Achieving our Dreams by Telling Our Stories . . . to Ourselves and Our Loved Ones

I’ve recently read two articles that made me think about the importance of telling our stories to ourselves and to our close family members. If we don’t talk about our dreams, how can our loved ones support us?

The first article I saw was a blogpost by Mary Jo Asmus of Aspire Collaborative Services, entitled “A Day In Your Life,” in which she suggested writing about a future day in your life when your goals have been achieved and you are joyful. According to Ms. Asmus, people who tell the story of their future are more likely to achieve it.

The second piece was an article in the March 12, 2012, Wall Street Journal by Ruthie Ackerman, entitled “He Says, She Says.” Ms. Ackerman described the importance of spouses talking to each other about their retirement goals as part of their financial planning. Ms. Ackerman said that husbands and wives need to first discern their personal values, then communicate those values to each other. Otherwise, their financial plans won’t accommodate both perspectives and they have less likelihood of meeting their goals.

I know over the past few years how difficult it has been for me to talk about my future goals with my husband. And he has a harder time than I do in articulating what he wants to accomplish with the rest of his life. We have had several good conversations, but there are still parts of our future that remain individual dreams.

My challenge to you today is to ask yourself:

      • What is your future story?
      • What do you want your life to be in five or ten years?

Now, write it down.

And then, the hardest part of the challenge: Tell your loved ones what you want, and ask them to tell you their stories and future dreams.

What did you learn about yourself and your loved ones from this exercise?

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