I had a very interesting discussion with a colleague recently. I was doing my usual probing about their life, their future and their possibilities. Those of you that know me will be familiar with the question I asked. “What is your 5 year goal?” I got a quick and pat answer regarding the next step up the corporate ladder, it wasn’t big enough. So I rephrased “what is your dream?” The response was almost expected “ well, realistically . . .” STOP right there!
A dream by its very definition isn’t realistic, it is something hoped for, ambitious about, often perceived as something difficult to attain, and it may be impractical. The point is it is BIG, HAIRY, and AUDACIOUS, it is never realistic! Now the funny part to this conversation is that unbeknownst to me, this colleague spent three hours when we hung up thinking about what I’d said. He then slept on it and when he awoke he was on fire with excitement! He got it. He understood as he shared with me that he’d been sleep walking through life; he had only seen as far as his reality had allowed him to, and he hadn’t ventured further. Our conversation unlocked his imagination and his ambition.
In the weeks since that conversation, his colleagues at work and his boss have all commented on his new energy, passion, and enthusiasm. At the same time he has put together an incredible team of experienced executives to initiate a brand new business idea that literally came to him overnight. This is what can happen when you truly unleash your dreaming side.
Many of us have our dreams squashed very early, we are taught that “life’s not fair,” “you can’t do that,” “it won’t work,” “that’s not how we do it,” “play by the rules,” well you get the idea. The most successful among us have never listened to that rhetoric, or if they did, they got past it. I started out in my twenties playing by the rules; coloring inside the lines and it was stifling, boring, and tedious. When I stopped and followed my dream, my whole like opened up and continues to expand every day and I’m only in my forties!
The greatest question you can ask yourself is “what would I do, if I couldn’t fail?” And go do it anyway! Awaken the dreamer in you and you’ll awaken your entire life.
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