Saturday, July 10, 2010

Never Forget to Dream

Recently a friend of mine asked for advice on parenting. The teacher in me normally shies away from these types of conversations (teachers are like evangelists, get them on a roll and they can't shut up), but as we're both single parents struggling to raise emotionally healthy children in an unhealthy world, I couldn't help myself.

We talked for a moment or two about the situation; lack of motivation and self-esteem seemed to be the main concern.

"Does she have a dream board?" I asked. Silence.

Now both my children know I'm a little quirky (they call it weird), and so they didn't find it odd that one day after school they discovered a 4'x4' cork board nailed to their walls.

"Put up pictures of what you want in life," I explained. They both looked at me like I'd lost my mind, but after we ran through the possibilities they started finding pictures of people graduating, nice cars, state swim times, various universities, etc. I placed the board opposite their bed, so that it's the first thing they see when they wake up, and the last thing they see at night. We've kept this practice going for years, and when their dreams change, their board changes. To this day, my very first post-it note scribble in marker still hangs in the corner. It simply states, "Never forget to dream". 

My friend liked the idea and the conversation ended on a positive note. Yesterday, Kate and I were talking about how her dream board had inspired her, and as she matured how her board had changed over the years.

"Mom, I've never thought about it, but why don't you have a dream board?"

I'd never really thought about it either, and so I am officially making my first dream board (more like a basket at the moment), full of hopes for the future. As I compiled pictures and wrote notes of what I really wanted in life, I began to realize that so often we are caught up in the moment, in trying to achieve the next level or accomplish the next task that we forget to dream.

So now, I have a challenge for you. Go through and really think about what you want. Write them down, find pictures, cut them out, and put them somewhere you can see them every day. Give yourself permission to dream.


  1. What a great post, I LOVE this idea! I used to have a wish box but I like the board idea better! I'm going to do it too :)

    Thank you for the idea!

  2. GREAT post Elizabeth! I'm gonna make a dream board for myself! Such a great idea! =)


  3. A dream board is the essence of life. It is who you really are working toward achieving your most personal goals. I love putting something up, knowing it is going to the Hawaii trip. I didn't think it was possible until I put it on my board. Low and behold, we are going in August. The power of positive thought, manifesting your dreams, it's the real deal. Thanks for posting!

  4. Lyndsey, I'm so glad you like it!
    Anya, let me know how it goes! :-)
    And Corina, I agree with you 100%. We should never underestimate the power of positive thought!

  5. Amazing post - my daughter now has a dream board... :)

  6. Jenn,
    Kate's board changed so much over the years. It's fun to see how they change. Pictures of UGG boots are replaced with college pamphlets. It truly is one of the greatest treasures of my heart to watch children dream.

  7. This is such an amazing idea! I always tell my friends that children are really not encouraged to dream and imagine anymore and that makes me so sad. I'm going to do this with my school class and then make one for myself!

  8. Great post! And thank you SO MUCH for putting the YABBT button in your sidebar!

  9. Wow, Chi! What a wonderful post! Thank you for the brilliant idea. Just as I'm struggling on how to motivate and encourage my kids (not just for my sanity but for their good, too ;)I read this. This is the best idea I have ever heard for motivation. Especially for little ones that are visually driven to begin with. :D
    But even for myself. Your encouragement already graces my white board in the form of quotes and suggestions. What better companion that something to dream about? Thanks!