One of the most important components to Living Intentionally For Excellence is to have a big dream. Or as Kirk Birtles would say, “You’ve got to have a B-HAG, Big Harry Audacious Goal”.
Many times when talking with people I’m just meeting, I start to ask them questions like ‘Where do you picture yourself in 2-5 years from now if you could have any lifestyle you wanted?’ or ‘ What would you be doing differently now, if time and money were no object?’ or even ‘if you won the lottery right now, what would change in your life?’. Most of the time people start with the statement ‘I wouldn’t change anything’.
I always laugh inside when I hear this, because I know that this is not true.
When I was young I had my life all planned out. I lived on a ton of land, with horses that I could ride all day. I had a grand house so my whole family could visit often and we would have enough room for them to stay a while. We had an indoor pool, with hot tub and sauna. I had a husband and at least 2 kids by the time I was 25. I would be married to my soul mate, the one who completed me, and we had a leave it to beaver kind of life. I was a stay at home mom, raising my own kids and supporting my husband who also stayed home with us. We also traveled to many different places every year, having vacation homes in many spots around the world.
However, it seems that God has another plan for me. I am neither married, or have any kids. I live at home with my mom, dad, sister and niece at 27 years old. I have a job that is not my dream life activity, and there is no way I can even afford to take a day trip down the street, let alone vacation homes around the world.
How did this happen? Society has taught us that life is just not fair. The rich get richer and we suffer with the mere pennies we earn.
Well I don’t believe that. I believe that we can have any future we want. Steven Covey, one of the top 25 Leadership Gurus, wrote an amazing book I reference all the time, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In this book, the second habit is ‘begin with the end in mind’. What I get from this is instead of listening to people who don’t have any good fruit on the tree, listen and learn from people who bear the fruit you desire. Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis , Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Dan Hawkins, Chris Mattis and all the leaders on the TEAM always say, ” You only get what you picture. You only get what you picture”. Just like Steven Covey teaches in his book, you have to visualize where you are going. You have to KNOW where you are going. If you don’t know where you are going, then you are already there. And for me, as I described earlier… I am not where I wanted to be. Somewhere in there, in my journey through life, I lost my vision. I picked up the one that society threw at me… go to school, work hard, get a good job, it’ll take care of you for the rest of your life. I know, I laughed at that too when I read it… There is no such thing as a stable job. Most people I talk to feel like they are on egg shells everyday. There is no security anymore. The only way you can get security is to go out there and make it happen for yourself. And how are you going to start? By first visualizing where you want to go. You must have this step first and foremost. For if you do not have a picture of where you are going, you have no need to change your life. In that case, I hope you are content… but I know I am not.
Another big component to a dream, is having an emotional attachment to it. If this dream is something you can push aside and not feel something for it, it’s not your true dream, your true calling. THE dream will tear your heart apart fighting for it. If you find yourself crying over this dream, if you find yourself doing things you never would before for it, then it is your true dream. My personal mentor in LIFE, Holger Spiewak has a true dream. Anytime you get in front of him and he starts talking to you about his dream, you can feel it. He is so pationate about his dream everyone knows it. He visualizes his dream every day, he gets emotional about it every day, he talks about it every day, anyone around him knows his dream, that is how connected to it he is. Thats a true dream.
Let me ask you a question. What is your dream? Where do you want your life to be 5 years from now? If you can’t answer that question, I urge you to try. Think truly about where you want to go in life, who you want to become. Then once you have that picture in your head, visualize what it would be like to live that life every day. Every day. The more you do that, the closer you will get to your vision.
Remember, take a look at your life right now, at this very moment. Is it EVERY THING you dreamed it would be? if not, I recommend taking a look at your vision, get it back on track, and start fighting for you, beginning with your dream.