One of my favorite things is listening to people describe their dreams, wishes, and goals. As I listen, the light shines in their eyes as they explain how things could really be. They have a unique perspective on the changes that need to occur, and they have formulated a custom solution that has for some reason has not yet been discovered by others. If it would be implemented, true change, restoration, or progress could take place.
As they speak, their creative energies are fully intact, their life passions and hearts are engaged, and I, as the listener, am completely inspired.
Then, all too often, as if on cue, their eyes shift from looking upwards as they speak and imagine their idea to looking at the ground. Then, comes the seemingly inevitable comment, “But, ‘I could never do that’ or ‘it could never work’ because of…” And, follows the “reason” that it would not, could not ever occur.
From my perspective as the listener, what has been mentioned seems to me only a hurdle to be overcome or an obstacle to be deconstructed. But, to the speaker, what has been mentioned seems to be insurmountable and final. All of the energy that had been exerted into the development of the dream is dissipated with one mention of this opposition or an obstacle.
When dreams are tossed aside, my heart sinks. Something inside me intuitively believes that these dreams are meant to come to fruition, but they are nonetheless all of the sudden off of the table. They are no longer a consideration. This has happened so many times; I feel like it is epidemic.
My questions are the following.
- How can we hold onto our dreams even while we acknowledge the realities that oppose them–big or little?
- How can we face reality without giving up on our dreams entirely?
- Should we stop dreaming when opposition exists?
I would assert that dreams should still be nourished–even in the midst of opposition. Michael Hyatt captures this idea simply, yet profoundly when he states, “Our dreams should be bigger than our obstacles.” When we grow our dreams, they can gain momentum to move into existence in spite of obstacles.
How do we build into our dreams, even while acknowledging the obstacles? Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Clarify your vision. As a starting point, as an individual or as a group, visualize how things would be if there were no barriers and if perfection could be achieved. This is clearly not the only step to take, but it is a great way to start. As novel ideas are brought to reality, they need to be nurtured for what they are. Later, you will introduce other realities into them and negotiate paths around them. They must, however, be fully formed to have the best chance of braving the odds.
- Acknowledge the opposition. Creative thinking is useless if it cannot be applied in real life. What real life obstacles will work against your ideas? Take some time to identify these. Then, evaluate the true impact each could have. Will they completely inhibit your vision, change your vision, or just impact your vision?
- Dismantle the obstacles. Brainstorm paths over, under, through or around the obstacles you have identified. Can these obstacles be removed, changed, or impacted? Often, we view things that are as though they always will be. This is not necessarily the case. Often, things can be changed. Aim to dismantle actual or perceived obstacles that keep you from your goals.
Your unique perspective on life is so important. In fact, it is irreplaceable. If you do not make the changes in the world that you see, who will? If you do not touch the people in your life, who will? Don’t give up when you recognize opposition to your dreams. Grow them and nurture them instead.
If you could bring a dream to reality this year, what would it be?
Christine Wilson, co-founder of Think Time
“Hold onto your dreams.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com
“Acknowledge the obstacles.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com
“Our dreams should be bigger than our obstacles.” Michael Hyatt @michaelhyatt
“Clarify your vision.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com
“Creative thinking is useless if it cannot be applied in real life.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com
“Aim to dismantle actual or perceived obstacles that keep you from your goals.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com
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