Have you ever had a weird dream? I had one once where I was playing baseball and I was up to bat, but I was holding the wrong end of the baseball bat. No matter what I did, I couldn't seem to hold it the right way. I knew it wasn't going to turn out well.
Even if you had the greatest baseball player of all time, if they were holding the bat by the wrong end, they won't be effective. The bat has a design, one end is to get a great grip and the other is to propel the baseball miraculous distances. In the hands of the talented, wielded correctly, it is a powerful thing to see.
I have the privilege of working with people to help them discover their dreams and lead their lives. A key part of this work is helping them define their dreams and set powerful goals. When it is done right, it is a powerful thing. Yet, I encounter many people who have the 'wrong end of the bat.' They don't know how to hold their dreams and goals. When you confuse the role that dreams and goals are to play you will be ineffective and frustrated.
Lets take a look at dreams and goals.
A dream is designed to serve the purpose of propelling us to new heights and greater possibilities. A real dream is one that is beyond our current knowledge and capability. To be a dream, there needs to be something of the impossible about it. That is why dreams are so risky and yet so exhilarating.
Dreams, when used right, have the possibility of connecting with the things life throws at us and producing something powerful. Unfortunately, many people make the disastrous mistake of saying, "Be realistic!" When it comes to our dreams, we should NEVER be realistic for that is holding the wrong end of the bat. The only way dreams can produce something 'out of the park' is if they are wild and beyond all our current possibilities. Dreams should always be audacious!
But you say, what about those people who have the wrong dream - you know, those people who dream of being a singing sensation and try out for American Idol but the truth is they couldn't hit the right note even by accident. Shouldn't those people be 'realistic' and give up their dream? I don't believe that is the right approach. Sometimes what we first dream about is simply the wrong pitch and we need to foul it off. Most great dreams are found just on the other side of our failure. But don't give up on dreaming wildly. Instead, adjust, change and keep dreaming audaciously.
If dreams are the part of the bat designed to hit what life throws at us and knock it out of the park, goals are the other end of the bat. Goals are where we get a good grip and learn to swing and leverage the power and dexterity in our lives. Goals are where we get realistic and very practical.
Goals need to be the tangible, actionable and realistic steps towards our audacious dreams. You've probably heard this before, but let me mention it again; goals have five essentials - they are SMART:
S - SPECIFIC. Goals must be very clear and very specific.
M - MEASURABLE. Goals must be measurable to be real.
A - ATTAINABLE. Goals must be attainable by YOUR actions.
R - RELEVANT. Goals must be relevant to you.
T - TIME SPECIFIC. Goals MUST appear on your calendar.
If you don't set SMART goals you will not move forward and your dreams will become sad fantasies. They will be the kind of places you escape to but never achieve.
However, when we develop the skill of executing SMART goals we begin to take steps towards our wild dreams. Each series of accomplished goals unlocks further possibilities and capabilities. Over time, the dreams that were impossible come into view and then within reach. In time, we find ourselves actually living our dreams.
Do you have audacious dreams and smart goals? Are you holding the right end of the bat? I hope you are.
One last thing, I'm cheering for you!
Todd is an experienced success coach and is a certified coach, trainer and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. With over two decades of leadership experience, and the creator of the Find Your Greatness 30-Day course, Todd loves to empower people to find their greatness and reach for their full potential.
Born and raised in Canada, Todd and his wife have four amazing kids and two troublesome cats.
You can find out more about the Find Your Greatness course at www.toddmacpherson.ca/greatness
To connect with Todd email: firstname.lastname@example.org