Fight For Your Dreams!
There are so many great quotes from Robert Kennedy about the power of dreams, and following your dreams, but he is also the one who said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Which is my note for today. It’s easy to say, dream big or go home. Dreaming is the easy part. It’s the doing that’s the scary part. Achieving dreams takes action—sometimes daring action. But there are also practical steps you can take to ensure your goals get a little closer within reach.
1-Knowledge: Become an expert on your dreams.
Figure out what you need to know. What is your subject? What is required? What’s going on in the field and related fields? Is there anyone on a similar path or who has succeeded in doing what you are attempting? Do you need to go to college, get a certificate, take a class, or master a skill? Is there a local organization that can help you? There are clubs for everything—you’d be surprised. Getting knowledge about your subject and the steps needed to succeed are easy things you can do today.
2-Network: Find the people who know things.
A former colleague use to tell me the secret to his success was asking himself, “Who do I know, who knows who I need to know.” (Thanks, Mr. Kinsey!) The point – you have friends, family and acquaintance who all have connections somewhere in their networks. Ask them to connect you to someone and then ask that person for a little bit of their time to learn from them and ask questions. People are usually very happy to share their knowledge, experience in a business, or mentor someone coming up the ladder. At the end, ask them if they know anyone they think you should talk to that can advise them further, or share a different piece of information. Likely they will make the introduction. Talking to people is inexpensive—though you should pay for “a coffee chat” or lunch, and send a nice thank you note afterward.
3-Plan: Create an action plan.
You might not know enough to make a year long plan, or design the plan that gets you to your goals. That’s okay. Mark the big goal on a timeline – with or without a date for that ultimate goal if you don’t know how long it will take. Then start at the beginning with your one-month goals and three-month goals. Even a simple plan with goals and timing will be helpful in getting you closer to understanding what you need in order to achieve the ultimate goal. That first plan can be a list or number of people to talk to by specific dates, the pieces of information you need to acquire; and the task of building the next three to six month plan. At the risk of being trite, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.” And then only 1,999,999 more steps to go.
4-Publicize: Share your dream and action plan.
Yes, this is a little scary too, but here’s why I suggest it. You need accountability. Put the plan on the refrigerator and look at every day. This is a reminder to you and your immediate family of what you need to do. This is your dream—and it’s important. It also helps you visualize doing and achieving your actions, and reminds you of how time is passing. Let your friends and/or family (the ones who can be trusted to be supportive—that’s a whole other article), know about your progress on your plan. As they see you accomplish the smaller goals they will also become invested in your bigger goals. There is something powerful about putting your intentions out there. And who doesn’t want a cheering section to celebrate with at the touchdown moment. Dreams are meant to be shared.
5-Repeat: Repeat, learn, and adapt.
Sometimes you can just put a dream out there and it all comes together. That’s less than 1% of the time. Most often, things take a lot more work and lot more time than we expect. Be in it for the long haul, but stay focused and action-oriented.
Get. Over. It. (I have to tell myself that all the time!)
No pity parties. Get over it and get back up. The only dreams you can achieve with tissues are if you use them to stuff your bra. (That’s an original quote, and having tried it, I can tell you it’s only an illusion.)
Here’s the bigger and better reality:
There is NO quota each year on how many dreams are allowed to be filled, or how many people get to be successful.
So why not you?