Why Dreams Are Not Achieveable
In this post, I want to talk about the difference between a dream and a goal; and how to identify and define your authentic goals because 9 times out of 10, the dream is not the goal.
In future posts, I’ll be discussing how to turn your authentic goals into your new reality using our philosophy of the 3 imperatives to change design.
The Impossible Dream
For many years I have held the belief that dreams themself are not achievable. Simply because I imagine something that I want does not automatically make it a reality. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in having dreams, and I’m a big believer in visualising your dreams because that’s the way to start change. When you visualise your dreams, you start to realise what is at the core of them; and usually digging that little bit deeper is what will help you unearth and define the goal you really want to achieve.
Are You Dreaming?
We all have dreams. I dream of having a slim, toned body with abs to die for, but I will never ever have one. Why? Because it’s not an authentic goal for me. I’ve done nothing solid to start the change from the body I have now to the one I dream of because whilst the dream is desirable to me, I am not willing to experience the journey that will get me from my current body to my dream body.
What Is An Authentic Goal?
Quite simply, an authentic goal is something you are truly willing to do. It is not only the recognition that there is a gap between where you are, and where you want to be (the dream); rather it is the willingness to fill that gap with action. In the example above, my desire to change my body shape is simply a dream; a recognition that there is a gap between how my body is now, and how I desire it to be, but I’m not willing to fill that gap with action because I simply don’t believe the action I would need to take is offset by what the outcome will give me. That’s just me, and it’s important to note that everyone’s journey is personal to them.
Time to Stop Dreaming?
Never! Dreaming is really important because it enables you to discover your authentic goals. You can do this by asking yourself; what is the purpose behind my dream? What would it mean to me to realise the dream? What would it get me? In the example above, the dream is to have a slim, toned body. So I ask myself; what would it mean to me to achieve the dream? Well, not that much actually. So I get a slim, toned body, then what? I have to maintain it for ever, which is not my idea of fun. Now we have some insight into why I’m not willing to fill the gap with action. I don’t see the point in achieving the dream body because then I know I will have to work hard to maintain it, and I simply don’t want to commit to that.
So, What Else Would It Get Me?
Well, I would be able to fit back into all my clothes, so there would be less need to waste good clothes and have to buy new, larger sized ones; secondly, it would mean less disappointment every time I try to put on a dress that no longer fits my shape. So when I think about the purpose behind the dream, I realise that the dream itself is not that relevant for me, but the underlying purpose is.
Achieving The Dream Doesn’t Necessarily Achieve The Purpose
To achieve the purpose that has been uncovered, I don’t need to achieve the dream. In fact, just losing a little bit of weight to fit back into my wardrobe doesn’t require anywhere near as much effort as the original dream. Therefore, not only can understanding the purpose behind the dream help me to define the authentic goal; but it can also define a goal that feels much more achievable; and that I’m therefore more willing to commit to.
Can’t Stop Dreaming?
There is nothing to say that having gone on to achieve an authentic goal of say, losing 5kg within a defined period of time; that I wouldn’t then be compelled to take that to the next level. Ultimately, I may reach the original dream, but I wouldn’t have done so if that had been my original goal. There is a key mindset difference between planning to achieve the dream, and planning to achieve the first in a series of ‘meso goals’ that get you to what we at The Change Starter call; ‘the next level of happy’.
One Key Thing To Take Away From This Post
One of the main reasons people fail to achieve things in their lives is because they don’t have clarity on what they really want to achieve, and then they try to do too much at once. With everything else we need to do in our daily lives, if you set your sights too high in the beginning, the action plan you design will be just as big, and all you will achieve is lots of frustration! Aim high, but break it down into manageable chunks of change!