July 6



By lilly

July 6, 2024

dream, faith, NGO, stories, Toastmasters, UN, UNJob

Dreams and what they are made of.

Each night you go to sleep and sometimes you are aware that you have dreamed.

I know of people who wake up and have a plan about their day. They have a to-do list and meticulously go through it from start to finish.

I know people who wake up and reach for their mobile phone, or perhaps already have it in their hand as they turn off their alarm.

I know some people write their dreams as soon as they wake up. (I did this morning!)

And then there’s you and me who sometimes sleep in, sometimes get up early, sometimes have a late night, sometimes have an important event coming up, and sometimes don’t feel like getting out of bed at all.

Life and its dreams

We talk about dreams in the context of goals, desires, wishes, wants. What are you dreaming of? often translates to: What do you really want? If you’re reading my blog, which I’ve labelled Dream Job UN you may be thinking about international relations. You may think you could work for the United Nations. You may be curious about NGO work. You may already know somebody doing something in your areas of interest. Or you may be one of my former colleagues who has had a job at the UN. What now? Are you retired? Are you back home? Are you glad it is over? Do you wish you were still there?

Do you know how many people work for the UN?

It is just a fraction of the whole world’s population. Yet it was established to serve the people of this planet. The areas of concern span the globe, the generations and the ages.

I sometimes hear people criticize and want to abolish the UN. I recently spoke with a colleague who indicated that currently since two major nations have not paid their annual contribution there are severe staff shortages which impact the work.

You may have seen the recent work of art that has been added to the B Tower of the Vienna International Centre, (VIC), the UN in Vienna. The project is completely voluntarily financed with no impact on UN funding.

However other important areas of work are suffering as vacancies are not filled and current staff members are pushed to extremes.

My Dream

I imagine people who’ve worked at the UN, who then retire with a generous pension, contributing voluntarily to NGO activities, providing their expertise and experience to promote a better world. When I took over the position of secretary of the VNGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs in 2009, I inherited the legacy of the former secretary, a long-time staff member of the UN. I saw what an advantage it was to have the experience and expertise of having worked within the UN system to then support as a civil society representative, with this insider knowledge.

Women in Nuclear

This week I was at the VIC and I met the president of WiN-IAEA who thanked me for my voluntary contribution over the years. You can already start “tithing your time” if you want to call it that, giving voluntarily, even while you are working full-time. I was the unofficial photographer for WiN and set up the YouTube channel, simply because it was my passion. I was so inspired by the contents of the lunchtime meetings we had that I began filming them and wanted to share.


Similarly the Women’s Federation for World Peace. So many amazing meetings and so few people attending! I just had to film for my own gratification and then of course the next step was to create a separate YouTube channel.


Then there was Toastmasters. Shortly after starting to work at the IAEA in 2009, despite my short-term contract, I joined the VIC Toastmasters Club and immediately became the Vice President Membership. Two years later I was the president and initiated the leap into the digital age when I set up the YouTube Channel to share the recordings of the internal meetings. These are only visible to current members of the club on the internal club management system.

To live your dreams, it helps to clarify what they are. You may not wake up tomorrow in Fantasyland. You may receive an impulse which moves you one step closer to fulfilling your dream.


When you meet people who are doing what you want to do it can help substantiate where you want to go. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to go. The more interaction you have with your goals, dreams, vision, ideals, the more you will be propelled towards their fulfilment.


Believe in what you are meant to accomplish. Know that you and your passions are one and the same. You are destined to attain your highest self. When you dare to dream. Dare to dream bigger. Tell your stories. Tell them now and tell them tomorrow. Tell them as you create them and share them with your children.


Sometimes it helps to tell them before they happen. That just may enable them.

About the author

Consultant, mentor, motivational trainer

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