute little head. I want to say I also believed that my dream catcher would help me catch the good dreams and that the universe would magically make them come true. Wrong.
You have to catch your own dreams girlfriend and you are responsible for seeing them materialize. I once read this quote that floored me, ‘you have as many hours in the day as Oprah.’ It’s true. I do. You do. We do! So what am I doing with that time? Not buying dream catchers at the Two Dollar Shop (anymore). What are you doing with that time? Are you dreaming up ideas that will never take action, or taking action on dreams that you can’t put to rest?
If you are like me, and you are a dreamer, you might have noticed it seems to come with a stereotype. I believe a lot of people when they say ‘she’s a dreamer’ mean that she has her head in the clouds, she’s unrealistic, she lives outside the realm of reality and she lacks substance. Well, I want to volunteer to be the crash test dummy on a dreamer with a backbone made of flippin’ steel. It takes balls to have a dream and work so hard you almost institutionalize yourself. It takes strength, courage, tenacity, it takes patience, hope and faith beyond belief in today’s world that is fuelled by negativity and to even dare to dream, let alone dream massive. But you have to. It’s your soul food. Catch your dreams, keep dreaming them, and then start making them happen. (More on that in the next BLOG).
Three Tips for Dream Catching (Culturally inappropriate ornament not necessary)
1. Write it down.
You have heard this a thousand times, whether you are lists person or not, you have to write down the vision. It’s biblical. It’s practical and there are a hundred quotes about it.
The actual Bible, so God, said (in the New Living Translation which just means less hath, hereof and thou). Habakkuk 2:2
“Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. 3"For the vision is yet for the appointed time;”
“Until you commit your goals to paper, you have seeds without soil.”
“It’s dream until you write it down then it’s a goal.”
“When you write a goal down, your subconscious brain begins to more actively begin to bring into your life the people, resources and knowledge you need to achieve you goals.”
Get a few diaries and put them in a few places. Next to your bed. Notepad in the glove box, one in your fridge, (I don’t know about you but I spend a lot of time just staring into my fridge, sometimes I am looking for food, other times I have no idea why I opened the fridge, but it’s a good thinking spot, probably not the most environmentally friendly one, but a good one nonetheless.) I am a write it down with a pen and on a piece of paper kind of girl, which makes blogging a real pain the ass (and sometimes even pain in the finger due to paper cuts). But this works for me, if it’s not on paper, it doesn’t get into my brains. All editing, I do in hard copy. Yes it takes longer, but it feels better, for me. Figure out what works for you.
Doodles (you know the kind of doodles I am talking about, right?) Mind maps Journals Diaries Blank pages Lined paper Scrap books Notepaper Short hand
The practical step of writing things down and fleshing it out takes your dream from something you imagined in your tiny human brain, to something that can be achieved. It sets the path in motion. It’s the first step.
2. Shut Your Mouth When you have a dream or a cool App idea, a book project brain snap, a new direction you want to take, a business venture, a light bulb moment; the first thing you will want to do is tell everyone. And rightly so, you’re a genius, you are about to solve (insert first world problem here) and you deserve all the praise and credit your tribe, family, work colleagues, Facebook Friends and Instagram Followers can offer you, immediately! Right?! Wrong.
Keep Your Trap Shut. Zip It. Close That Cake Hole.
You absolutely should tell a trusted few and don’t be under the impression that you will always get support, especially if your dreams is a bit weird. I remember telling my parents that I wanted to be a VJ on MTV when I was 15 years old, I was so excited that I had finally decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! I had no idea how to get in television presenting, I don’t even think MTV really existed in Australia at the time, but I knew what I wanted to do. My parents told me to get good career to fall back on. Ouch. (I did write down when I was 15 years old that I wanted to host TRL on MTV in Australia and nine years later that was the job I was hired at MTV to do, I launched TRL in this country). So write down the vision. No matter how crazy. Dreams are dreams because they don’t exist yet. But don’t tell everyone about them just yet and don’t assume everyone will share your passion. They won’t. It’s all part of the process. When others don’ back you, you have to back yourself. Keep your dreams on paper and close to your heart. When they materialize everyone will see the fruit, so don’t stress about giving the world a heads up.
3. Don’t Be Next
I find it really frustrating when you have a conversation with somebody about your future plans or ideas of where you might be heading and they want to compare it somebody else. It makes sense because it’s a point of reference, but I find it infuriating. My line of thinking has always been that I don’t want to be the next somebody because I am already me.
‘So you want to be on Breakfast Radio, I guess you are going to be the next Jackie O then?!’ No. No I’m not (and this is a huge compliment because I adore and admire Jackie O, I have had the pleasure of working in the same building and her and she is a boss). But no, I am not he next anyone.
‘Oh eventually you’d like to have a talk show, wow, so I guess you want to be the next Oprah?’ No. No I don’t (You cannot even ut anyone in that stratosphere as Oprah).
I am the first and the only ever, little ol’ me and that should be cool with everyone. The one, the only, the original, the real Maz Compton. This is what I say. And this is who I am.
Absolutely have your idols, people who inspire you and what you do, people who evoke dreams in you. Learn about those people, meet them if you can, reach out if it’s appropriate, ask questions and get around them. I spend a lot of my time reading the stories of the lives of people who I admire and who I see as successful. People who have traits that I want to emulate. (I literally have an Oprah and Maya Angelou shrine on my bookcase). It’s important to be inspired into your greatness. But please don’t sell yourself short but comparing yourself to someone else. No matter how epic they are! Our leaders are paving the way for us to go further, they are in front and we are meant to take the baton and run forward for humanity.
You are you. There is only one of you. You are not expected to be the next anyone or anything, you are an original. Your story is yours and yours only, so dream it up, write it down, tell it with passion and share it with the world because the world needs the one you there is, that’s why you are here.