How to Be a Dream-Executor

How to Become a Dream Executor

What things have you always wanted to do, but felt were just out of reach? A dream, a plan, a business? What trip have you wanted to take? Where would you go if you could go anywhere?

Dreaming is good. I believe God made us to dream, to weave ideas in and out, and to imagine the endless possibilities. I am good at dreaming. Dare I even say, I am great at dreaming.

It is the execution, however, where I tend to be a bit of a nadda. Sure, I’ve got the ideas, plans, hopes, and wishes, but when it comes time to actually do something about them, well, that is a whole ‘nother story. Realizing my dreams is where I fall flat… on my face.

I am married, though, to a big-time dreamer who is also a masterful dream-executor. He gets the dreams done. I have watched him in disbelief, fear, and wonder, as he plows forward towards what seems to be often unachievable goals. He then not only gets close, but he actually achieves his desired goal.

Since marrying Jonathan, I have become better and better at not just dreaming the dream, but doing the dream, so to speak. God has led me along and been pressing upon me the need to not only have my head in the clouds, but to also place my nose to the grindstone (sorry for two sorta cheesy phrases in one sentence).

So, how do dreams move from one’s mind to become a reality? How do you become a dream-executor?

Goals. I hate goals. I don’t even like the word. It automatically makes me feel uneasy and bound to something. I am a free-spirit, meaning I don’t like rules, regulations, or restrictions. Goals, in my mind, are an extension of those things. But here’s the deal–people who write down goals are more likely to achieve them. In fact, a recent study (with help from Sid Savara) showed that “Those who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more.” Writing down our goals helps us better visualize them and weed out the pseudo-dumb parts of our dream, assuming there are dumb parts. It also, for me at least, makes me feel somewhat accountable. I feel like if I’ve written it down, I have to take that particular dream a bit more seriously than if it were just floating around in my head.

Commitment. I know this is starting to sound like a motivational speech, but bear with me. I could never have stuck with blogging if I wasn’t fully committed. I would have quit by now, no question. Any of the things I have really loved and enjoyed in life, I have been committed to. Any jobs, any relationships, any ministry–commitment has been key.

Support. Your support can be anyone who supports you and, thus, supports your dream. Call it a support system,  an accountability partner, or my favorite… a dream buddy (I know it’s cheesy and sounds like the name of a Care Bear). Find someone to share your dream with. When we speak it, sometimes for the first time, we realize just how important it actually is to us. When we acknowledge our dreams before others, we gain faith and hope that they can, in fact, come to pass. The study I pointed to earlier, also showed that, “those who sent their commitments to a friend accomplished significantly more than those who wrote action commitments or did not write their goals.” So, go get yourself a dream buddy.

Vision. Scripture says that, “Without a vision, the people perish.” Without the vision that God has for our personal dream, that dream will dry up and wither away. Too many dreams lay dead in the Graveyard of Loss or Lack of Vision. They are the carcasses of what-could-have-been and what-if. Ask God to share His vision with you. He will and it will undoubtedly be grander than you could have ever realized alone.

Plan of attack. Here is where I usually give up. I’ve got my goals. I’m committed. I found a dream buddy. I got the vision from God. And then I sit on my rump and don’t do a thing. I think fear is what usually holds me back. I fear the actual execution because, to be honest, I fear failing. I am hesitant to actually try because, in trying, I could find that a dream really is not within reach. But then again, every poignant, rich, and beautiful quote I’ve ever read about success and failure comes to mind. I really like this one:

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell

It’s not pretty or poetic, but it is true and practical. I have never been a planner, but, in not planning, I have also not achieved much of what I have wanted. Like I said before, I’m good at dreaming. Now, however, is the time to do something with those dreams.

What are some dreams you have long held and want to make a reality? What, if anything, has held you back from your dreams? If you could pursue one huge dream, given you had all the time and resource needed, what would it be?

13 thoughts on “How to Be a Dream-Executor”

  1. Thanks for the kind words. The truth of it is: I have a whole bunch more dreams than the ones I executing upon, but another part of being a dream executor is *choosing* which dreams to execute upon. If we acted upon every whim we ever had, we would be a scattered people. Once you choose the dreams you’re going to execute upon, then it’s about focus and perseverance in seeing those dreams through to fruition. Execution is important, but being wise about our choices is the first step.

    Great post!

    1. I also love the post! Jonathan, thanks for the additional advice. Devin and I have been constantly (or so it seems) filtering through what may or may not be the dreams we choose. It’s good to get some affirmation that we need to do that. :)

    2. Great advice…choosing wisely. So many people who are big dreamers, spread their energies all around, instead of focusing on the right dreams.

      It leaves many people with a list of unfulfilled dreams and nothing to show for it. I think vision is part of choosing wisely, knowing where and what God has for you.

  2. After working with Jonathan, however briefly, his capacity to be a dreamer and a doer was startling. It left a positive, lasting impression.

    Great quote choice here. People want accomplishment to be part of some magical spell… something ethereal that justifies the individual tendency to give up or never start. The reality is, the only thing between us and what we want is a little bit of inertia and a decent dose of persistence.

    Congrats on staying committed to your blog and (through it) your own dreams. :)

    1. You said it so well Shauna: “The reality is, the only thing between us and what we want is a little bit of inertia and a decent dose of persistence.”

      This is so true. Often times it is simple a lack of hard work that prevents dreams from reaching fruition.Thanks for the great comment.

  3. There’s a lot of great points in there, Nicole! I tend to big a bigger dreamer than executer myself. I’m an idea guy. I love to dream, brainstorm, and envision. But then, when its time for the details to kick in, I’m far less motivated.

    The trick, for me, has always been systems; a lot like what you outlined above. Define the vision, figure out how to achieve it in tangible, measurable terms (goals,) figure out what steps to take, and then go!

    My dreams lately are starting to meld themselves into an overall vision. The plan of attack is forming slowly. I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

    1. I love that addition Kenny…”measurable goals.” That is great advice. We should set goals that allow us to measure and visualize change and growth. It provides motivation to either do better or continue what we are doing.

      My husband is an idea guy too. Idea people are so necessary to casting vision and as they soon learn, execution is the next important piece.

      Keep me posted on your dream execution. I always love it when a plan comes together!

  4. I LOVED this post! A dream broken down into a step by step plan, doesn’t actually seem all that scary and big- but totally do-able.

    I think it is a rare quality to know someone that is both a dreamer, and an executor. Most are one of the other- they are dreamers but lack commitment and follow-through, or they are “doers” and lack vision and can’t see the big picture.

    You and Jonathan are both such leaders to possess these things! I love learning from both of you!

    Also, I will add that we should be choosy with our “dream buddies” because many people (even those that are close to us and love us) can be dream steal-ers. For many reasons- jealousy, envy, not wanting you to grow, not wanting to get left behind, fear etc.

    If your loved one does try and steal your dream away, or burst your bubble- don’t give up, and don’t stop sharing your dream and looking for the support. Because- like you said- it is SO important.

    1. Thanks Care Berry but despite all appearances, I am really so much more of a dreamer. But like I said, God is changing that and teaching me how to achieve more dreams. Just blogging alone has challenged me to stick with something and see it through, despite knowing how it will all go…

      Great advice on choosing a dream buddy wisely. So true, especially with girls, who can unfortunately be caddy and yes, jealous. I love what you said, don’t let someone steal your dream. Our dreams belong to us and we entrust them to God. We should never allow anyone to rob us of our future.

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