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Social Sci LibreTexts

12.1: The Dream of a Lifetime

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  • Learning Objectives

    1. Use your life mission to inform career decisions.
    2. Understand how you are already on your way to fulfilling your dream.
    3. Work with changing life objectives and goals.

    Throughout this book, we have covered many techniques for how to get things done effectively: how to study, how to read, how to take notes, how to manage your personal finances or your social life. This last chapter challenges you to really think about the why. Why did you decide to attend college? Why is it important to you?

    We all have life goals or objectives—some are clearer than others, but they are there. You may think of your objectives in terms of finances (to hold a job that allows you to be financially independent, for example), or perhaps your goals are more personal (to be married and have a family). They might be specific (pay off my student loans within three years of leaving college) or very general (to do good). Regardless of what they may be, they are all important because they influence the decisions you are making today about your future.

    Understanding what motivates your goals and aspirations is essential because you are then better able to prioritize your thoughts about the future and identify new options that you may not have thought of before that will bring you fulfillment. Beware of accepting dreams others may have for you as your own (“I want to finish college to make my parents proud” or “I want to complete my associate’s degree because my boyfriend says I can get a better job”). These are not necessarily bad dreams to pursue, but they will lead to genuine fulfillment only if they are your dreams.

    Exercise 1: My Dream Machine

    In the table that follows, list the four or five most important dreams you have for your future. Include your personal, professional, and economic goals. Now take some time to think about why these dreams are important to you. Revisit your answers frequently over the next week or two and fine-tune them. What do they tell you about what is important to you? How are they linked to each other?

    My dreams for the future Why they are important to me