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Like Hopes, Dreams Are Useless

We all have dreams. Big ones, little ones. Usually happy ones. 

Dreams of fast cars, big houses, three-month-long vacations (and that’s just overseas) a year. Of bank accounts filled to the brim, of only working on those projects that catch your eye and of clients going on waiting lists. Of winning awards, beating the competition and of having truly fantastic staff.

Most of all we dream of living a larger life than the one we currently have got. Dreams often stand for the things we hope will happen, come off or be present in our lives. We hope that business will go well. We hope we can make payroll this month. We hope we win that contract or that we can afford that cruise.

Like dreams, hopes just don’t come off that often.

That’s because they are only a part, a cog, in the ‘machine’ called goals. And even goals fail unless you act. Properly constructed goals are those things that you burn to accomplish, the things that will deliver on your hopes and dreams.

They push you to get the work done. But the key is in the construction. Vague goals with indeterminate actions fall into the realm of hopes and dreams. Nothing happens without action. Action does not happen without a path, and a path does not appear unless you identify a clear destination you want to get to.

We’re all familiar with the SMART goal setting system. It is not as in vogue as it once was, but it still has a place in setting goals. But it needs more.

I have crafted a system I call, Playing the Odds.

You start by going through the SMART system and then using the results of that to ‘play the odds.’

So you pick a goal that will enable you to achieve a dream or hope and ask:

  1. Is it specific?
  2. Is it realistic?
  3. Is it measurable?
  4. Is there a deadline associated with it?
  5. Is it action orientated?
  6. Is it ecologically sound?
  7. Do you know your reward?

Once that is done you then overlay the Playing the Odds system. In my system you identify:

  • 1 burning goal.
  • 3 emotional reasons for wanting to achieve it.
  • 5 people you will tell you are going to do it.
  • 7 steps to take first.

(1,3,5,7 – get it – the ‘odds’)

Once you have overlayed this, you end up with a compelling, strong, clear goal with social pressure and emotional punch. You have dreams and hopes cemented in place by desire, a process and a plan to follow. Burning goals, deep emotionally tied goals, are what change lives. Not hopes. Not dreams.

It is the work you do, the path you know to follow; these are the things that make your dreams a reality, your hopes more than a wish. Because if you’re not consistently working toward an identified destination; then you won’t get to where your dreams are trying to lead you.

Your roadmap.

Creating a ‘roadmap’ is key to setting up your goals, making your dreams more achievable. Use my template Playing the Odds to identify your 1 ‘what’, your 3 ‘whys’, your 5 ‘people’ and your 7 ‘actions’. This puts you in the driver’s seat in order to achieve your goals. You truly can make the ‘odds’ work for you!

Remember no matter how big, how small, how serious or how flippant: every action you take, every thought you have and every behaviour you display, either moves you towards or away from achieving your goal.

And if you’re not sure what steps you need to take or if the steps you’ve been taking aren’t making it happen fast enough then get off blogs, get off Facebook. Get a coach, get a mentor. Get somebody that will help you.

Either you want to keep dreaming and hoping, or you actually want it. Dreams if properly harnessed can drive action and behaviour to create results. So whilst dreams are useless, how you use them isn’t.

Sleep well…but make sure you take action when you are awake!

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