I want to be a serial entrepreneur, retired by 40, best-selling author on New York Times bestselling list, have 5 kids by 40, own a portfolio of houses, learn a second language, lose weight, travel the world, compete in the olympics, get a degree etc. The list goes on. Does any of this sound familiar? Me too!
I am a self-confessed dreamer. What I’ve noticed over the years is that not all my dreams come true. I have read a lot of books on positive thinking, the law of attraction, personal effectiveness etc. You name it, I’ve probably read it (keep your book recommendations coming in though). No matter how much I reiterated and visualised my dreams, some of them just did not seem to want to materialise. I realised that there was a missing link. I know I can do and be all these things that I dream about so I just had to figure out what was in my way. Recently, I began noticing a common trend in articles and books I’ve been reading about successful people. The shocking thing is, I think it’s always been there but I’ve just never noticed it before.
You may now be wondering, what is this missing link? Just get on with it and tell us. Well, the reason your dreams have not come true is not because you don’t dream big enough. It’s not because you are not gifted enough or not knowledgeable about what you want to achieve. It’s not because it’s a racist, hostile world. And it’s certainly not because you are not doing something about them. These are just some of these excuses I made over the years.
The reason some of our dreams haven’t come true is because we have not persistently done something about them. Yes, it’s as simply as that. I know I followed through on some of my dreams – I call these the “safe” dreams as they just required baby steps out of my comfort zone. These dreams are now my reality. I did not follow through on my “wow” dreams because they really mattered and needed me to leap out of my comfort zone. I was scared of putting myself out there and being criticised if I failed. My need to play it safe and be liked and accepted far outweighed anything else so I did not act on those wow dreams. The irony is that, our most challenging dreams are the ones that align us to our destiny and make as happy and fulfilled people. I believe that is why some so-called high achievers are still unhappy because although they seem successful to the world, they know in their hearts that they still have not reached their full potential. They know they are playing it safe! Having already achieved some of their dreams, they are technically not failures to the world so there is no pressure to change the status quo, except the persistent feeling of un-fulfilment that just won’t go away.
I decided to put this principle to the test on some of my dreams. Until a few weeks ago I was dreaming about writing. I just wanted to have a blog where I could share stories and insights on success. I talked about this and always thought I just had no time to write. Another excuse I used regularly was, who will want to read my blog anyway? There are thousands of articles out there on just about every subject. I now realise that I was speaking from a place of fear. I didn’t want to fail so I didn’t try to write. I struggled through my first blog despite these fears and viola! You are now reading my blog. I’ve started applying this to my wow dreams and I’m seeing result. Stay tuned for an update!
Your dreams are going to remain just that until you take decisive action to face that niggling fear and do it anyway. These are some of the challenges we all have to overcome in our quest for liberation. If it helps, take consolation in the fact that everybody is faced with the same challenges. Remember dreams are a dime a dozen, everybody has one. what sets the dreamers apart from the achievers is ACTION. I recommend Richard Branson‘s – Screw it, let’s do it. The tittle says it all.
My point is that every dream needs to be followed by persistent action. If you are not ready to follow through on what you say, then it is time to be honest and confess that you are not ready to step up. It really is up to you!
The best way to be effective with your actions is to brainstorm some plans and then ACT on those plans. As you go through this process, watch out for fear, procrastination and analysis paralysis. You don’t need a detailed step-by-step plan before you start acting. Waiting to figure out all the HOWs will cause you to procrastinate. Just commit to doing something about your dream every day/week and notice how seemingly random things happen to enable you to achieve that dream. Feel the fear but do it anyway!
Some things to reflect on this week?
Take a minute and make a list of the dreams you achieved and those that you have not.
What did you do differently with the dreams that you achieved?
What are you going to do about the dreams that you are yet to achieve?
Write down a high level action plan for your outstanding dreams?
Find people (coach, mentor, family members, anyone you can be accountable to) who can support you in making these come true.
Let’s Dream big but ACT even BIGGER!