I like to refer to a dream as being an impossible goal. You may ask what is the point of having a dream that is impossible to achieve, and it is a great question.
The answer is that "living your dream" is about the journey, not the destination. When you are pursuing the impossible goal, you will be stretching yourself and the goals you set along the way are the points that will give you the satisfaction.
If you fall into the trap of setting easily achievable goals you will not grow yourself and can get to a stage where you feel that you have reached your pinnacle, and this is when life gets monotonous and boring.
The other benefit of pursuing an impossible goal is that you can leave a legacy, so even if you do not achieve your goal there will be other people to carry the torch and make it come true eventually.
What is your dream?
When you have goals and you are not aware of your current challenges that are preventing them from being achieved, you are likely to fall into the trap of changing the goals.
This is something I refer to as "Shiny Object Syndrome" where an easier option becomes appealing when the original goal is not being achieved. You may be asking what is wrong with this?
If you refer back to previous posts you will recall that I describe how goals are stepping stones, or check marks, on the journey to your dream. Therefore, if you give up on one goal and move onto an easier one, it may not be taking you towards your dream.
When you are aware of your challenges, you are able to change the plan that you are working on while remaining on route to your goal and dream. Think about this in terms of a GPS. When faced with an obstruction the system doesn't change your destination, it offers a detour that will take you around the obstacle and get you back on route to your original destination.
Yesterday I introduced you to this topic of goals and challenges by outlining what a goal is in relation to a dream. Today I want to move onto challenges.
Your current challenges are the things that stop you achieving what you want to do. Most people are not aware of what these are and therefore it is extremely difficult to over come them. We only know what we know and cannot fix what we are not aware of.
This is one of the reasons that I recommend completing a daily journal with reflection on what has happened during the day. This reflection time is what will help you to identify your challenges. Once you know what your challenges are you can start to work on how they can be overcome.
Don't take on too much at one time, select the challenge that will provide you with the most benefit by overcoming it, and work on that one.
Do you have a clear picture of your goals for the future and your current challenges?
Over the next few days I will be looking into this area in more detail so that you can start to be more intentional about these topics.
A dream is an over arching big picture view of what you would love to achieve. This should be a big stretch from where you are now and maybe something that you will not actually achieve in your lifetime.
Goals are the stepping stones, or check marks, that you will be achieving while on the journey towards your dream. These should be more short term targets and, while they should be a stretch, a goal is something that you want to be able to reach so that you are accomplishing things. This encouragement will keep you going through the tough times that will be inevitable while pursuing a big dream.
Start with the end in mind and then set a 3 month, a 6 month and a 1 year goal.
Do you complete a daily journal?
I will be honest, I have not been good at this in my past and now I see how it would have been of benefit because reflection is one of the keys to sustained success. I realize that if I don't take time to understand what I did, what worked, and what didn't work during the day, I am less likely to be able to improve and grow myself.
Your journal entry doesn't need to be long, in fact I would say that the more concise the better. Don't just reflect on what didn't go well, learning from our victories is just as important. When you understand what works you are able to replicate it in other tasks too.
Incorporate your daily 5 into your reflection, look for patterns, and work on what you can do to continually improve.
If you could create and design your ideal life what would it look and feel like?
This is a question that I ask all of my new clients so that they expand their thinking beyond the conventional way. It is true that what got you where you are today will not get you to where you want to go in the future - unless you are already in a position that you want to stay in!
The follow up to this question is: What action can you take today that will move you closer towards your ideal life?
I encourage you to come up with a list of your "daily 5" actions that you should be intentional about completing. Don't do this all in one go, start with one action then move onto 2, then 3, then 4 before you get to five.
So, what can you start doing today?
Do the choices that you make every day align with your purpose?
Maybe I should have asked first: Do you know your purpose?
Your purpose is why you are on this earth, what is your passion and desire. This is the root of all success and therefore it is a question that all of us should be able to answer. The challenge is that we are not conditioned to think about this as being important. We are encouraged to get a job that is safe and will pay the bills, does this sound familiar?
Studies show that around 80% of people are not happy in their jobs and this indicates to me that they are not following, or don't know, their purpose.
When your choices align with your purpose, your life will be more meaningful.
How do you feel about your life today?
Are you happy with the direction it is going?
Do you look forward to every day?
If you could create and design your ideal life, what would it look and feel like?
If you are anything like me, you will have experienced a time in your life where you knew you wanted more, you may be experiencing this now.
You could be at a crossroads, unsure as to which turn to take?
You may be questioning everything that is in front of you and possibly second guessing every situation?
Do any of these things sound familiar?
If they do, please know that you are not alone, many people, in fact I would go as far as to say that most people, feel exactly the same. The truth is, we are conditioned not to let this be known as it could be seen as a sign of weakness or a lack of gratitude for what we have.
Today was my last day helping the youth of Madison County, but I will be back!
I taught 4 x 6th grade classes today on leadership and influence and also read a story to pre-kindergarten kids.. The encouraging thing is that almost all of the 72 6th grade kids had a dream and so I told them how important it is to hang onto that dream and start taking actions that will carry them towards it.
I reflected afterwards about how these dreams disappear from most people as they grow up. When I ask this question in adult groups the number of people who have dreams is typically less than 5%. Why do we lose the dreams we have as children?
It reinforced my own dream: that every child should have the opportunity of a college education, regardless of finances. I am going to make this dream come true and start providing scholarships next year then leave a legacy that will continue after I am gone because these kids are our future and they have some great dreams that need to be nurtured.
Today was the first day of serving our youth with leadership lessons and training on understanding communication styles.
We visited two venues, one was an alternative school where we worked with middle school and high school students. It saddened me to see how they feel that there is no hope and how people tell them that they don't have a future. I could see that we made a difference in the 3 hours we were with them and I can only wish that this continues after we left.
The second place we visited was a juvenile detention center and my expectations were that this would be a tougher environment than the alternative school but I was wrong. The girls here had a better support system from the staff at the center and we could see right from the start that they were being taught good principals as it was written all over the gym walls. These girls have made mistakes but I can say with honesty that I feel they are on a path to learning and will be in a better place as a result.