The terms ‘goal’ and ‘dream’ are often misunderstood. People, often without realising the difference, use them interchangeably as if they mean the same. They are not. Dreams could be defined as the desired destination, while goals are the means by which the dreams become a reality. Having a clear understanding of what your dreams are compared to your goals is a key to genuine fulfilment in life.
As humans, we have all been granted the innate ability to dream. We are born dreamers and it forms an important part of who we are. Perhaps even more importantly, within us we all have the cognitive ability to establish achievable goals to live out those dreams. These are the chosen steps, directions and strategies that will lead you to your destination.
Dreams live within us all. Some are close to the surface, alive and perhaps even being realised. Others have tended to be buried, either because of our lack of confidence to fulfil them or from others telling us they are foolish or unrealistic. To really know what your innermost desires are, you need to take time to reflect quietly and listen to yourself. Hear what your heart is saying.
Dreams are divine inspirations conceived in our imagination. They are the co-creation of your own ingenuity. Sadly though, many of these dreams are never considered worthy of our effort to realise them. If a dream is conceived but never believed it is considered merely a fantasy. Often our lives are restricted to these fleeting fantasies because we don’t have the courage to embrace our dreams.
However, those that we appreciate, believe in and nurture are given the opportunity to flourish. When they are defined and clarified they provide you with foresight and become an expression of life itself. There is a famous quote from James Allen that reads “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become…” In other words, it doesn’t matter what your dream may be because all things are possible!
Don’t let yourself be restricted by perceived impossibilities. Focus instead on what you behold and nourish those inspirations within you. Give fantasies the chance to become something much greater. It’s then that you will be able to create self-fulfilment and display to the world your creations. So, dream as you wish and keep your focus on this desired destination. It’s when you do this that you begin to locate solutions for your journey. Dreams are fully manifested by setting goals.
Focus on the end rather than the means. If dreams speak of the desired end product, goals are a means to achieve it. Fulfilling goals on the way to your dream destination provide you with great encouragement, momentum and feedback on your internal focus. They are stepping stones which enable you to see progress and reassess how far you are from ultimate success.
Let’s look at a practical example of how this works. If you are overweight, let your dream be to live a long and healthy life. In other words, your dream is not to lose weight. Your dream is to achieve your ideal body weight so you can feel fit and healthy in later years. Losing weight is the goal to achieve the dream. Exactly the same philosophy can be applied to quitting a bad habit such as smoking or alcohol.
Many people experience perceived failure and lack of fulfilment because they focus on short-term goals instead of their dream destination. It is vital that you keep an eye on the prize, so to speak. While achieving goals offers a sense of satisfaction, this doesn’t provide ongoing motivation. Their real power comes from their connection to an inspiring dream. Focusing too much on the steps you are taking means that you risk losing sight of your destination, which is the reason why you are actually pursuing the goals in the first place.
So, how do we transform dreams into reality?
1. Listen to your heart, define your dream and develop a clear picture of your destination.
2. Take time to nurture the dream. Focus on it through contemplation and imagination. Don’t become concerned about the methodology because that will lead to doubt, lower your aspirations and weaken the vision of your destination
3. Reaffirm the dream aloud to yourself. State it positively, as if it has already been realised.
4. Visualise yourself reaching your dream destination. Imagine how it feels; try to sense the looks, sounds, tastes and smells.
5. Identify the goals that are revealed to you through the process. These are the powerful steps of action that will turn your dream into reality.
Let’s relate these steps to another real-life example:
If you dream is to create wealth, be specific about how much money you would like to earn. Imagine checking your bank account and seeing that amount of money there waiting for you. Positively reaffirm the dream to yourself, without being preoccupied about how it will happen. Perhaps most importantly, dream about the dream. Envisage the lifestyle that you will enjoy when you’ve reached your destination. Imagine and focus on all the things you’ll be able to do for yourself and your family.
Finally, set yourself short-term goals that will lead to your objective. There are two keys in setting goals - they should be achievable and within a certain period of time. Setting smaller, more attainable goals will develop a sense of accomplishment that will ultimately keep you focused on the dream itself.
This article isn’t meant as guide to creating wealth though. I simply want to inspire you to believe in your ability to dream and actually make them come true. Life is too short to not pursue your dreams. When we’re older we’ll either reflect on things with joy or regret. As Mark Twain once famously said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do…”
Always remember that dreams are born from the heart. They are creations that are unique to you and who you are gifted to become. Those who dream and, more importantly, set goals to achieve them, are the ones who experience joy in their lives and a sense of peace in their twilight years. They have lived with pride and finished well, for themselves and for their families.
Set your heart free to soar and take flight on the wings of your dreams. Nothing is impossible to him who knows his dream to be true. I hope this has been enlightening and inspiring to you.
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Article Source: Using Goals to Achieve Your Dreams