If you’ve ever watched the movie “Pretty Woman”, the film begins and ends with a guy who is crossing the street shouting “WHAT’S YOUR DREAM? ... THIS IS HOLLYWOOD ... EVERYBODY HAS A DREAM ... SO, WHAT’S YOUR “DREAM”?

What a great question, and a great analogy. While being quite different from Disney World, Hollywood is without question still about fantasy -- while the rest of the world is faced with the stark realities of everyday life.

There was a time when you were about to graduate from high school or college, when you were full of vim and vigor, and were all set to conquer the world. Or, to at least make a difference. You were free and didn’t have a whole lot of responsibilities ... what you did have however were an abundance of “dreams”. What’s more, you believed in them and what you were going to do in the future. Then too, you genuinely believed in yourself and your capabilities to make your dreams a reality.

So, what happened along the way of life? For most of us the alternate reality of having to pay apartment rent, home mortgage payments, car payments, a wife or husband, children, life insurance, utilities and credit card debt soon takes precedence over our dreams. Not only do our new found adult responsibilities paint us into the proverbial corner -- they cause us to put our dreams and passion for them on hold ... and then eventually on the shelf.

I would now ask you to take a few moments and get in touch with your old self. That may have been 5 years ago, 10 years ago or even 20 years ago or longer. What were your dreams? What was IMPORTANT to you back in the day?

Let’s take this process one step further. In you could “dust” off just one dream that’s been sitting up there on the shelf all of these years -- which one would it be? And, “why” would it be?

And don’t say that you don’t know, because you knew right away which one it was. Your passion is still there … and it’s still important to you ... it always has been. Life and stuff just got in the way. Responsibilities and financial obligations can and will do that, every day. Maybe others shut you down with their negative thinking or lack of support. It may have even been your own excuses, self doubt or fear.

The thing is ... you know that you still want it and it’s still important. So, what are you going to do about it? If it stays up there on the shelf unrealized, will you have regrets later in life? Will you be haunted by “what if”?

Consider the wisdom of Sue Ebaugh who stated that “Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities.” What opportunities are available to you now? What opportunities await you in the future, if you are first willing to explore them and to then act on them?

Orisen Sweet Marden observed that “Opportunities? They are all around us ... There is power lying latent everywhere waiting for the observant eye to discover it.”

Is your life and work everything that you want it to be? What is it that you want to be different? What might you discover if you took the time to look? What are you willing to change? At this point in your life, how much do you want it? How hard are you willing to work at it in order to still achieve it?

I will be the first to admit that “change” is not easy. Then too, life is not easy. Are the results of the life you have chosen to date, “easy”? Then why not step up and do something about it?

Like Joyce Meyer says ... “Never give up!” I would simply add that ... it’s never too late.

As always, I’m here to help.

Copyright © 2009 DevelopingForward.com | Thomas H. Swank, Executive Coach. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Thomas H. Swank is a highly respected Executive Coach, Business Strategy Consultant and Motivational Speaker. Mr. Swank is the President of DevelopingForward.com, Executive Coaching International and the Founder of the “A Priority Life” self improvement and development program.

Tom’s original content “The Coach’s Perspective” and “Results By Design” newsletters are enjoyed by a rapidly growing global readership audience. Contact Tom by telephone at (843) 347-1800 or email at Tom@DevelopingForward.com