How To Build Strong Foundations Underneath Your Dreams

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Many of us are expert “dreamers.” We have so many dreams for our life that they could fill entire libraries. Many of us love to dream—at night or during the day, it doesn’t matter. We love it.

Some of us just like to dream the dream without actually trying to realize the dream. But some of us not only dream the dream, we are in honest pursuit of our dreams.

But those who are in honest pursuit of their dreams might find themselves stumbling upon the following questions:  How do I make sure that I’m building the strongest foundation for my dream? How do I make sure that my commitment to fulfilling my dream is kept strong over the long haul? What exact “foundation” is strong enough to keep my “castles in the air” in tact?

The answer to all these questions, I have found, is simple:  in order to make sure your dream has a proper foundation under it, you must begin by speaking and living out your truth.

What Is Your Truth?

We must admit that we may not even know our own truth.

We may have already lied to ourselves so much–or believed the lies of others so much–that now we have no idea what’s our lie and what’s our truth. We’re completely lost in our own fiction. So much so, that if someone asked us today what it is we really wanted in life, we might stare at them blankly and say:

“I don’t have the slightest clue.”

At that moment, we are drowning in our lies, or the lies of others, and we don’t even know it. (Otherwise, we would’ve been able to answer that question very easily.)

The more you lie to yourself the more you begin to believe your lie as your truth. The more others lie to you the more you might accept their lies as your truth, too.

As we can see, the question “what is my truth?” turns out to be a whole lot harder to answer than we first thought.

Access To Our Own Truth Is Constantly Being Threatened

Many of us just assume we know our own truth. But, unless we’ve done a lot of work on ourselves, most of us end up finding, to our great surprise, that we don’t really know our own truth.

But should we be so surprised?

How can we know our own truth when so many people are telling us lies? Movies, television, advertisements, the internet—all of these types of media are constantly telling us who we should be, what we should look like, what we should wear, what kind of phone we should own, what kind of career we should have, how our family should act, how our friends should behave, etc.

We’re being bombarded with lies on a daily basis, so it’s no wonder that we’ve become so estranged from our absolute truth over the years.

How To Find Your Truth

Whenever you’re about to make an important life decision, please remember to ask yourself this question:  “What is my truth?”

Repeat this question to yourself over and over again and provide a gut-response each time you ask it. Do this until you stop at an answer that keeps repeating itself over and over again–and never changes.

For example:


What is my truth?

I’m an actor. I love to act.  I’m also a writer. I enjoy writing.

What is my truth?

Okay, I enjoy acting.  I feel alive and happy when I act. But I am really in love with writing, and I feel aligned with my purpose when I write.

What is my truth?

Okay, acting is more of a hobby for me. Something I enjoy doing, but just for fun. Not for work. Writing is my passion.

What is my truth?

Writing is my passion.

What is my truth?

Writing is my passion.


Once you no longer have to provide a different response to the question “What is my truth?” then that’s when you’ve reached your absolute truth.

In the end, the truth, when you know it, always holds up to a tough line of questioning. A lie, on the other hand, often quakes and crumbles under serious questioning.

How The Truth Can Cure Your Writer’s Block

Often times, when I don’t know what to write, I’ll ask myself to go directly to the truth of what I’m trying to say.

I skip all the formalities—all the lies—and get straight to the absolute truth.

When I do that, I find that I write with greater ease.

If I speak the truth, I also don’t need to put in that much effort, because my readers instantly recognize the truth when it’s spoken.

The truth doesn’t need much explanation. That’s because the truth isn’t heavy, it’s very light. (If you feel heaviness when you tell the truth, that’s only the feeling of the lies imploding, not the weight of the truth itself.)

When I speak my truth, my readers are prompted to speak their truth as well, so that speaking the truth creates this wonderful, virtuous cycle of truth-telling.

Do you have no idea what to write today? It’s simple:  just write the truth. (It’s always the thing you were meant to write anyway.)

Would you like to write with greater ease today? It’s simple:  just write the truth. (You write with greater ease when you’re speaking the truth.)

Speaking The Truth Is The Best “Marketing Strategy” You Could Ever Have

The amazing thing about the truth is that it “advertises” itself.

This is because to speak your truth (and especially to live it) is to have a powerful, transforming effect on the world.

The ancient wisdom teachers, for instance, did not need to disseminate the truth—the truth disseminated itself. Each wisdom teacher needed only to speak the truth once, before the truth became a “viral sensation.”

As soon the truth was spoken, it was heard around the world.

Unlike a lie, the truth sticks to us. The truth stays with us and we return to it over and over again over time.

Why? Because, secretly, we are in love with the truth. It makes us feel alive and vibrant. We can’t get enough of it.

In a time and place where the truth is scarce, when we stumble upon it, it’s like we’ve stumbled upon an oasis in the middle of the desert. We fall to our knees in humility, and drink from the truth as if we’re a weary traveler who hasn’t had water for days. We swallow the truth with pride. We wash our faces in it. We are refreshed by the truth.

We may forget the truth, briefly. But soon, we may return to it, because we know we cannot live without it. This is the truth.

People go searching (sometimes desperately) for the truth because they know, somehow, that the truth is meant to free them, to heal them, to “awaken” in them something they cannot describe with words.

(Maybe all we are meant to do is to live and be “the truth.”)

People seek wisdom teachers because these teachers are experts at cutting straight through the lies and arriving directly at our truth.

People seek wisdom because they know, somehow, that the truth survives, while everything else fades away. They know that the truth is made up of the toughest of “dream-building” materials. (The steel of the soul, maybe.)

How To Build Strong Foundations Underneath Your Dreams

Although we might not like to admit it, we all know that the truth is the strongest foundation for our dreams. A lie simply cannot sustain our dreams over the long haul, no matter how beautiful, shiny, or impressive the lie may seem.

That’s because we know what kind of shoddy material that a lie is made up:  a dangerous synthetic that eventually fades, implodes, corrodes, crumbles, or erupts—leaving us far worse than before.

The truth, on the other hand, spreads like wildfire throughout the eons, and keeps shining bright despite everything that attempts to cast a shadow over it.

How do you know if you’ve spoken the absolute truth?

It will astound you. You will stand in awe of the lightness of your truth.

Also, since your words now carry the truth, they will spread. Faster than the speed of sound. Faster than the speed of light.

Scientists may one day discover that there is something that travels faster than the speed of light–and that will be the truth. Maybe this is because the truth is the brightest light there ever was.

much lightness,


What tips do you recommend for finding and living out your truth? Please share your wisdom with us in the comments below!

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25 comments on “How To Build Strong Foundations Underneath Your Dreams

  1. wow. thank you so much for this post. i am working on a draft i want to publish soon and this was so helpful and inspiring. thank you!

  2. Karen Wan says:

    Like your observation: Scientists may one day discover that there is something that travels faster than the speed of light–and that will be the truth.
    Great post!

  3. Ollin

    This post speaks to me in more ways than I can express today. Thank you so much for speaking the truth which is helping me embrace the truth within me.


  4. […] get this post posted when another message from the blogosphere reaches my mailbox. Please read “How to Build Strong Foundations Underneath Your Dreams”, a post that speaks the truth. Rate this: Share […]

  5. Finding my own truth has been a difficult journey for me; I’m not even sure I’ve found it yet. But here’s what I’ve learned: Discovering your truth is kind of like Paulo Coelho’s book ‘The Alchemist’. You don’t go searching for it because it’s right where you already are. In other words, finding the authentic self is not about becoming some ideal person that you imagine yourself to be; it’s about figuring out who you already are and then becoming that.

  6. inkspeare says:

    Great post! I agree with Aaron, sometimes I wonder the same thing, as if peeling layers of truth. This is an awesome technique. I read once that if you go back to your early years (childhood) and how you use to play (the things you loved and enjoy) you find many clues of your purpose and truth. As for me, all I can remember is loving pens, books, and hoarding pencils as well, and enjoying the smell of ink and fresh sharpened pencils. My mom told me that I used to “steal” pens from my Dad’s shirt pocket. Is my truth being a writer? Who knows. Is there a deeper truth? Who knows. For now, I am enjoying this truth, it is all I can do.
    Ollin, you have a gift with words and you inspire people – I see the inspirational writer in you. Blessings.

  7. Patrick says:

    I’ll have to come back to this later… because now all I can think of is “my ‘T'” by Lady Chablis in the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 🙂

  8. Yvette Carol says:

    Yes Ollin, as they say ‘the truth will out’. Nice piece today. I liked that. The truth will always resonate. You know I believe 2012 especially is about being truthful, with ourselves and others. Of course as writers we need honesty desperately, or we will not improve. I find in my life, that I value those who can tell me the truth more than anyone else. I had a sad realization this year, when my brother said something to me, and it was obvious that he had not been truthful with me before that time. I realized, because of that, therefore, that we only had a shallow relationship. The deepest relationships in my life contain not just ‘soft love’ but ‘tough love’ as well. And tough, means honest!
    Yvette Carol

    • Ollin says:

      Yes, I think you just proved the truth IS a journey–at least with relationships, for sure. You’re right, in all relationships we are always working to get closer and closer to each other’s truth–and it’s not always evident at first who we really are with each other. Takes a long time to build trust I guess.

  9. Tammy says:

    Whew! That was a long post Ollin. I have found it easiest to find my truth when I think about my children. When I think deeply about what type of people that I want them to become, then it centers me on my own values.

    • Ollin says:

      What a great thought. And for those who don’t have children like me, you might imagine your future children, what time of person do you want to be for them?

  10. Sunshine says:

    Is finding the truth a journey? Yes, I believe so if, one chooses truth to be the purpose of the journey. Some may not desire truth, or as you wrote, may not know what truth is, but hopefully, as a artist, in whatever medium we are creating in, one finds inspiration both from truth and goodness. 🙂

  11. natsbats says:

    Hey! Thanks for an amazing post! Mind if I ask, are we sometimes too quick to find out our own truth? Should we wait till we fully discover who we are before asking these questions? Well anyway, thanks for reading this! Love your blog. 🙂

    • Ollin says:

      The faster you get to the truth, the better, I think. I think it’s important to get in the habit of asking: what is my truth? The answers may lead us to a lie right now, but over time, the lie will crumble under tough scrutiny.

      It’s okay if finding the truth is a journey–and it’s okay to doubt whether something is your truth or not.

      But in my experience, when you know your truth. There is no doubt. You know. So just get to the point where you feel like you deeply know your truth, until you get there–you got some work to do.

  12. […] post in Courage2Create.  It is a beautiful and inspirational post – here’s the link.  C2C is one of my favorite blogs because you never know when Ollin is inspired to write the […]

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