According to a recent survey the average person in the UK will spend 37 minutes a day dreaming about what we long to do - that's an incredible nine days a year. Here’s how to turn those daydreaming days into reality.
1. Listen to your gut
Alister Gray, coach and founder of Mindful Talent, turned his own dreams into reality when he ditched the corporate world to train as a coach, leaving rainy Scotland with his family to work in Bali. He’s a big fan of using intuition to make decisions. "I think that if we can get outside of our own heads, tune in to our intuition and tap into a deeper, more innate wisdom and intelligence that is omnipresent, then that is when we make our best decisions for our life, career and business," he says. "Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of learning from what has gone on before. But that’s never at the expense of true innovation and my own inner wisdom! So follow your heart, listen to your gut and let your mind become so quiet that you can hear the inner guidance that resides within all of us."
2. Picture your deathbed
"The inspiration for this exercise came from reading about a palliative nurse called Bronnie Ware, who wrote about the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying in a viral blog post," says Gemma McCrae, founder of life and business coaching company Prosperity Kitchen. “Think forward to how you’re going to look back on your life when you’re on your deathbed. Will you be happy that you stayed in your nine-to-five job, or will you regret it? Will you regret not acting on your dreams and impulses to open that beachside cafe? Will you be happy that you overlooked your daily misery to stay safe, in order to earn that wage which just about covers your expenses? Or do you think you will be happy that you took the leap - and jumped?"
3. Let criticism inspire you
Building a business from scratch isn’t all about reaching for the stars. "Sometimes, you have to fight - and do some very hard yards through deep mud," says serial entrepreneur Chris Sheppardson, CEO of EP Business in Hospitality.
"One of the hardest lessons I had to learn over the years was that the change I believed in did not always gather support but rather opposition and, sometimes, criticism. Ask most entrepreneurs and they will admit that they carry the scars from being hurt by criticism. Many entrepreneurs are in truth, relatively emotional and sensitive and are often affected by personal critique. The big difference is that they use that critique to motivate themselves."
4. Find your 'why'
Your reason for doing something has to be bigger than the fear of not doing it, says life coach and business strategist Simon Ong. "During the early stages of my entrepreneurial journey, I did two exercises that helped create this emotional connection," he says.
"Firstly, I wrote down 100 reasons why it was important for me to begin, and what could be possible if I really put my energy into making the journey happen. Secondly, I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted to do in life. I then visualised myself as the 90-year-old version of me looking through that list with none of the items crossed off, noting which of these I would regret the most not having begun and followed through with. These exercises helped me to learn that the bigger the ‘Why’, the easier the ‘How’. Because if something is truly important to you, a priority and an absolute must, then you will always find a way to make it happen."
5. Talk it into reality
"Your idea has to be something you can’t put down," says Pam Bateson, co-founder with Wendy Robertson of on-demand coaching businesses Thrive Partners. "You need to keep coming back to it and every time you tell someone about it, you become more convinced and a little bit more scared at the same time. I was so compelled to democratize coaching that I gave up a steady income and built the tech product that would make that possible."
Wendy agrees: "You have to let go of a lot of stuff in pursuit of that dream. Before setting up Thrive, I was CFO of a multinational, working at a fairly high level. Now - I’m the IT department, the expenses team, the head of HR and a million other things, all rolled into one. The fact that I now set up all the new starters’ laptops really makes all of my former colleagues laugh - but it’s all part of what we all do to make that idea real.