1) Believe fully in your dreams. At this moment pull out a pen and paper and write your dreams down. Stop where you are and do it now. This must be pen to paper as it needs to be in a tangible form. Keep this where you can look at it every day, because if you don't have your dreams in front of you then will disappear.
2) Surround yourself with positive people. Years ago when I created my first book, Sepia Dreams, I interviewed and photographed 50 celebrities and spoke with them regarding how they made their dreams a reality. I asked each one this question: Do you think it's important to surround yourself with people who are doing what you aspire to do? From Halle Berry to Tyra Banks, Samuel Jackson to Boris Kodjoe and Vanessa Williams, they each gave their own unique answer but the overwhelming response was that it was not necessary to be around people did the same thing, however it is vital to surround yourself with positive people. Even when negative things are thrown your way you must seek out the most positive way to handle the situation as this is simply the universe testing you and making you stronger. This is also necessary as you must be tested! Remember, it's not supposed to be easy. Stay positive as this is one of the keys to success and has worked for everyone from Richard Branson to Warren Buffett.
3) Find your team! You can't do this alone and this team should be supportive of your dreams. Years ago when I dreamed of being a photographer everyone around me said photography was only a hobby and not to be pursued as a career. When I wanted to do my first book everyone told me it takes years to get a book deal and most fail. I got my book deal in three days for a six figure advance. Now, what is your team? Team stands for Together Each Achieves More. These are the words Dominique Dawes spoke to me as I interviewed her for Sepia Dreams. Your team may be your best friend, teacher, mentor of simple somewhat else who is planning on success in their life. Become an success team together to empower each other when life throws a curve your way. Right now write down your team members for success. Do this now.
4) Devote Time. Give yourself the daily time you deserve for success. We all have busy lives and many of us say we have no time to do this or that, but Einstein, Kennedy, Martin and all the great people throughout history were all given the same amount of hours in a day to achieve their success. You must devote at least 15 min. a day to your dreams. If you work or attend school and give your entire day away then devote the last 15 minutes each night before bed for you. This is your time and you must take action for your dream to grow.
5) Roll the ball. The next 48 hours must be spent getting the ball rolling toward your dream. Don't put it off until next week or the weekend, or when you get your next check, etc. The universe is calling you to action now. You've been lead to this blog for a reason and it's the universe calling you to action. Today really is the first day of your new life and you can make your dreams come true. Get going!
6) Visualize. Spend five minuets a day in quiet with your eyes closed and visualize you at the point in your life when you are living your dreams. If you want to write a book then visualize yourself on the Oprah Show. See yourself in the outfit you will wear, feel the light from the stage on you and visualize the audience as they look at you and applaud all your hard work. If you don't have time to do this then do it when you are in the bathroom taking a shower or bath. This is a necessary step. You must see it in your mind first!
7) Get Out! Life doesn't happen behind a computer or on an ipad or ipod or iphone. Get out and do something you've never done and enjoy life. How does this help you achieve your dream? When you enjoy life your mind is fresh and able to create new and exciting things. You must be inspired to be great and our life experience is what connects us to the universe and all the secrets that it holds. Yesterday I photographed a hot air ballon launch for the first time and it made me feel alive.
This is your time to dream big, this is your time to make the most of your life no matter what you are doing now and where you are in your life. I dream years ago of being a photographer and shooting images for magazines and more. The funny thing is that when you have a dream the universe always makes it bigger than you ever thought. I am the only photographer in the world sponsored by Microsoft and Sony. I could not have planned that or even thought of that. I'd never heard of a photographer being sponsored before when it happened. Dream Big!
How do I dream big now? Even though I am living my dream it's not always easy, but again it's not supposed to be. We all have the ability to take control of our lives and change our future. I love photography. I may be photographing Polar Bears one day and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy the next, or Oprah one day and Cynthia Nixon the next for press on Sex and the City. Ray Allen from the Boston Celtics or kids in India and Nepal the next but it all started for me with a dream. Sometimes the universe takes over as in the case when Oprah decided to use my photograph of her to turn into an avatar on her show as she interviewed the director for Avatar, James Cameron.
The recession has slowed work for a lot of artist, photographers, models, etc, but it was slow after the dot.com bust and slow after 9/11 but those years where when I really excelled with my personal projects. Now during this recession I am again working on my personal projects. They range from my next book to the Hero's in the Struggle project, to a new project for charity in Switzerland in which I'm photographing young hollywood. Alyson Stoner, Robbie Amell will all hopefully be a part of this project but more on that later. The most important thing I can say is dream big each day and believe in yourself.
Even when everyone around you tells you that your dream is not possible, believe in yourself and dream big!