How’s it going? I hope you are
I have a super busy day so I have
to get going. Before I do…
Let me ask you something:
When you were little, what did you
want to be when you grew up?
An artist? A writer? A teacher?
A musician? A ballerina? The
Whatever you wanted to be, I bet
it didn’t include bipolar disorder,
So what did happen to your
dreams? I mean, maybe it wasn’t
the bipolar disorder that knocked
your dreams to the side – maybe it
happened before the diagnosis?
What happens to our dreams between
childhood and adulthood?
Most likely there was some adult
(parents, teacher) who told you that
your dream wasn’t realistic. Some
dreams (doctor, lawyer) maybe are
realistic, but ballerina/president?
We give up our childhood dreams to
Become responsible adults. We
graduate from school, grow up,
get a (real) job, get married, buy a
house, raise children…and before you
know it, we’re too old to follow our
childhood dreams even if we wanted
Or is it?
Maybe too late (or unrealistic) for
childhood dreams, but still possible
for adult dreams. And yes, you can
still have them despite bipolar disorder.
You just might have to be a little more
What if we were to call them goals
instead of dreams?
Like, “I’ve always wanted to cruise the
Or, “I’d like to visit Europe someday…”
Or, “I’d like to go back to college and
finish my degree…”
Or, “I’d like to finally write that book…”
Or, “I’d love to lose those extra 50
Or, “I’d like to learn ballroom dancing…”
You get the picture.
The point is, these are all attainable
And I’m sure when put this way, you
can think of a few yourself.
In my courses/systems, I teach it this
way, too. I don’t talk about dreams.
I talk about goals. About setting
realistic goals, how to do it, and
setting long-term and short-term
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Perhaps the reason you haven’t
pursued your dream is because it’s
But if you put your dream into terms
of long- and short-term goals instead,
you can turn it into manageable, bite-
Here’s what I mean:
Like the example of going back to
college for that degree that you want.
That would be your long-term goal.
But the short-term goals would be to
think of it in terms of semesters, or
Writing a book could be a long-term
goal, with writing chapters as the
Losing 50 pounds as a long-term goal
could be broken down into 10-pound
See what I mean?
So what does all this have to do with
The fact that you can still attain your
dreams even with the disorder if you
break it down into setting goals,
because with bipolar disorder, the
setting of goals is something that
is attainable, because you have room
for flexibility. You can work around
mood swings and episodes.
Understandably, some of your goals
might be limited by bipolar
disorder. For example, making plans
to travel is one of the things that
people write to me all the time about,
because it’s difficult to do when you’re
dealing with bipolar disorder.
I get questions like, “What if we’re going
on a trip and my loved one goes into an
Or, “How can I keep my loved one from
going into an episode when we’re
I’ve gone into these answers in-depth in
my articles, website, and courses, but
I’ll just tell you briefly here:
It can be done, but it takes a lot of
planning, and you need to make sure
that your loved one is STABLE.
Stability is crucial in avoiding bipolar
episodes when you’re traveling.
You also need to plan for every
eventuality. You need to have
safety plans in place, just like you
should when you’re home. And
make sure you have plenty of
The point is, though, you can still,
for example, fulfill your dream of
visiting Europe – you just have to
plan for it (set it as a long-term
I know a woman who has been
successful at setting goals and
achieving her dreams. Her secret
is that she does the hardest part first –
that way she gets it out of the way.
What about you? Have you found
success at fulfilling your dreams or
attaining your goals?
If so, we’d all love to hear
about how you did it!
I have to get ready to head off to a
meeting. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
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