Most have imagined lives of incredible richness and success, wanting to claim their stake on earth as part of their individual plans. How we visualize, and drive toward attaining these desires ultimately determines how quickly they become reality.

Those of us who make strides in the world of creativity are obviously dreamers. We make something from nothing, hoping it will produce a lasting impact on those we share our efforts with. The artist paints his canvas, the actor rehearses his lines, the musician plays his songs over and over, and the writer, well, the writer writes and re-writes until the words staring back hopefully flow like the notes of a well-tuned piano. We're always looking for the next big thing, idea, break, storyline, or achievement we can call our own. Some labor for years waiting for success, others find it very early on when they least expect it (Justin Bieber). So how does success and fulfilling dreams really happen? Is it something that God gives us when we kneel and pray hard enough, know the right people, or is it simply luck? Do you define success and reaching your dreams as having money, a family, a career which you really enjoy? Or is it just having a peaceful existence, living life on your individual timeline and terms? One thing is true: the definition of success is indeed, different for everyone.

The only person who limits your dreams is staring back at you in the mirror. He/she is the one who ultimately decides which ones to pursue, and how to grab them in a world where opportunities exist as your eyes are opened up to their possibilities. Taking the shackles off mentally, and freeing yourself to achieve is the secret to anyone's success, and deciding to do this can come when you least expect it.

When you look at people who many regard as successful, they basically have the same traits in common: A yearning to excel, drive to accomplish, the ability to filter out those things and people seeking to distract them from reaching their goals. All of them can focus on what they want like a laser, never letting any road blocks get in their way. They never take "no" for an answer, and are always looking for fresh, new opportunities. But, their successes would've never begun if they didn't have a big dream churning inside.

If you're going to dream, you might as well dream big. Over the past year or so I've made a conscious effort to study the ways of the extremely successful. One thing about all of them is they never limit themselves to how far they can go in life. Donald Trump didn't stop with one, small building. He envisioned constructing many large ones and wanting to brand his name, which is well-known across the globe. Warren Buffett bought one company, then another, all the while keeping to the same business principles he started with. Bill Gates is, of course, a genius but soon realized during his early career that a PC and its software was something every household in the world would one day need. These people envisioned doing something amazing, had incredible creative abilities, skills, some luck, and dared to imagine.

Being a Donald Trump or Warren Buffett is more than most could ever conceive of. But, it all starts with where you're sitting at this very moment, and making the most of the God-given skills, and talents, you happen to be born with. Some don't even realize the unbelievable gifts they actually possess. And right now, they're just waiting to be tapped, transporting you toward never-ending horizons.

One of my favorite authors is, John Grisham. In the early days of his career, Mr. Grisham was a trial lawyer in Mississippi, working 60-70 hours per week inside a small, local law firm. One day, he attended a trial and listened to the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim, imagining what would happen if the child's father took revenge and murdered the people responsible. Writing at this time was a hobby, and one he practiced for three years while churning out, "A Time To Kill" inspired by the trial he observed. This book was rejected by many publishers before being picked up by a small, limited press. He also sold copies from the back of his car and inside bookstores, particularly one in Memphis where he still pays them back by doing personal signings every time he publishes a new book. After finishing, "A Time To Kill" and while working hard trying to market his name, he wrote his second novel, "The Firm." Somehow, the manuscript landed on the desks of Hollywood and the rest is history, making John Grisham one of the most beloved storytellers of all time.

Mr. Grisham had a dream, and dared to tap into his deep well of unused talent. Could he ever have imagined developing his hobby into what it is today? Thankfully, for us who enjoy his work, we're glad he did. But, if he hadn't taken those early steps of faith, written with a deep determination, envisioned his dreams, and kept pushing forward, over 250 million of his novels would've never been sold or made into movies. He represents, to me, what happens when you dare to dream big and go for what you want. A little bit of timing and luck along the way didn't hurt either!

You can dream big at any age and it doesn't matter when you begin. It's your individual right to do so, because you, and you alone, are the only person who can make it happen. Your past lies behind you, it's all about what you want for your future.

Due to the downturn in the economy, countless numbers are staring down the barrels of foreclosures, layoffs, and extreme financial strain. Many are not imagining things getting any better for a long while. But, could this period be looked upon as an opportunistic window, revisiting those dreams and desires which have lay dormant for so long? Perhaps now is the perfect time to explore that new career, start your own business, go back to school and develop new skills, write that book you've always thought of, make the move to a new state, or delve into your hobbies turning them toward a lucrative income.

Right now, there are people inside their homes and places of business who feel stuck, doing something they just know they weren't meant to do. It's a feeling of knowing there's a lot more to this thing we call life, and it's boiling inside them ready to explode. All they have to do is take that first step, grab their faith, and plunge ahead.

Good luck wih your inner dreams!

To learn more about Randy Mitchell's writing, visit his website @