Got a Dream?

I’ll bet you do.

You might not have told anyone about it.

You might not believe that you can make it happen.

You might not want to look silly trying to achieve it.

You might be overly concerned about who you would become if it came true.

But I’m hoping you have a dream.

Perhaps you want to right a wrong in your organization or community, accomplish an artistic or athletic goal, or bring a new idea to the world that changes how people think about and do things. Your dream only needs to resonate as meaningful to you.

It’s our dreams that spring from wells of hope that make the world a more beautiful, humane, and sustainable place. And in pursing our dreams of hope, we become better, more confident, accomplished citizens of the world. That’s why we need our dreams. And we need people to stretch and grow to accomplish them. Our dreams are the muse that calls us forth to be who and what we are capable of being.

As lofty as dreams may appear, they require practical planning, insight and discipline to bring them to life. Wishing, hoping, and complaining won’t make your dreams come true. Engaging in these activities will make you a disgruntled, difficult, jaded person. I’m guessing that isn’t what you’re dreaming of becoming.

Here are a few guidelines for making dreams come true:

  1. Get clear on what matters most to you. What is it you want to achieve? It doesn’t have to be crystal clear. You only need a felt sense of why what you’re doing matters – to you, and perhaps, to others.
  2. Step back and look at the bigger picture. Learn how the game you’re playing is actually played. Who or what will you need to influence? What resources might you need to draw to you? Get creative about how to accomplish these things. There’s always more than one way to make something happen.
  3. Break it down into smaller chunks. What’s the next steppingstone that you need to put in place?  Do you need to learn a skill, find more supporters, or build your reputation? Get going on that.
  4. Celebrate the wins and learn from the setbacks.  The wins keep you going and the setbacks keep you learning. You need both. They’re getting you ready for whatever comes next.
  5. Get help when you need it. Just because it’s your dream doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. When you’re stuck, overwhelmed or uncertain share your dream with others who can help you make it happen. They are there, although they may not be who you were expecting. Be willing to be surprised by who and what shows up to help.
  6. Keep going. Sometimes it feels like a very long slog. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Dig deeper and discover more of what you’re made of. That may be what it takes to bring your dream over the finish line.

Watch Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech for inspiration.

Dianna Anderson, MCC

CEO, Cylient


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