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?