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.
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:
- 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?
- Choose now. Do you dream of efficient organizations that run smoothly? Do something to enhance efficiency, today.
- Help someone who is doing what you dream to do.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Thanks for this post, Dan. Since retirement, I’ve stayed busy in a variety of activities, but always searching for some new role in which to more fully utilize my passion and talents. I haven’t found it yet, but this post has jarred me about how to focus on achieving a new dream. Much wisdom here!
Hi Dan, I applaud you putting this technique out there as it provides the stepping stones for people to move ahead whether that be toward a larger dream or just ahead. Progress or learning is one of the most positive influences in life and achieving something that has meaning to the person is a great motivator.
Faithfulness with the small things. Many people want to accomplish great things; however, many fail to understand the significance in how faithfulness with the small things eventually results in the big things. Whenever I experience frustration in trying to fulfill my dreams, I take inventory in whether or not I am being faithful in doing the small things that are needed. What are some of the small things that we need to be faithful with?
Going again conventional wisdom is not so easy and you put it and explain effortlessly, Dan ! I truly appropriate your way of thinking BIG but have miles stones to tally time to time.
Dan !! Great Post of achieving the dreams in manageable pieces. it is good find out the other influence factors in this process.
I look at dreams–and personal and professional fulfillment–like this.
Paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit, but does not ignite at 450 degrees. Now imagine being lost in a forest, cold, needing warmth. We try to create fire by rubbing two sticks together, causing friction in the hope of igniting some paper and leaves. Yes, we create “heat” by our efforts and even raise the friction up to 450 degrees, but no fire. Sadly, we quit in discouragement, not knowing the activation energy is 451 degrees, just one degree more. If we push a little harder and create a little more heat and raise the temperature one degree, the chain reaction occurs and the fire ignites—dreams are “real-ized.”
This is what I believe happens to our personal life and professional success. Some have the motivation and ignite! Others go most of the way and unfortunately turn back. The extra mile is measured in inches. It’s all about us and our desire.
One last thing, for generations dreamers have been telling us: “If we love life, life will love us back.”
Dream small, interesting. Not as effective, but I get it. In large dreams, there is much patience, persistence, even failure needed. If you cut a large dream into a journey of smaller ones on the way, then you can have both. I’m not sure God calls me to dream small. He deals with the impossible, so that He can take credit for it, not me. If you want to take credit, dream small, If you want to Give God Glory, dream big.
Dreams are cheap.
Implementation is costly.