The past 12 + years I’ve been more actively involved with personal and spiritual growth, career development, and the pursuit of one’s life mission. During this time, just about EVERY person I’ve spoken with regarding life goals has shared their own special ‘dream’ with me at some point.
It wasn’t always stated in those exact words or a reenactment of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. Sometimes, it was more an expression of a sincere desire or passion for achieving something great. My interactions and conversations have led me to believe that just about every human being has a dream about doing or being something that’s very important and special to them. Unfortunately in a majority of cases that “dream” doesn’t quite align with someone’s present circumstances.
I’m not referring to “you” of course, but to the other 99% of people ?
I believe there are many factors that hinder people from achieving their dreams.
Often, there are key ingredients missing from the equation that hold people back.
For the sake of simplicity, I’ll cover the main components.
First, there is the dreaming component.
Dreaming unto itself is EASY. The human mind loves dreaming – it usually feels good and doesn’t require much effort on our part. Dreaming provides us with a distraction from being in the present moment, and it’s often an enjoyable escape from accepting an unfavorable activity, reality, or life circumstance.
We can easily talk about our dreams, think about them, and share them with others.
That’s usually all we do about them.
Many of us will do just about anything except for actually taking the steps towards achieving them.
I recently read an article written by a friend of mine that reported statistics on New Year’s resolutions. To quote: “Every year, 45% of adults set New Year’s resolutions, yet 25% can’t even make it past the FIRST week. And only 8% are successful in achieving them.”
Why is this?
In my experience, most people’s ‘dreams’ have at least one of these two major flaws that block them from their achievement.
Their dreams are either: 1) Not specific enough, or 2) Too big - meaning they haven’t been broken down into smaller, more realistic short term goals which describe both IMMEDIATE and ATTAINABLE actions the person can begin doingto move towards achieving their big dream.
As a result, the dream feels ‘insurmountable,’ ‘too hard,’ ‘overwhelming,’ and consequently remains just a dream. Combine this with the often crippling fear of uncertainty and it’s no wonder 25% of people don’t make it past the first week with New Year’s resolutions!
This being said, I believe it’s imperative to make sure that your dreams are as specific, clear, and simple as possible in the beginning to prevent yourself from being included in the majority of people who never actualize their dreams.
The second part – the “IT” of the equation refers to simply “doing IT,” or “taking inspired actions towards the achievement of your dreams.”
It’s the more challenging of the two, and for obvious reasons. Doing new things can be tough, scary, and feel uncomfortable! It generally requires a lot of hard work and discipline. The list could go on and on.
And the part that really seems to screw with the small percentage of us people who courageously go after our dreams is that things don’t usually work out in our timeline or the way we think they should unfold.
Highly accomplished author and public speaker Deepak Chopra does a wonderful job articulating this foreseeable challenge in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. To paraphrase, he wrote: “We have dreams, or intentions, but while working towards them we often become too attached to the result or the dream looking ‘exactly as we imagined.’ We become rigid, impatient, and lose the creativity or flow we need to stay on course.”
Without cultivating a certain level of detachment – detaching from a ‘rigid outcome’ (not giving up on our dreams/intentions though) we will fall victim to our limited perception and may give up.
I love this quote I recently read somewhere: “Big dreams start with small, unreasonable acts.” A small action someone can do in regards to their dreams is to first write it down – the more descriptive about the purpose behind the dream and small steps you can take towards it the better.
A wonderful and powerful method is to create a vision board. An excellent next step would be to surround yourself with encouraging, ‘like-minded,’ and supportive people. Dreamitalive.com is a site with a large online community of inspiring and supportive dreamers. It’s a site where people create an online vision board, proclaim their intentions, and share it with others in the community. I believe enormous power and strength exist in unity, and connecting with others who share similar dreams is a great way to get started.
I’ve also found that there is no better feeling than to sincerely wish for others the manifestation you want for yourself. Blessing people - supporting them in achieving their dreams, even if it’s just a simple prayer, words of encouragement, or visualizing them success is very powerful in achieving your own dream, as it is fully aligned with the laws of the Universe.
The goal is that we can all experience this equation so it becomes a reality, and not just words on a page. There is no better time than the present to do this. Let’s all join together- keeping each other on track along our journeys.
Scott Engler has spent close to a decade now consumed with the career development industry.
As featured on Recruiter.com,WorkitDaily,Human Talent Network, and KTLA Los Angeles Channel 5 morning news as an expert on Career Transition and Optimizing LinkedIn: Scott Engler, author of “The Job Inner-View,” “Legends of the Recruiting and Career World,” and the upcoming publication “Job Seeker of the 21st Century: The University Edition” has spent years utilizing, researching, and collaborating with top LinkedIn influencers and ambassadors on how to optimize LinkedIn for professional networking and career development.
During that time, he has published hundreds of articles and videos tutorials on career development, and received “Managers Choice” awards for several on LinkedIn. Scott currently runs his own online business “B.Y.O.B.” Coaching & Consulting, where he helps individuals and groups with Career Transition and LinkedIn Personal Branding services.