The human mind needs very little encouragement to explore. Even the most introverted of minds has the ability to wander off once in a while. We love to dream [have a vision] of possibilities. And dreams excite us!
In 1980, my brother and I hunkered down in a hidden corner of our garden with a bundle of pencils and a table-top sharpener. Our dream? To grind the pencils into saw dust. The goal was a pile of sawdust for us to flip somersaults on. We anticipated an afternoon of fun and play.
Needless to say, we failed miserably! Fifty pencils later, all we had to show for our effort was a few handfuls of shavings and graphite. And boy didn’t we get a hiding from my mom.
What happens many times is that our dreams develop in the chasm of chaos. There is too much ‘noise’ around us that clamors for our attention. We know what we want, but qualifying what we need [the critical bit] becomes and elusive mirage. Desperation to survive clouds your desire to thrive.
And this is where we lose the plot. When we dance to the seemingly urgent rhythm of people around us. We begin to dance to other people’s drums and completely forget that we too have a drum to beat. And that drum is what adds to the melody of life.
So, how do you begin to realize your dream? Here are the five important steps to get you on your way:
1. Define your Purpose – Why do you exist? I think this is the most powerful dimension on human existence. When you know your why, you are on fire. Nothing can stop you from achieving what you set your mind to do. You have a sense of resolve or determination. “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how,” said Friedrich Nietzsche.
2. Develop a Strategy – When you can respond to why you exist, it is time to create a master plan, grand design, or game plan for your life. Have a very clear outline of vision and values. These become your life’s compass. Without these, we can only drift out in open water on a hope and a limb. “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win,” Sun Tzu.
3. Don’t complicate your Goals – Many people I have talked to find it challenging to define personal goals. However, when you have a defined purpose and clear strategy, you will find your personal goals driving your work. Identify the basic building blocks of your reason for being. My annual goals, for example, are around four focal areas: business growth, family, personal development/rest, and community engagement. Everything else revolves around these.
4. Draw your Plan – It is a diagram or list of steps with action, timing and resources (tools, people, money…) through which you expect to achieve a given goal. This is the set of activities that you need to do to achieved your desired results. It is the what and how of your goals. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin.
5. Get it done – Finally, everything you do happens within a continuum. Well-crafted plans are on gradual transition of my activities that build up to the desired result. That is why it is important for you to prioritize what needs to come first. Share your plan with someone who can hold you to account for your goals. Then get it done! “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero,” Chuck Palahniuk.
We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” ~Jesse Owens
Do you have a dream that has stalled? Click here and share how you will use these five steps to kick-start your dream again.
photo credit: David Mark via photopin (license)