Archive | November, 2013

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR DREAM IS ATTAINABLE?

30 Nov
[NOTE: This post is originally written by America’s leadership expert ]
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I’ve been a proponent of positive thinking for as long as I can remember.  I believe that to a large degree, if you expect positive things in life, you get them.  And when you have to face something difficult, if you remain positive, you have a much better chance of getting through it.

In spite of my positive outlook, it’s always bothered me when I’ve heard motivational speakers say something like, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.”

What a crock! I don’t believe that about your dreams, and I don’t believe that about mine. Yes, we do need to aim high. However, we don’t have the ability to attain whatever we seek. I don’t possess the ability to achieve every potential I can imagine. I don’t believe that I can achieve any goal. That is not reality.

Writer Richard Bach similarly asserts, “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.”

If you give that even a moment’s rational thought, you know it’s not true. At some point in time, just about every child dreams of being able to fly like a bird. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

But it’s not going to happen, no matter how clearly I imagine it.

Granted, dreams, by definition, are not supposed to start with reality. They are supposed to be fantastic, incredible, and out of the box. After all, they are birthed from hopes, desires, and possibilities. They are the products of imagination and creativity. However, if they are nothing but pie in the sky, how much do dreams help us?

***

I’ve thought about this for a long time.  I’ve wondered how to help people to pursue their dreams but to do so in a practical way.  Last year I finally figured out how to do it.

And that’s when I started to write Put Your Dream to the Test, my next book which will be in bookstores in about three weeks.

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How do you measure a dream?  By asking yourself 10 straightforward questions.  If you can answer then positively, then the odds of your achieving your dream increase dramatically.

So here are the questions:

1.

The Ownership Question:
Is my dream really my dream?

2.

The Clarity Question:
Do I clearly see my dream?

3.

The Reality Question:
Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?

4.

The Passion Question:
Does my dream compel me to follow it?

5.

The Pathway Question:
Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?

6.

The People Question:
Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?

7.

The Cost Question:
Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?

8.

The Tenacity Question:
Am I moving closer to my dream?

9.

The Fulfillment Question:
Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?

10.

The Significance Question:
Does my dream benefit others?

I believe that if you really explore each question, examine yourself honestly, and answer yes to all of them, your odds of achieving your dream are very good. The more yeses you can answer, the more on target you are to fulfill your dream. I truly believe that everyone has the potential to imagine a worthwhile dream, and most have the ability to achieve it.

What do you think?  How do you measure a dream?  What factors do you use to predict success?

From the archives of JohnMaxwellOnLeadership.com

5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO DREAM

2 Nov

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Do you have a mind? Of course, yes! You wouldn’t be reading this if you’ve lost it.

Can you imagine? Absolutely! Everyone can.

And do you have an ideal dream? Now that’s the big deal.

I realize that everyone have dreams. Only that some have measurable, heart-moving dreams, while—surprisingly—many others don’t. They only see as far as their eyes can.

So why are dreams so important?

To have a meaningful life you need to use the power of your imagination. Envision the kind of life you’d love to lead. For you to grow as a young leader, you equally need to open your mind wide and look beyond all the present limitations you can see.

Few things are more exciting than having an ideal objective—one that works. Nothing is more frustrating than losing a target. Well, that’s not too bad. And nothing is more tragic than having no dream to reach. That’s the cause for a broken life.

American business philosopher Jim Rohn says, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” I bet you don’t want to fall into such trap—and you don’t have to. Therefore, it’s important you have a dream. After all, achievement without aspiration is a myth.

Here are the 5 top potentials of a dream.

  1. Dreams Feed Purpose. No matter how energetic and purpose-driven an individual is, he will soon burn out if he doesn’t find something to do. Talents are not show-off abilities. Instead, they are there to create a space for you in the universe. “A man’s gift will make room for him,” wrote King Solomon of ancient Israel.

A dream is a clear, inspiring picture of what you want to do; while purpose is why you desire to do it. Both are important. In fact, nothing satisfies reason than clarity does. And dreams provide that.

  1. Dreams Energize Passion. When you have a goal, an objective, a defined aim, with your will firmly united, then, you’re set for a spark. You get fired up easily. It will almost appear you can’t figure out where the energy came from.

Can you possibly guess where the fire came from? Do you have any clue?

Still thinking? OK, let me tell you. You did. You created the fire. How? By simply daring to dream. Dreams are magical. A desire followed with action not only starts an unquenchable blaze in your soul, it also fans the flames—even when nobody is willing to do that.

  1. Dreams Shape Personality. It’s easy to identify people who have no reasonable goal for the lives. Just observe. You’ll see how confused they are. They’re almost beaten out of shape.

Talk to them for a few moment and their knowledge will amaze you. They know the National Budget for next year. They know where the government is falling short. Do you need some information about the philanthropists in town? They are just the right people to interview. They’re capable of giving you a more comprehensive list than you think, ask and desire!

What’s the difference between them and the philanthropist who owns the estate down the street? Destiny? Now, I don’t think destiny can be so cruel and partial, since God assigns it. Perhaps one just had the courage to dream lofty dreams. While the other was afraid of failing to accomplish a seemingly ‘bigger-than-life’ goal that he didn’t even try.

Do you want to know the truth? The dream is often bigger than the dreamer. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Big dreams won’t (they even can’t) explode your mind. Conversely, high aspirations will stretch you, force out your potential and eventually mold you into a person larger than who you are—this moment.

Make plans to pursue your dream and you will become greater than you think. It’s a promise.

  1. Dreams Provide Power. No matter how good your objectives are, failure is more certain than success is. That doesn’t mean you should go about expecting to fail. To succeed you need to maintain your optimism. But don’t give setbacks a chance to catch you unprepared. Life will never cease to be uncertain and full of surprises.

Some doors of opportunity will slam right before your face. People’s attitude may become opposite of what you expect from them. You may think they’ll welcome your ideas and cheer you up, but their feedback rather intoxicates you.

Do I need to encourage you? I don’t think so. But I can tell you that you have an encourager right inside of you. Listen carefully to it. When challenges knock you down and life seems to be at its lowest, it has this amazing power of springing you back on your feet. It’s strong enough to sustain you. It’s your dream. Make up your mind to never give up on it.

As destructible as criticisms and setbacks might be, they have no power to quench the desire of an optimistic spirit.

  1. Dreams Enhance Productivity. A clearly defined, achievable vision is a great motivator. There’s no doubt about that. Organizations explore its power to increase their sales.

While businesses cannot afford to be productive without growth goal, individuals too can’t.

A business that diligently pursues its goal will grow. A business that grows will improve on its products. A business that provides improved quality products will take control of the market. And when they hit the market, they will rarely want to stop producing. It works for an individual in a similar vein. Nevertheless, remember that it all starts with having a goal to pursue.

Dreams inspire. They cause you to do more. When you have a dream, you become hungry. You keep delivering, yet you’re not satisfied. You just want to reach your full potential.

Friends cheer, people affirm your expertise as you rise beyond their expectations, but it doesn’t just quench your thirst for more. You want your output to get better. As a result, you keep working on yourself, taking on tougher challenges and eventually breaking new grounds.

The good news is that the better you get and the farther you advance towards the direction of your dream, the stronger your influence will become. You will not only set your life on fire, others will come to kindle theirs.

Think about all the people who have made some major contributions to humankind and you’ll find that they were really huge dreamers. Do you also desire to leave a mark on the sands of time? You can. Start with a dream!

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