Our Dream Theory

How to dream and turn dreams into reality

We’re here to help you create that dream and discover the passion that makes life worth living. When you tap into this passion, suddenly things like school, work and exercise aren’t chores anymore, but the tools to making dreams a reality and building an amazing life. 

Our theory is a simple 3-step process. First, you need a dream. Second, you need a plan to make your dream real. And, third, you need to take the steps of action to make your dream a reality. Along the way, you’ll need to learn how to overcome obstacles, and — of course — the whole time you’ll want to have fun doing it.

1) Dream it! 2) Map it! 3) Play it!

Our dream theory is supported by our original evidence-based dream research, the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and social-emotional learning. In fact, all our work (books, games, activities) is scientifically proven to increase optimistic thinking, perseverance, mindfulness, hope and more. 

Games, activities and stories are central to our philosophy of learning, because they all involve play, and playing is scientifically proven to help you learn. Even animals play games. You can see that we included the idea of a game in our very own logo. Our logo is a crossword puzzle, and it reinforces the three steps of turning dreams into reality.

Below we outline our dream theory.

How to turn dreams into reality

The simple 3-step formula

Step 1 Dream it! Symbolized by the dream cap, thinking hat.

Step 1: Dream it!

Everything begins with a dream. Take the first step in creating a new reality — dream big! If you could do anything, what would you do? This first step is to find a dream that you are passionate about, something that you would walk to the ends of the earth to accomplish. We wrote a book all about step 1 called — of course — Dream It! In our book, we break the dream process down into three mini steps. 

A bucket of sand with a starfish and some sea glass.

Fill your bucket

The first mini step to dreaming is to collect as many ideas as possible. We call this filling the bucket, or you could call it brainstorming. 

A pile of sand filled with objects, like: starfish, rake, shell, sand dollar, sea glass and more.

Sort your treasure

Now that we have a bucket full of ideas, we need to sort them out. Which ones are our favorites, and which ones match our values?

A sandcastle made out of sand and other found objects, like: starfish, bottle, sand dollar and sea glass.

Build a dream

Finally, we take the best of the best and we recombine the ideas until we get that AHA! feeling. 

Step 2 Map it! Symbolized by the paper hat made from a treasure map.

Step 1: Map it!

Once you choose a dream and commit to making it happen, now it is time to begin planning your journey. What steps do you need to take to reach your destination? What supplies will you need to bring with you? When will you begin? What will you do in case of bad weather? First, declare your commitment to the world. The more people you inspire, the merrier.

Plan for what you know

The first mini step to mappping is to make a plan of everything we know that we need. One example is the 5 w’s. We can outline the who, what, why, when and how.

Plan for what you know that do not know

After outlining what we know, we will find holes. Now our job is to make a plan on how to fill those holes. For example, we can ask a friend for advice. 

Plan for what you don't know that you don't know

Finally, we need to create a backup plan. If we are setting out on a new adventure, even if that is to be a cupcake baker, we are bound to run into unknowns. 

Step 3 Play it! Symbolized by the Jester Hat

Step 3: Play it!

Once you have mapped (planned) your dream, you just have to do it. Sounds easy, right? The only thing separating you from your dream is participation — taking steps of action, trying and modifying, overcoming physical and emotional obstacles, and remembering to savor the accomplishments every step of the way.


Imagine going to an amusement park. We want to ride all those rides as fast as possible. When turning dreams into reality, more is better! 


Even though we want to turn dreams into reality as quickly as possible, we want to do it right. If we are painting a painting, we want it to be beautiful. 


This may sound obvious, but we want to have the most fun possible. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but if we are going to do it, we want it to be worthwhile in the end. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Our Dream Theory also aligns with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT is very simple. It says that if we change the way act or the way we think, it changes how we feel. Our co-author Dr Sara, uses this theory in her daily practice teaching kids how to overcome chronic pain. When it comes to dreams, we use our games, activities and stories, which are thoughts and actions, to inspire passion. In turn, passion can inspire hope, perseverance and much more. This is the most basic description. You can find much more about this topic online. 

A heart, foot step and brain representing feelings, actions and thoughts. They all point to each other illustrating how one affects another.

Social Emotional Learning

The final part of our Dream Theory is social-emotional learning. Our books, games and activities are designed to improve key social-emotional areas related to making dreams a reality. And, our original dream research used assessment tools like DESSA and Panorama Education to demonstrate improvements in these areas, particularly: perseverance, optimistic thinking, growth mindset and hope. We also demonstrated improvements in both quality and quantity of dreams, as well as improvement in the overall school atmosphere.  

Our work primarily involves the categories of self-Awareness, which includes:

  • Linking feelings, values, and thoughts.
  • Having a growth mindset.
  • Developing interests and a sense of purpose.

Self-Management, which includes:

  • Managing one’s emotions.
  • Exhibiting self-discipline and self-motivation.
  • Setting personal and collective goals.
  • Using planning and organizational skills.
  • Showing the courage to take initiative.
And Responsible Decision-Making, which includes:
  • Demonstrating curiosity and open-mindedness.
  • Learning how to make a reasoned judgment after analyzing information.
  • Identifying solutions for personal and social problems.

Below is the social-emotional wheel from our partners at CASEL Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. (We are part of their SEL Provider’s Council.) If you want to learn more about social-emotional learning, we recommend CASEL’s Fundamentals of SEL.

Social-emotional wheel showing the 5 main areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.
The Dream Workshop activities. There is an ice breaker, 3 worksheets and a certificate of achievement.

The Dream Workshop

Learn the whole process of turning dreams into reality. Try our evidence-based Dream Workshop. Learn more and download the free PDF.

Dream It!

Or, do a deep dive into learning how to dream and discover your passion in life with our book “Dream It!” Published by Magination Press an imprint of the American Psychological Association.