Dare to Dream

Posted by Mary Ritter on 7/7/15 3:41 AM

by Mary Ritter

Let’s explore dreaming BIG using the acronym D-R-E-A-M!

By definition, a dream is described as:
a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleepan idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not realsomething that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Dare-to-dream-Bigl-ADOften the pace of each day comes with a list of responsibilities and duties, leaving little or no time for dreaming. The imageries of success could be for better employment possibilities, aspirations to make our families proud of us, to be the first in our families to pursue a post-secondary education degree or diploma, or even to own our own business. The reasons we all desire success are as numerous as the stars in the sky.

From a career perspective, we daydream about what life could be like in the future if only we could fulfill our dreams. Many times, the stark reality of our current lives keeps us fixed and gripped with fear or apprehension, causing us to avoid our futures and to stop dreaming.

We must intentionally devote time to dream of a new future and our best selves.


By the mere process of change, we must intentionally devote time to dream of a new future and our best selves. Through the power of education, countless people have witnessed careers transformation.

What does it take to move from being a dreamer to being a doer? What are the attributes which are common in people who achieve their dreams?

Lou Tice, one of my favorite thought leaders shared in Thought Patterns For A Successful Career, “We move toward, and become like, that which we think about. Our present thoughts determine our future.” In order to achieve our dreams and move from dreamers to doers, we must intentionally dream and purposefully focus on that we will rest our minds on what we will become. What we say to ourselves about who we are, what we can do, what we will do, and how we will accomplish our dreams is just as important as the dreams themselves!

Let’s dig deep into the attributes of being a dreamer through the acronym of D-R-E-A-M:

D: Dare to Dream

Each of us has a vision for a better life when we allow ourselves to dream. Anything worth having in life is worth working for, and nothing comes to us for free. What is your dream? Each of us has different reasons to pursuing our education, and regardless of the reasons, we must first dare to dream.

R: Responsibility of The Dream

The responsibility of our personal dream is a career compass. It guides, coaches and spurs us to succeed. Life is a compilation of relationships, and these relationships allow us to weave the influences and insights of others into our dream. Ultimately, life is not a dress rehearsal, and we have the choice each day to focus on stepping toward our dream in pursuit of our best version of ourselves.

E: Enjoy the Journey

Education can be one of the main highlights in life. It allows the learner to embrace differing views and subjects which can be added to the toolbox of life. Education allows for relationships to be built in the classroom with our fellow future graduates and faculty. With the advent of online learning, the world is our classroom complete with learners from around the world participating in every time zone, and quickly the world becomes a smaller place because of the educational threads which weave us together in our career tapestry.

A: Appreciate the Opportunity

Life is to be enjoyed together in community. Said another way, we don’t “do life” alone. A thankful heart of appreciation and the attitude of gratitude for those who assist us on our career journeys as part of our home team are critically important. These are people who see our potential. They will encourage us when we need a little extra support to keep focusing on the journey. The list of those who are in our community could be co-workers, teachers, friends, parents, children, significant others, and most importantly yourself. As we learned from Lou Tice, the way we speak to ourselves and what we say sets the stage.

M: Make It Happen

The pit bull tenacity required to succeed and make things happen in our careers can vary from day to day. A great predictor of the ability to make the invisible become visible in our careers is the replacement we set for ourselves. As humans, when we can see what success looks like to us, it is easier to absorb and put into reality. Writing each goal with a corresponding replacement picture is an incredible way to incorporate our senses into making our dreams become reality.

It was only when I wrote down every goal I would like to complete on my bucket of life that I fully embraced that time is perishable.

Surround-yourself-ADLet me share an example from my life to bring this concept to life: When I was 37 years old, I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree in business. I had three teenage children and worked full time averaging 60 hours a week. On paper, the amount of time required to complete my degree would have been challenging. When was I going to study? How would I take care of my family?

It was only when I wrote down every goal I would like to complete on my bucket of life that I fully embraced that time is perishable. I had to begin moving forward to achieve my dreams in order for them to be a reality, and I realized that education was a key.

There are two aspects I enjoy about education:

  1. An education is recession proof.

Regardless of what happens in the economy, your credential is something that stands the test of the ebbs and flows in the economy.

  1. An education is yours to have for the rest of your life.

An education is the validation of your path to completion. Unlike a sleek new vehicle, your education will always be a part of you, and it can never be take away from you.

So, I dare you! I dare you to DREAM BIG! Dream and vision the best version of you. I promise it will be best the time you will ever invest:

D: Dare to Dream

R: Responsibility of Your Dream

E: Enjoy the Journey

A: Appreciate the Opportunity

M: Make It Happen


Mary Ritter

Serving as Chief Executive Director for SWIHA

With extensive academic and operations leadership experience, Mary Ritter has proven professional accomplishments directly impacting the strategic business goals for several post-secondary colleges over the last 20 years. She is a results-oriented leader, with an expertise in people development, strategic planning and organizational transformation. Mary has served at all levels within Fortune 500 companies using a ‘servant-leadership’ model** and dreaming big!

** A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader empowers people; the needs of others are put first and the servant-leader helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

Topics: self love, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Motivational Monday, Blog, holistic entrepreneur, SWIHA, holistic business

About the Author Mary Ritter

Mary Ritter, Interim Executive Director, is a strategic designer who builds organizational cultures of success through the development of people, processes and technology. She is a thought leader and team player with a record of helping create and accelerate innovative and entrepreneurial solutions within the education industry.

Mary Ritter

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