I wrote a blog six weeks ago titled, Un’avventura Italiana, as Laura and I were leaving for our six-week Italian adventure. Well, this week’s blog is being written with a slightly heavy heart, but incredible determination as I’m sitting on a plane flying from Italy back to Melbourne. We left Australia in mid October with a dream, we are returning to Australia with so much more. We are flying back to Melbourne with a passion and purpose to create a reality… all because we decided to take our dream out for a test drive.

In that same blog, I wrote six weeks ago, I mentioned that we had started losing sight of the vision, to live in Italy, we had created years earlier. You know what it’s like, when life happens, don’t you? We got busy, we got distracted and without even realising it, whilst still talking about this dream, I’m not sure if deep down we really believed it anymore. Then, because of a frank conversation I had with Laura, where she suggested we visit Italy, everything changed. So, earlier this year we booked the six-week trip, and, immediately, incredibly and even miraculously the dream came to life again. As each day passed, and the trip came closer, the more life it began to develop.

I’m not going to bore you with a day-by-day description of this incredible adventure, but I am going to tell you that this vision is now no longer just a dream… it is real, it is alive and it is done. All that’s left to do now is the work to bring all the pieces in place so we can make the move. We have a date, we have a plan, we have an idea where we want to live and we are on the way home to get the job done. So, how did everything change so dramatically? Simple, we took our dream for a test drive.

I had seen many pictures of Italy, but I’d never been there. I have eaten plenty of pasta and pizza, but never tasted the authentic made-in-Italy product. I’d heard about the people that lived there from Laura and television, but had never met them. I knew a few Italian words, but couldn’t speak the language. I thought living in Italy would be a nice idea, but honestly, I had no idea what that would mean or how it would play out. So, as you can see, I didn’t really have a serious dream, what I had was a concept, an idea or a fantasy. Until I took it for a test drive.

In six weeks, we turned a great idea into a non-negotiable, the-goal-is-set and it-will-be-done purpose for Laura and I. The dream came to life with all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, people and adventures we experienced in those six-weeks. To take the Italian lessons I had committed to and turn them into actual conversations with real Italians, who couldn’t speak English, was amazing.  To stand in front of the statue of David, the Colosseum, the leaning Tower of Pisa when all I had seen previously was pictures, was incredible. To be looking at the spectacular Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast I had visualised for so long, was beyond description. To taste my first Italian pizza, enjoy my first plate of pasta and drink my first Negroni was delectable. To share it with my wife and her Italian parents was something I will never forget. As I stepped on the plane in Rome to head home, I knew what I had to do and I knew how to do it. The dream was alive after the test drive.

Start driving it today!

Dreams are vulnerable. Dreams need to be protected. Dreams need to be fed. It is tragic to me that so many people let their dreams erode because they didn’t focus on them, didn’t feed them, didn’t protect them and didn’t drive them as often as they could. It has taken me this long to get to this point, when it could have happened many years earlier. It didn’t happen because I was blasé and indifferent about my dream. I didn’t focus on it, didn’t feed it, didn’t protect it and didn’t drive it as often as I could.

What is it for you? You either have a dream that you are focusing on or you have a dream that has been swallowed by life and distractions. It’s either one or the other, there are no other options. We are all born for a reason and a purpose and we all have something we want in life. No-one is excluded from this and no matter what it is, big or small, we all have a dream. If you are focussed on your dream, working towards it and taking it out for a test drive regularly, then keep doing it. I’m actually targeting this blog at the people who have allowed their dream to dissolve, those who are a little afraid to admit they actually have a dream because they feel like the possibility for its realisation has passed them by. If this is you, I’m here to tell you, it’s not too late and the right time is now if you are willing to dig it out, dust it off and take it out for a drive.

So, what do I mean by taking it out for a test drive? I mean; bring it to life, give it some energy and start to experience what the reality will be like. In the most literal sense, if you have a dream car you want to buy, go and take one for a test drive. Sit in the seat, smell the leather, start it up and get out on the road to see what it actually feels like. If you have the dream of buying an amazing new home, start going to open for inspections for homes that fit the description of what you’re looking for, whether you’re ready to buy it or not. Do you want to live in a different town, state or country, then I can tell you from wonderful experience that visiting and spending time there is the best thing you can do to bring the dream to life.

Are there places you want to visit? Go to the travel agent, start getting information and talk to other people who have been there. An amazing hero and mentor of mine is a lady who has created incredible success for herself and helped many others do the same. In her younger years, when she was financially struggling, she had a dream to travel the world. She would often go to the airport simply to watch the planes arrive and depart, imagining what it would be like when she was on those planes. She is now on those planes regularly, sitting in first class.

Do you want to be a chef, an artist or an entertainer? You see people on television all the time, auditioning for and entering reality shows, why? They are taking their dream out for a test drive. Do you want to be a best-selling author? Start writing, go to author events, talk to people who have done it. Do you want to start a foundation or just make a difference in people’s lives? Then start with one person. Who can you help? What can you do for them? How can you build it up from there? Are you with me? Are you getting what I’m trying to tell you?

A dream is just a wish, hope or fantasy unless it has some substance to reinforce it and back it up. It needs to be clear and you need to be specific about exactly what you want and how it looks. It must have a strong emotional connection and be meaningful and important to you. But these things aren’t enough. I know many people, including me, who had these two things and still let the dream slide. The power and magic happens when you bring the dream to life. This means you need to move it out of your head, off your wall and take it out for a drive on the open road. Don’t wait any longer, test drive your dream this week!