Seven Ways to Win by Dreaming Small

I often spend time with young leaders who have big dreams, but don’t know what to do next.

You can aspire to change the world but until you change yourself, it’s a pipe dream. You can dream of climbing Mt. Everest, but until you climb the hill behind your house, you’re wasting your dream-power.

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It’s the small dreams that give us fits.

Big dreams are safe:

It’s easy to hide behind big dreams and explain why you can’t do anything. It takes more courage to dream small than big.

Big dreams are safe as long as you can’t act on them in the present.

Live your dream in small ways, today.

Small dreams are dangerous because there’s no excuse for delay.

Seven ways to win by dreaming small:

  1. Describe your dream with outward-facing language. Dream about serving people. Childish dreams are about receiving. Mature dreams are about giving. How will others be served if you achieve your dream?
  2. Choose now. Do you dream of efficient organizations that run smoothly? Do something to enhance efficiency, today.
  3. Help someone who is doing what you dream to do.
  4. Reject artificial goals. Don’t set out to become a millionaire or retire by the time you’re 40. If retirement is your goal, you’re already done.
  5. Break big dreams into achievable units. Do you want to impact the lives of leaders around the globe. Impact the lives of students in your community.
  6. Connect with others who share your passion. Dreams require teams. Define your dream in terms broad enough to be inclusive, but not so broad as to make them meaningless.
  7. Meet a pressing need. 

Bonus: Distill dreams into behaviors. What behaviors move you toward your dream?

What suggestions do you have for dreamers?

What is helping you achieve your dreams?

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