What are you willing to invest to see your dream become a reality?
Martin Luther King in his I Have a Dream speech said, “though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” Five years later Martin Luther King paid the ultimate price for his dream when he was assassinated on a balcony outside his hotel room in Memphis.
Do you have a dream that is big enough to give your life to?
The popularity of books like Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek demonstrates that people have dreams that go beyond their careers or corporate jobs. The people that are willing to pursue their dreams are the entrepreneurs of the world. The entrepreneur, says Peter Drucker, “is willing to put his or her career and financial security on the line and take risks in the name of an idea, spending time as well as capital on an uncertain venture.”
Do you have a dream that is big enough to risk your career and financial security?
There is no bulletproof plan that you can follow to turn your dreams into a reality. But there are some steps which you can begin taking that will increase the chances of your dream becoming a reality.
Here are some things you can do that will move you closer to fulfilling your dream.
1: Give Your Dream Definition
Elaine and I had a dream to live and cruise on a sailboat full-time. There are a lot of people that have the same dream but never realize it.
But we began exploring what it would be like to be full-time cruisers. Where would we go? What would our daily life be like? We began seeing ourselves in a different reality than the one in which we were currently living.
In our Publish Your Message program, one of the exercises we do is have the participants imagine what it will be like one year from today standing on the stage presenting their book. Then we have them imagine what their lives will be like after they become a published author. The purpose of these two exercises is to give definition to their dream of writing a book.
2: Give Your Dream a Plan
Your dream is going nowhere unless you have a plan. What is it going to take to move from where you are now to fulfill your dream? If you don’t know all the steps, that’s OK! Part of the plan will be to start learning what it will take.
I have met three kinds of entrepreneurs. First, those in the 9 to 5 job that begins creating an exit strategy and consistently works toward a predetermined time they will commit full-time to their new venture. Second, are those forced into a new venture because their 9 to 5 job went away, they were laid off, the business downsized, or closed. Third, are those who don’t think, just quit and hope for the best.
The most likely people to succeed are those in the first group. Some in the second group will make it because of sheer determination and necessity. Those in the third group, well they are jumping from a plane without a parachute.
3: Adjust Your Current Lifestyle
What changes are you going to need to make in your current lifestyle to make your dream a reality? You may need to make adjustments to your financial lifestyle. You may need to make adjustments in your social life. You may need to start increasing current abilities and learning new skills.
Is what you are doing now worth the sacrifice to achieve your dream?
4: Tell Others Your Dream
One of the interesting things Elaine and I found out was that even though we had shared with friends about our sailing plans –– when we sold our home and cars and moved aboard the boat many still could not believe it.
But by us sharing our plans with friends and family, we were committing ourselves to continue toward our dream. And we were preparing them for the day we would leave, even if they didn’t think it would ever happen.
5: Set a Date
A deadline calls us to action. When Elaine and I finally set the date we knew a whole bunch of things had to happen. It was no longer an oh, well maybe someday. An approaching date meant we had to get moving and get things done so we would be ready when the day to leave arrived.
Somewhere in the past, I read that a dream without a deadline is only a wish.
Wow, that sounds like a pretty big commitment. It is! If you want your dream to become a reality it’s going to take a commitment on your part (if it doesn’t, your dream wasn’t big enough).
But what if it doesn’t work out?
That a fair question. Had we never been able to go cruising, had it not worked out, I think I can speak for both of us that we would have enjoyed the process –– sometimes the trip is better than the destination.
If your plans had to change that would is OK. It is better you try and fail than to never have tried.
So, what’s your dream –– escape the 9 to 5 –– contribute to the betterment of others –– start a podcast –– write a book…
Is your dream big enough that you are willing to give your life to it?