Harriet Tubman said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Almost every leader I’ve ever talked with has big ambitions and dreams of the future, of the things they want to achieve both personally and in their leadership position. If you want to turn your biggest dreams into reality you will have to discover or rediscover your dreams, dream even bigger, take ownership, start moving toward your dreams, protect your dreams, and reflect on your dreams. Let’s talk about each one of those elements.
Discover or rediscover your dreams
The first step to making your dreams a reality is to discover or rediscover your deepest dreams. Do you remember the aspirations and dreams you had in your youth or early adulthood? The dreams about the future; who you wanted to become and what you wanted to accomplish in your life? At one time we have all have aspired to do huge things in our lifetime but before we know it or could really take action typically the realities of life begin or “life happens.” The everyday adult responsibilities, tasks, and life challenges take over and one once bright dream becomes dormant or fades out of the limelight.
There are some who don’t allow their dreams to fade away, it takes others years to refocus on their dreams, and sadly a lot of people never take action on their dreams. No matter where you are at in the process of life you can begin to discover or rediscover your dreams. It takes self-reflection and some inner digging to find your dreams. Start by thinking about these dream questions:
- If money, time, or resources where not an issue what would you do and accomplish?
- What are your passions, things you enjoy doing, and personal talents?
- What is something you would do even if you were not paid to do it?
Take some time to think about and answer these questions.
When you have started to discover or rediscover your dreams, make it a point to dream bigger than what you think possible. Make sure your dreams don’t have a cap on them. I once wrote down my dream list and after reflecting on them for a short time, I realized I placed a cap on my dreams. In my own mind the dreams were big but in truth they were small compared to my potential. For example a couple things on my list from several years ago included: writing at least one book (here are the books I’ve written) in my lifetime and moving into an official leadership position. As of this date, I’ve achieved and surpassed both of those dreams. Now, I’ve started to dream bigger dreams with huge goals attached to them. I’ve done everything possible to remove the cap from my dreams.
You should do the same with your dreams. Write them out and think about how you can enlarge and dream bigger dreams, with your unlimited potential in mind. While you should have realistic dreams it’s important not to place a cap on your deep rooted aspirations and dreams. It has been said that, “People do not fail in life because they aim to high and miss. They fail in life, because they aim to low and hit.” Have big dreams no matter your current situations or limitations. You might just achieve what others think is impossible.
Taking ownership for your dreams allows you to be in the driver seat of your life and what you do. When you’re in the driver seat you understand the only person responsible for moving toward your dreams is you; not another person, you’re past situations, or current circumstance. You can’t determine what or how others will think about you, but you can choose to drive toward your dreams.
Les Brown said, “If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” It starts by owning your dreams and making the choice to intentionally walk in the direction of your dreams. Though others can support and encourage you, you have to take ownership and start navigating your life. Take ownership of your dreams and you will see the results of moving toward your dreams.
Questions: How are you turning your dreams into a reality? What’s your biggest dream you aspire to achieve?
Subscribe to Dan Black on Leadership to receive fresh leadership content delivered to you inbox. PLUS two free quote books. All you need to do is to enter your email in the box below then push “Subscribe”: