Dreams can become reality but it takes more than wishing. It takes work.
We’ve heard the words before:
“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” —Farrah Gray
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” – Zig Ziglar
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
– Mark Twain
“Live the life you have imagined.” –Henry David Thoreau
“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become
limitless.” –Jamie Paolinetti
Inspiring, aren’t they? But, the reality is, the majority of people who try to their dreams fail. We only hear about the success stories. We never hear the back stories – the struggles, rejections and failed attempts.
We like to think that if we have the courage to throw caution to the winds and strike out to live our destinies, the universe will reward us. After all, we deserve it.
That only happens in the movies. In movies, dream come true. We forget that movies are created to give people hope, something to believe in, and an escape from the reality of their daily lives.
In real life, we write our own script, and quite often, we wing it. Fly by the seat of our pants. Take things as they come.
When it comes to living your dreams, I much prefer the words of Paul Valery, a French poet who died before most of us were born. He said,
“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
I would encourage everyone who wants to pursue their dreams to give it a shot and to give it all they’ve got. But I would add one important caveat: Wake up and act wisely. Treat your dreams as you would your business; and that requires not only work, but proper scripting:
- Set your long term and short term goals, and commit to them. Break them down into viable chunks and for each chunk, list out potential obstacles that need to be overcome and prepare for each one. What’s your Plan B?
- You need a business plan. Living your dreams isn’t a matter of wish fulfillment. It takes both dollars and good sense:
- Your dream is your vision. Who else can benefit if you make it come true, Who needs it? Create a buyer persona. Is there a viable market? If you’re not sure, perhaps a feasibility study is in order.
- Keep your day job. Always leave your options open. You not only need the money to get you from A to B, but time to test the waters to see if your dream really has volition.
- Do you have enough money? Do you need to finance? Borrow?
- What about resources? Do you need to staff? Relocate? Who can help you – and at what expense?
- What about time? Do you have enough of it? Will you need to reorganize your life to make the time? Will that impact your family as well? To what extent and do you have their support?
- How long will it take?
- What will life look like if you succeed?
- What will life look like if you don’t?
Don’t delude yourself. Just because you have a good script doesn’t mean it won’t need editing along the way. You may also find that you need to incorporate a plot twist or two to accommodate your players or some unexpected flubs.
Those to whom success appears to have come easy and effortless likely did a lot of rewrites along the way and a lot of scenes were cut or written out of the storyline because it detracted from the overall message they wanted to convey – and what we, as viewers, buy into. All we see is the final product. We don’t get to see all the struggles, rejections and failures on the way to the grand finale, which is what we remember most. They’re there, but how the story impacts and inspires us is what we remember best.
Whether seen or unseen, there are always challenges. Your attitude and determination makes a key difference.
You may win. You may also lose. Regardless, you will always gain by the process.
And if you achieve your dream and find out it’s not what you thought it would be? Remember what the Dalai Lama said:
“Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”