This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit TaraTaylorQuinn.com. All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. Gift Basket given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.

1   Know yourself

You want to drive from the east coast to the west coast.  You get to the crossroads (east/west interstate crosses north/south interstate) and you see a magnificent sculpture off in the distance.  You turn toward the sculpture.  Enjoy the beauty.  Take pictures.  And continue driving.  A few hours later you cross the Tennessee state line.  South, not west, of your starting point.  You correct yourself and head west again – fretting over all the time and gas you wasted going in the wrong direction.  Further up the road you stop for gas and getting back on the freeway, you notice a gorgeous sunset over the mountain.  You turn toward it, stopping to get some great pictures.  And just around the next bend, there’s a waterfall.  You stop and gaze a long time.  It’s incredible.  You can feel the power of the water flowing through your veins.  The pictures don’t do it justice but you take them anyway, wondering what you can do to bring the power to the print, to keep it alive.  You continue driving, stopping to get the perfect shots.  An hour later, you realize that you’re traveling north.  On a side road.  Back the way you’d originally come.

Your problem is that you’re driving west because you think you should.  Your dream is to be an artist.  To surround yourself with natural beauty.  To take pictures.  Or maybe even just to go on a road trip with no destination in mind. To make your dreams come true you must first have the courage to look inside yourself, be honest with yourself, and know your dreams.

5 Steps To Make Your Dreams Come True   5 steps to make your dreams come true freeway

2  Release judgment

Our minds are filled from the time we’re born with the lessons of those around us.  Our parents, older siblings, playmates, family, teachers, society all are our teachers.  We learn how to behave, how to fit in, what is expected of us, how to articulate, even how to think.  We learn right and wrong and we learn how to judge the difference.  We learn how to judge every situation, every person, every activity.  Is it wholesome?  Legal?  Kind?  Does it fit into the norms of society?  Will it get you ahead?  Make you a lot of money? Provide security?  We learn to turn away from anything that does not meet the standards that are set for us by others.  We learn to focus on what we should do as set forth by the judgments of others, rather than allowing ourselves to give in and do what our souls drive us to do.  If your dream is not the ‘American Dream’ (or the dream of your current society) then it’s not.

Our parents, older siblings, playmates, family, teachers, society all are our teachers.

3  Research

Find out all you can about whatever it is you want to do. With the wealth of information available on the internet, this is easier than ever.  You want to be a writer?  Find a public yahoo message board for writers.  You want to fly an airplane?  Search private pilots on Google.  Or search for someplace near by that gives flying lessons.  Find out how long it takes to get your pilot’s license.  Find out how much it costs.  Read testimonials of other pilots and see if the words resonate with you – if they build the fire within you to do what they have done.  Watch movies about flying – about the first pilots.  Read books.  Talk to people.  All of this will not only solidify your desires, but it will make you actively a part of the activity.  Researching that which you most desire keeps the flame hot, much like food and water energize the body.  Researching brings you that much closer to your dreams.

5 Steps To Make Your Dreams Come True   5 steps to make your dreams come true research

4  Believe

If you don’t believe in yourself, or your right to have what you most desire, no one else will believe either.  If you don’t believe in yourself, your chances of ever having what you most want are miniscule.  With rare exception, life doesn’t just hand you your heart’s desire.  Nor do other people.  Those around you will more likely mold you to fit them – not even always out of selfishness.  Those who know what they need and want tend to ask for it, work toward it, they’re internally driven to do so, and those in their sphere, or their path, tend to accommodate them.  Don’t be afraid to believe that you deserve what you want.  Don’t be afraid to believe that you are extraordinary.

5  Don’t Give Up.  Ever.

I have a quote on my bulletin board that reads:  ‘Edison failed ten thousand times before he perfected the modern electric lamp.  The average man would have quit at the first failure.  That’s why there are so many average men and only one Edison.’ I wanted to be a writer.  My only dream (other than love and health and family) was to be a writer.  I’d write books that I believed were really good.  I’d send them in.  And time after time, for years, they were rejected.  I could have stopped.  Many thought I should have stopped.  But I’d read my quote about Edison, type the words, Chapter One, and begin again.

Viktor Frankl was a resident of a prison camp during the holocaust.  One of his ‘dreams’ was to maintain control of his own mind, his own psyche.  He was a doctor and I suppose, in the deepest sense, his dream was to survive.  No matter what kind of tortures his captures inflicted upon him, he believed that he maintained control of his life.  His captors only had his body, not his heart, mind or soul.  One of his keys to survival was to go outside and deliver speeches about “Psychotherapeutic Experiences in a Concentration Camp” to imaginary audiences.  He believed in himself, in his dreams enough that he acted them out.  The man not only survived the holocaust, not only survived imprisonment, he instilled positive energy in those around him as well, helping others to survive.  He went on to be a celebrated psychologist, gifted in his field, until his death in 1997.

These, and other examples, taught me that in the end, the only person who can prevent you from reaching your dreams is you.  My fifty-five published books and a place on the USA Today Bestseller List is testimony that the above is true.

5 Steps To Make Your Dreams Come True   tara taylor quinn it happened on maple street cover 193x300
About the author: Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today Bestselling Author with more than six million copies of her books sold.This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit www.tarataylorquinn.com.
All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. Gift Basket given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is, please contact www.thehotline.org, or call, toll free, 24/7, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The call can be anonymous and is always confidential. There is not one second of life that is worth wasting.

Next tour stop, Wednesday, April 27, Storybroads: http://www.storybroads.com.

To get your copy of It Happened On Maple Street, visit your favorite bookseller, or www.maplestreetbook.com.

Don’t miss The Chapman Files! Still available at Amazon.com.

It Happened On Maple Street is available on Kindle and Nook, too! Find it on Amazon.com.

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19 Comments

  1. Great posts Tara and Tim!
    I just caught up on the past weeks worth of stops and I’m still enjoying them.
    I especially liked yesterday’s post on the young man and the broken down car. It hit me at just the right moment. You never know who you are going to effect each day as you live it and connect with people. Isn’t that pretty cool when you think about it? You are the bright spot in someone’s day today. :-)

    Hugs as you continue on your long journey of stops.
    Crystal
    P.S. I was so pleased to hear that I had won your April 1st blog party basket. THat is one April Fools Day that was really nice for me! Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Hi Tara and Tim, just following along on your extensive trip. Great article
    thank you
    Take care
    Deb

    Reply
  3. Read ‘Maple Street’ in one sitting yesterday! Very well written by both an experienced writer and a novice! I appaud the courage it took to write this story. Victims need to know there is help – reach for it; there is a future-live it free from the chains of secrecy and pain. Good Job!!
    Phyllis

    Reply
  4. Another great post! I’ve really enjoyed following you and Tim on this blog tour- there’s just so much food for thought for long after the tour ends. Thank you both for sharing so much of yourselves. I did my daily checking with B&N for the e-book! Stay safe and happy.

    Reply
  5. Crystal,

    I saw that video yesterday morning and watched again with Tim last night. It resonated strongly with me as well.

    Your win of the basket was clearly meant to be! We announce last week’s basket’s winner tomorrow on Storybroads!

    Deb,

    I’m very glad you’re still with us!

    Karen,

    I’m doing daily checking as well. They said by April 15th. I keep calling the publisher who keeps calling Amazon and Barnes and Noble and they keep saying it’s going to be soon. I guess there was a cover translation problem and the publiser had to re-submit but that was two weeks ago. I know very little about the formatting process but I know that with DRM they’re very careful. Thank you for not giving up on us!

    Phyllis,

    I’m breathing a little eaiser…

    Reply
  6. Another great and timely post. These will be of great help, especially over the next few months. I always take away so much from your posts!

    Reply
  7. Loved todays post! Posted something earlier but for some reason it didn’t show up.

    Reply
  8. Darla,

    I had a post not show up as well. Technology still has mysteries!

    Reply
  9. this i ok but it is no cool at the same time

    Reply
  10. I would like to keep up with you two I just loved that article thank you,
    Amber

    Reply
  11. WOW!!, all the things you have put are all what I believe too!!. I am doing them, I procrastinate a little but I am. Each and every day I do all I can to think, to research and write emails and letters to make my dream come true. My dream?-to meet Justin Bieber!!. I have a Facebook group going ‘CAMPAIGN FOR SHAMEME ADAMS TO MEET JUSTIN BIEBER’, tweet him every day and am writing to people who may be-able to help. I have a life-threatening illness :’( so life can be hard. I am juggling this dream about meeting Justin with doing other things, other dreams and trying to raise funding (as I need an operation in America). But you’re right, especially about Edison, really brings it into perspective!. I mean look at Justin Bieber himself, just a normal kid singing outside The Avon Theatre and he never gave up. His positive messages keep me going!!. I have other dreams too and want them all to come true!!, I’ll work hard. Btw if anyone out there with connections can help me my email is shameme.adams@gmail.com.

    Keep dreaming peeps!

    Shameme x

    Reply
  12. I really believe in myself in becoming a famous singer and I don’t think it’ll ever come true

    Reply
  13. I so believe in myself

    Reply
  14. I lost my 6years relationship during june. My ex left me with so much pains and since then i have been heart broken and shattered. I have contact 10spell casters and 4 of them has rip me off my money without any result. I have visited so many sites online looking for a good spell caster till i was directed by a 16 years old girl to templeoflove1@gmail.com . At first i never believed him because he was requesting for some amount of money to buy items, it took him three weeks to convince me and something occur to mind and i said let me give him a trial.I was very shocked when Nelly called four days after i sent Dr. Check the items money. He apologies for all he has done wrong and i am very happy that we are together today because he proposed to me last night. I will advise you contact templeoflove1@gmail.com because he has done wonders in my life and i believe he can help you out in any problems

    Reply
  15. The problem here is though, in America there is such a lack of culture and an abundance of opportunity that the copiousness of the dribble that makes it to market is beyond over-numerous. Your apparently worthy contribution to literature has failed to prove the validity of your statements due to their complete incompetence. These books were clearly not written with vigor of love that true art deserves.

    Reply
  16. Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for providing
    these details.

    Reply
  17. This is a great article. I want to recommend a book that has changed my life. It is short but to the point.

    What Makes You Great? Uplifting New Book Inspires Readers to Fight through Adversity & Pursue Life’s Greatest Dreams.
    Written by Tasha Hoggatt, ‘What Makes You Great?’ serves as a guide to staying on track during faith-testing times. Urging readers to create opportunities for themselves and pursue them no matter what curveballs life throws, the book is resonating with readers from all walks of life.
    For Immediate Release

    Los Angeles, CA – At some point in life, everyone loses faith in themselves and their aspirations. Nobody knows this better than California’s Tasha Hoggatt, who unexpectedly lost her brother when she was just twenty two years-old. The book, What Makes You Great? is semi autobiography. When Tasha Hoggatt brother passed away, it was the hardest and the most difficult experience she had to overcome. As an experience that shaped her life on many levels, Hoggatt has a unique perspective on others experiencing similar plight. In an effort to help everyone at their time of need, Hoggatt has compiled all she has learned about following her dreams into a potentially life-changing new book.

    ‘What Makes You Great?’ is more than a self-help book; it’s a blueprint to living the fullest life possible, even when darkness overshadows all light.

    Synopsis:

    The goal of the book is to inspire others who can create an opportunity for themselves, to follow their dreams. Please read this book often to help you stay focused. In this life, we do not have the luxury to live to 500 years old. We are lucky to live to 90. With that said, we should make every second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year count. It is important to always move in the direction that will bring you closer to realizing your dreams and living a positive life.

    Avoid emotionally and mentally negative situations and thought patterns, so you can make the best out of your life and others around you. Put your family first building a foundation of love and respect. A family is a group of individuals living under the same roof, united by certain convictions and common affiliation, the basic and various social units in society. A unit that should be valued!

    As the author explains, while her own life experiences seemed unique, she became acutely aware that everyone suffers their own personal times of need.

    “I wrote the book, What Makes You Great? because I have seen both friends and family due to difficult experience lose faith in themselves. In turn, they give up on their dream and put aside many of the aspirations that will make their life better aside. Our dreams are the blueprint of our life that we need to pursue. It gives us confidence in our ability to achieve anything,” says Hoggatt.

    Continuing, “The book is broken up in seven sections. It is an easy read. It is important because at one point, we all lose our faith or at least are dangling. It is great to have a guide or an avenue so to stay on track. It is important to pursue dreams. It is good for our souls, humanity, each other, our relationship and the world. Love, respect and peace.”

    Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews with over 7,500 copies sold. For example, one reader commented that, “This is a must read!! If you are looking for something uplifting this is the book for you! I’m really glad I came across this great book. It definitely gives you a new found perspective on life.” Another reader stated, “I like the chapter on the importance of association and negative vs. positive thinking. This book can be considered a mental detox.”

    With its popularity expected to soar, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible.

    ‘What Makes You Great?’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1cNBMwp

    Reply
  18. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to understand a lot about this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something.

    I think that you just could do with some p.c. to drive the
    message home a little bit, but other than that, that is wonderful
    blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

    Reply

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