- February 12, 2021
Everyone wants to chase their dreams, accomplish their potential, and live a full life. But that is easier said than done. The sad truth is that only a very small percentage of the world population ever reaches their best. Just as a lion in the wild gives up the chase of the gazelle when it becomes too swift, so are many dreams are forgotten when the chase gets too hard.
Many dreamers I have encountered have trouble connecting their ideas with real action. Even though they feel a great desire to do something, there is simply no drive to start working. This is often caused by a blinding lack of direction, or a constant mental grinding of the question “how?”
Deep down you know that you can do it; you have all it takes to live your dream life. Maybe you are even at a point where other people can see it as well. They tell you so all the time. But something keeps you from actually doing it. Actually taking that big first step that starts the journey. You are yet to figure out the metaphorical turning of the key to open the door and start exploring.
Know exactly what you want to do
Before you can answer the how of it, you must be clear about your dreams. What is it exactly that you are trying to do? What are you trying to achieve here? Can you say it in one sentence? No? Too complicated? Well then, how about a paragraph then?
The key to starting to chase your dreams is to know what your dreams really are. You think you know because you spend all your time thinking about it, but putting pen to paper (or thumb to keyboard) really makes you see things. Your dreams start to take shape as you fit them into your written life plan.
A great way to create a better fit between your dreams and your life plan is through dream planning. This is an activity through which you explore your aspirations and the skills and competencies you will need to get there. Dream planning goes well into the journal because it makes it an even more personal experience for you. It entails;
- Write down your mission statement
- Set your mission objectives (goals)
- Break down your goals into task lists
Start somewhere – ‘Just do Some’
The things many dreamers don’t realize is that you don’t do dreams; you do activities that add up to something bigger. This ignorance creates ample room for such destructive emotions as fear of the unknown, powerlessness, and self-doubt.
Accomplished motivational speakers keep saying that you should believe in yourself and “just do it!” That is true, but also very misleading. If it was so easy to do it, no one would ever need motivation. A better way to go about it is to “just do some” – with ‘some’ being a small task aimed at attaining your set goals.
The do some technique is borrowed from the S.O.M.E. strategy (Skills, Opportunity, Mindset, Experience) of freelance career planning. It also fits perfectly into what I like to call the dreamers quest. It goes like this;
- You build your skills
- Learn how to create (and take advantage of) opportunity
- Develop the right mindset (often 2nd & trickiest quest)
- Build your experience (capacity)
By following the S.O.M.E. strategy, it is easier to start chasing your dreams, even with the caveat that you must first develop the right skills and know-how to market them. At least this way you know what you need to do.
See it through – ‘Just Do It’
Living the dream demands a good balance between long-term vision and short-term execution. If you focus too much on the long-term vision, you might never start. If you get too lost in the details, you will derail your own progress. In this stage, you simply;
- Do the small tasks
- Make incremental progress over time
- Evaluate your progress every month, bimonthly, or quarterly
- Adapt to new challenges
The key to chasing dreams is clarity of purpose. Without clarity, it is impossible to develop all those high achiever qualities like focus, consistency, confidence, accountability, and progress. Trying to chase your dreams without having first gained clarity of purpose is like trying to drive through fog with your headlights off. It’s dangerous for everyone.
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