Want a new idea? Something different to think about? To dream about? To work on? Or have an old dream that feels as if it is being awakened? Feel like the embers of a hope you thought long burnt out are being fanned? It could be anything – a hobby, a side hustle, a creative project etc. Some time ago I wrote a blog post on how I learned to dream big which you can find here. It has great info on how I started to allow myself to have big dreams and to pursue them. But sometimes on the way to big dreams are the small dreams. My big dream might be to impact hundreds of women so that they feel empowered to pursue their own dreams and speak up for themselves, and my small dream may be to write that first book, or give a talk at a local school, or do my first facebook live. Sometimes the small dreams are the breadcrumb trail that lead to the big dreams. And speaking of breadcrumbs, this is one other trick I use for my dreams – both big and small.
Follow the breadcrumbs
It all started when I decided to try an idea that I had heard about on a podcast (or heard in a class or read on a blog) – and it was to set an intention for my day. The way I interpreted it is that it was just a way of me deciding through what lens I wanted to see my day. An example of this might be that I would set an intention during the day to be joyful. This might seem like a simple act, but I found it to be very profound, as I found myself reflecting on it during the day, and finding joy in moments that I might otherwise have missed – a great song on the radio, a fun podcast or a chat with a friend. Another day, I might set an intention to learn something new, and I would find myself turning learning the most curious things – from a patient, or the TV news that happens to be showing in the bank.
The best way I can describe setting an intention is that for me seemed to suddenly illuminate a trail of breadcrumbs on my path that I could follow to achieve the very intention that I set. Yesterday, I set an intention to be open to new ideas, and a friend gave me a fantastic one in the afternoon which I might have otherwise glossed over. Another day, I set an intention to be productive, and it meant that when I had 10 minutes of down time between one task and another, I might wash a few dishes or set a 10 minute timer and brainstorm ideas for blog posts. Other days, I set an intention to have fun, or to be connected, or to be productive, or grateful.
I have found that our brain will often look for ways to answer the questions we ask it, or to find the things we ask it to look for. This means asking different questions – instead of saying “I can’t afford to take this course” ask – how can I afford to? And wait to see what breadcrumbs appear. Sometimes it is an idea that drops right into our mind when we are relaxed (maybe in the shower, or in my case it happens when I am driving). Sometimes you might overhear a conversation and the speaker might mention just what you needed to hear. Sometimes it is on the front page of yesterday’s newspaper that just happens to be lying on the coffee table in the dentist’s office, or a post on social media. Sometimes it is a conversation with a friend or client that sparks a new idea. For me, these are the things that sometimes spark the small dreams that are themselves the breadcrumbs that lead to the big dreams.
Sometimes inspiration is all around us, and all we have to do is ask ourselves – how do I want to see this day – is it through a lens of joy, or fun, or productivity? And see what breadcrumb trail we find that could lead us to our next adventure, or ultimately to our even bigger dreams, and takes us through beautiful paths along the way.
I bring you big love from a small island.
PS - To be perfectly honest - I prefer bread rolls to bread crumbs in photos and in life! So here are some I made earlier!!