There are two things that make humans the dominant species on this earth. The first is an opposable thumb. The second is less understood: the power to dream.
The human mind is the most fertile thing on the planet. It is the place where we dream, plan and sometimes fantasize. We know very little about our mind considering how important it is. As sentient beings, we are the masters of our own world. We have the ability to think objectively, be self-aware and to create.
I am not referring to dreams about flying, finding yourself naked in front of an auditorium of people, and talking to your wife's uncle that died the year you were married. I am talking about what is real, or at least what can be. These dreams involve hope, plans and best possible futures. These are the dreams we treasure; they represent the very best version of our selves.
While dreaming is easy, recognizing and realizing them can be a complicated thing. One of the parts necessary in finding your self is recognizing your dreams and finding out what you really want. The primordial need to dream is in us all.
Barak Obama's "Hope" campaign was very influential in his 2008 election. The word hope is a synonym for dream. Over all the noise, the rhetoric and the politics, that simple word "Hope" hovered in the air. Humans have the ability to fulfill their hopes, their dreams and their desires.
What is your dream? On your best day, who, what or where do you want to be? With the proper questions in the right sequence, anyone can uncover their real desires. The most common mistake is to assume that all dreams are complicated and nearly unreachable.
How many people would laugh at you if you told them your dream? I had four people turn me down for start-up cash at Mission Belt Co. before Daymond John said yes on national TV. There was a long list of objections and an even longer list of reasons of why I couldn't succeed. Since then, I have had three of the four beg me to invest. My dream is a reality and their skepticism is theirs. The point is you need to believe in your self, the world is full of naysayers and sour grapes.
The second most common mistake is to think that you can achieve your dreams by just waiting for things to happen. The second attitude is preferable to the first, but probably just as ineffective. In the movie Collateral, Jamie Fox portrays a cab driver that dreams about having his own limousine service -- he's shopped for cars, he's made brochures, but his nemesis is in the doing, or lack thereof. No one is going to give it to you, you have to take it.
I have uncovered my own dreams and the dreams of others, and more often than not, true happiness is around the corner. There is no way to fulfill your dreams if you don't know what they are and what they really mean. It won't just happen, it takes planning and doing. Here are three tips to help you discover and live your dream.
1. Make a list of everything you think you would like to accomplish in life. Stick to an outline format, highlighting the basics -- no need to get into specific details at this point.
For example, if you'd like to retire to a beach, no need to decide on the exact beach today, just leave it open ended, when the time comes to buy, then work out the details. It will make your process easier.
Often times the exact details can be overwhelming. When you read a book, there are lots of details. Life is like a book -- long, detailed and intricate -- whereas movies are like dreams, fast paced, and very visual. Make a movie; the book will be better when you live it.
2. Find out why. What would your life be like if you were to accomplish your dreams? What would you feel, how would you feel? What would it mean? Finding out why your dreams are important to you will help you realize them.
There are widespread misconceptions about dreams. Dreams are achievable. We all want to be happy. Having the guts to write it down and say it out loud can have powerful consequences. Sitting at a table, write down your dreams. Then write down how your life could be and why it would be a good thing.
This process is important and it will help you define what you really want. Think of it as a road map of your life. If you don't know where you want to go, how will you ever get there? Life is to short to guess your way through it. I believe in luck, but I trust in good plans. Don't leave it all to luck.
There is a saying that has always seemed silly to me. "Everything happens for a reason." I think it's a nice way of saying "nothing is my fault and I have no control over my destiny so I am not going to worry about it and some how it will all come together, and if it doesn't, well it didn't happen for a good reason."
Everything happens, but not for any other reason than something has to happen. Actions lead to results. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but something always happens. Make no mistake; you are the driving force of your life. Something has to happen.
3. Make plans. It's become a cliché these days, but it's absolutely true: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." I am all for being free-spirited and going with the flow. You might not need to worry about dinner plans, where to gas up your car and the daily small stuff, but don't let yourself become a casualty of unpreparedness.
When we plan out our best possible future and create a map to get us there, our odds of achieving our dreams is dramatically increased. My guess would be that you are probably 1,000 times more likely to realize your dreams if you have a descent plan and follow it.
Plans are great! But even the best plan is only as good as it's execution. My brother and business partner Zac often remarks: "There are no million dollar plans, just million dollar executions." The best playbook in the NFL is worth nothing if you don't show up to play the game with the right team. Play the game, build the team, make the moves, this is your life.
Walt Disney said that all dreams could come true if we can have the courage to pursue them. It's a scary thing to realize your dreams; I have been lucky to realize mine. Nothing feels better.
It's harder work to look busy than it is to actually be busy: The same goes for dreams. Its easier to make a change now, then to live with the guilt and knowledge that with in you may lay the undeveloped talents and attributes for success: That the secret, in fact, is actually you. You are the only person that can make them happen.
In my life, I have taken big risks, dreamed big and I have lost big. Though my successes have more than made up for my failures, I have had many more failures than successes; it's all just part of realizing dreams. I attribute my luck, my life and my realized dreams to these failures. Don't let the world beat you down. Though not always, failure is often a prelude to success. We are all given just one life; live yours in a way that will make you proud of your today and your dreams a reality. The secret to life is you.
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