How to Fulfill Your Dreams
Nothing’s more painful than unfulfilled dreams.
Dreams slip away as time passes. Defeated dreamers roll over in bed one morning and say, “What’s the use. It’ll never happen.” But…
Leaders are dreamers and
deadlines turn dreams into reality.
Dreams without deadlines destroy people. Wishful thinkers choose talk over action. When someone tells you they have a dream, ask:
- How long have you dreamed your dream?
- What have you done to achieve your dream?
- How could you step toward your dream today?
Those who reject deadlines are dead in the water.
Three S’s for deadlines:
Small – Simple – Soon.
Most dreamers think too big. Pull your dream into today. Make it small and simple. When it comes to fulfilling dreams, soon always trumps later.
Small and simple enable soon.
Hang on to grand dreams that tease in the distance. But, break a small piece off for today.
“I’m not ready,” is the symptom of big and complex. Get to small.
How small is big enough:
- Small is big enough to scare but not paralyze.
- Small is simple enough to do now.
- Small enables you to say, “I’m ready,” and “I can do that.”
I have a daily deadline that scares but doesn’t paralyze. It’s also simple enough to do now. Every morning I type three hundred words and click publish.
Fear of simplicity:
Simplicity doesn’t feel important enough. Complex make you feel important but stall progress.
Phony dreamers look for excuses to avoid action.They say things like, “It’s too easy,” and “That’s not enough.” But, simplicity enables soon and soon enables progress.
Small simple deadlines get you up in the morning. Soon enables success.
How are dreams achieved?
“Nothing is more painful than unfulfilled dreams” is really powerful. I would add one more here- Nothing is more powerful than unfulfilled dreams. Unfulfilled dreams are great motivators for those who have strong will power to achieve it. Those who only wish, may have painful period since they do not have direction and deadline. I agree that anyone can dream and keep on rolling on the bed, but dream without action could be reactive to self.
It is good step to start small with near deadlines. This will provide confidence to start big. Thinking to start big may be difficult initially, so, it is better to start small. Even more important is to start something as soon as possible.
I think when we attach some meaning to our dreams, it provide direction and values to our effort. Meaningless dream just based on someone perception or expectation may not work well. So, I strongly believe that dreams should be inside-out driven. Dreams should inspire and create a feeling of proud. When dreams can touch our hearts, it will be powerful and we put all possible effort to achieve them.
Glad you added, “Unfulfilled dreams are great motivators” It’s so true …they pull us forward.
Great topic Dan!!
For me make my WHY so big it jolts me out of the sack every morning! Check!
For u? For u to decide but this making my why epic is working quite nicely for me thank you very much!!!
Helping to change, for the better, our pathetic Leadership Paradigm, if I can even call it that, help out a single mom and her boys and give “Everyman” a chance to give and feel they matter!
Yeah I got a massive WHY, stay tuned!
Next I got to find a dude or dudess who has DONE something. Not written about it, talked about it, dreamed about it!! No DONE it!!!!
World I present to you my guy, Bob Chapman!!!
Go ahead show me a dude, father of 6, still married to the same woman leading a company with 7000 employees getting the results Barry Wehmiller gets!!!
Go ahead show me a better person to emulate!!!! You can’t they don’t exist or i would be emulating them!! Lol
Some even doubt his credintuals if you can even possibly wrap your brain around that!!!!! Contempt prior to investigation is alive and we!!!!
So make your why big enough to cause you to act everyday! Passionately!! Pick a person with the results you desire and emulate them!
Three frogs on a log, one decides to jump in da pond. How many frogs on the log?
3 deciding ain’t DOING!!!!
Me I am doing promise!! Stay tuned sports fans!!!
Thanks Dan great topic today!!!
in the log?
A big why without a what is useless.
For a very long time I have dreamed of sailing across an ocean. A week from today I leave for the Canary Islands to join my friend Dick Leighton to help him sail his catamaran Van Kedisi across the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of my dreams that is coming true.
We are writing about the adventure at:
Congratulations. Thanks for sharing your adventure!
Your “small-simple-soon” statement is powerful. For dreams to become reality, they need to be executed – otherwise they are only wishes. Unrealized dreams can generate depression and bitterness, especially when they were attached to aspirations that were deeply held by the dreamer.
Large projects need to be broken down into a series of smaller ones for several reasons:
1) The end result of large projects is usually substantial change. If there is complexity and risk, the change will loom far more than reward, and cause fear.
2) It is hard to grasp the entirety of large projects in the mind. High-level managers may trivialize by oversimplification, and not give enough resources to get it done well. People doing the work may see the huge mountain in all its gory detail, and be frightened by the enormity of the elephant, rather than eating it bite by bite. This can breed resistance.
3) There is research to the effect that ad hoc projects often start with an enthusiastic meeting, but people don’t really grasp the scope, so work on other more pressing things until somewhere around the middle of the allotted time period. Someone in the group will begin to question the timetable and call a meeting. A flurry of activity will follow, with emphasis deadlines, rather than quality of execution, becoming more probable as time progresses, and other projects being set aside while the new pressing project is executed. Breaking down large projects into a series of measurable projects is a good cure for this, as it maintains a constant, manageable, and productive level of urgency.
4) Celebrating early victories builds team morale, if that celebration does not become a source of complacency. Every celebration needs to have 4 components: a) a look back at what was done b) a look at where we are vs. the future vision c) a statement that the future is attainable, even though getting there may be difficult d) a promise that the leader will be there to accompany the team in its journey, and will provide necessary resources.
Thanks again for an excellent post, Dan.
You’ve added so much to the discussion. There’s a little nugget in #4 that I love. “…if the celebration does not become a source of apathy.”
Heidi Halverston in “Focus” talks about thinking about how far we have to go. If all we do is celebrate how far we’ve come we grow apathetic.
John Kotter says the same thing. No will to change can come with the apathy produced by a lack of sense of urgency.
Unfortunately, although it seems self-evident, I did not understand that celebrating success without a look forwards towards the next goal would favor poor performance until Kotter’s writing opened my eyes.
History is replete with such stories, from Israel after the battle of Jericho, Santa Anna after the battle of the Alamo, and every company that got complacent and lost its ability to compete.
Powerful message here, Dan. Thank you for this post.
Thanks, Dan. I think this is my favorite post to date. Dreams kept in the future are simply fantasies. Dreams need to be pulled into the here-and-now, so that that every day we can take some small (or big) step towards its fulfillment. That’s where patience comes into play.
I’m going to send this post around our organization. Thanks again!
This is an excellent, and somewhat painful, post. Too long have I let my dreams pass me by. Not anymore
Very well chosen topic. This is something most people can relato to. Many of us have the feeling we could do more trying to fulfill our dreams. Not everyone might be living a life they are not satisfied with. What to do in that case? Forget the old dream and find a new one. It might not be too late.
Nicely done, sir!
Nice REAL nice… I’ll share this with my Korean University students.
You have tackled a simple but tough subject with clarity
Kouzes and Posner have the largest leadership database around and when you ask them how do you tell if someone is a leader they say “he/she has followers.” You only have followers if you have a vision or picture of the future that people can see and that draws them in.
Without saying it directly your 3’s, how small is big enough and fear of simplicity provide us with specifics for how to tackle the motivation of others. Motivation is another leadership essential that requires thoughtfulness, timing and testing of your assumptions. In a succinct but “followable” way you have written a prescription for us to test and see if it works with real people that have real work to get done.
This is great stuff! Thanks for sharing.
This is a couple days old but it’s very well put, timely, needed!