Dreams: they are what drive us, give us purpose, direct our efforts, and rally help to our side when we need it most. A man or woman without dreams may struggle through life without a sense of direction and fall into negative patterns of thought and behavior. As we’ll see, dreams don’t need to be lofty or difficult to attain. Even the smallest ambitions can help drive us and instill a sense of purpose.

What Is a Dream?

Nearly everyone has heard of the concept “chasing your dreams.” However, few of us realize how important they (and the actual chase) are to a healthy, purposeful life. Without a sense of purpose, it can be far too easy to melt into a negative existence – even if life is going reasonably well.

In simple terms, a dream is simply a vague or clear idea about where you would like to be in the future. This “where” isn’t limited to a location but can also extend to career goals, relationship goals, familial goals, and so on. The first step in chasing your dreams is to first define what you’d like to achieve, and, for some people, this can be a difficult process. Even if you are currently happy with your life, there is still room for excitement, growth, and success.

Defining Your Dreams

First, ask yourself who you are – right now. Define your current achievements, state of mind, relationships, and anything else that makes you who you are. As you evaluate your current situation, begin to think forward six months at a time and define what you want out of life. By setting short-term dreams as well as long-term ones, you can develop a game plan for growth!

Examples of Potential Goals & Dreams
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” ― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President.

Some people choose to pursue marriage and build a family. Others prefer to invest their time into a career or their own business. If you love exercise and sports, perhaps your goal may be to make it to the Olympic tryouts or break a record. You are limited only by your imagination and the amount of effort you are willing to put into your goals. Furthermore, no goal that you set for yourself ever deserves shame or insult.

Chase Your Dreams

The next step will take the most time and effort, but that doesn’t mean that the result won’t be worth the physical, mental, or emotional exertion. In order to live your life to the fullest, chase your dreams with everything you have. Set milestones and smaller, more manageable goals along the way, and reevaluate when necessary!

The Importance of Community and Family

It may seem like the only person who can help you in your efforts is you, but that won’t always be the case. Sometimes, one or more people may be necessary along your path to achieving your goals and chasing your dreams – especially if you want to build a family or a successful business. Our need and desire to be part of a community, even if it’s a small one, is part of being human!

Here at the ZLA foundation, we understand how vital camaraderie and kinship are along the journey. We’ve dedicated everything at our disposal to develop a better community, and we – as Zambians – must stick together. To find out more about how you can get involved with your Zambian family here in Atlanta and across the world, click here.

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