Everybody dreams, but not everybody acts on their dreams. Dreams are easy to dismiss when you don’t understand how powerful they are. They are manifestations of your imagination; something that every person has...
Blind people are able to dream, using memories and senses to visualise images in their head. The average person dreams for at least two hours every night, for up to six years of their life.
Noted French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault believed that dreams are where the human soul originated and the Greeks believed them to be messages from the Gods.
Inventions conceived in dreams
Many famous inventions (such as the Singer Sewing Machine and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity) were conceived of in dreams as were books like Frankenstein and Pilgrim’s Progress.
I have to say that I dream regularly – and quite significantly. Most of our products and services were conceived in dreams. I’ve dreamt the very specific outline of books, information, articles everything. My team used to tease me… now they don’t.
Dreams alter our lives
It’s obvious that what we dream of has the potential to dramatically alter our lives, yet for most of us it stops right where it starts – in our heads. These visions are instrumental in driving the big picture of our success forward. Yet few dreams ever manage to take the leap into something tangible and this is where so many of us let the power of our dreams slip through our fingers.
Children dream more
They say that children dream more often and more vividly than adults do and you can tell. They are much more fearless and decisive in taking actions, even if it results in failure. They have not yet learned that failure is bad. They know that getting up and trying again is natural – and certainly normal.
Nowhere is our failure to act on our dreams more prominent than in the business and arts sector. People thinking of starting their own business or finally exploring that long-delayed entrepreneurial idea don’t have to look very far to find things to put you off trying in the first place. Local news is dominated will scary business failure statistics or stories involving taxation, work-life balance, poor cash flow, debt and more.
Silence the Imposter
If you’re looking for a reason not to follow your dreams, you will always find plenty of them. There will always be bills to pay, something expensive needing to be fixed and a thousand and one other constant demands on your time, energy and finances.
The myth of overnight success
Looking at well-known people we see in the news it’s easy to be deceived into believing that success is an overnight phenomenon for most, but the truth is that most big names in business, entertainment and sports are just like us – people who started off with a dream, made a plan and then took action – despite adversity.
Country Singer Shania Twain had to put her singing career on hold to raise her younger siblings when her parents died when she was only 20. Soccer player Pele started playing soccer using a rolled up sock as he couldn’t afford an actual soccer ball. Body Shop founder Anita Roddick couldn’t secure financing to open her store as she was a woman and had to ask her husband to get the loan for her.
Don’t wait until it’s perfect
It’s highly unlikely that any of these people had the detailed specifics of their dreams mapped out. Shania probably just wanted to sing, Pele to play ball and Roddick to sell body creams. Each of these individuals could have waited until circumstances where 100% perfect to pursue their dreams. Instead they realised this fundamental truth – that often we have to proceed with only a portion of the ‘Big Picture’ mapped out and fill in the dots as we go along, and that there will never be a perfect time to get started.
We call it the 80% rule. Have only 80% out, just start, build momentum and the rest is taken care of.
Mitigate your circumstances
Sometimes the best way to get started is by mitigating all the ‘what ifs’ that keep you from taking the action critical to your success and putting them on paper. Worried about time? Set up a manageable timetable that gives you an hour each day to work on your project. Worried about money? Investigate affordable financing options and repayment periods. Worried that your idea just won’t work? Research how, when and why it can.
It can only ever be up to you
In the end, it comes down to you – and you alone are responsible for ‘doing’ AND ‘dreaming’. In the words of T.E Lawrence (the real-life Lawrence of Arabia), “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
Getting sh*t done