Friday, July 15, 2011

Dare to share the dream

We all have goals and dreams. As a child, it was my dream to become a milk bar owner which would've enabled me to have unlimited access to mixed lollies. Alas that dream was never realised.

Some dreams we freely share with those around us but some we keep secret, hidden in the deepest, darkest depths of our minds and souls. We dare not share them with the rest of the world.

One of the best examples of sharing a goal with those around you is getting married. Standing up there in front of all your family and friends, telling the world that you love someone and you want to stay with them for the rest of your life, through good times and bad times. For better or worse. Now by anyone's standards, that is an ambitious goal. A lot of things could go wrong that could drive the two of you apart, many things you may not have even considered. And clearly divorce is not an uncommon thing in our modern society, so the concept of a failed marriage is not foreign. It would seem to be a very scary goal to commit to with all of these considerations. Yet people get married all the time. Hundreds and thousands of people do it all the time. Fear does not hold them back.

Yet I see and speak to many people who are afraid to share their goals with the people they care about. In my field, a goal may be to quit smoking, achieve a weight loss target or to achieve a certain level of performance. But people are often reluctant to pinpoint exactly what they want to achieve. "If I say I want to lose 10kgs and don't achieve that, I'll be a failure."

I think the language you use is really important, so let's get away from "I failed" and "I am a failure".
Achieving a goal comes down to two things:

  • Did I have a clear, well conceived plan to achieve a successful outcome?
  • Did I stick to that plan?

So the language changes from, "I failed," to, "My method failed,".

Then it simply comes down to how well did you plan and did you stay accountable to it. Which brings me back to sharing your goals. Sharing your goals can help you twofold. Firstly, people you share your goals with may be able to help you to achieve them and support you. Secondly, it creates accountability. If people know that you're trying to achieve something you instantly feel more compelled to comply with it. It's human nature that we don't want to let people down.

So, surround yourself with good people who want you to achieve your dreams. Share your dreams with them. Plan to succeed and stick to the plan.

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