Where are you going to?
“You’re nothing but a dreamer.”
I never dreamt I’d be able to fit into a 30” waist again. That’s what I thought some years ago when I caught sight of my portly figure.
However, when I decided to lose some weight and take up regular exercise that’s exactly what happened. I also never dreamt I’d be able to cycle over 100 miles in a single day, and that happened too!
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Recently I read a story that I found really inspiring. Apparently it’s all true although I can’t seem to find the full background and details to the story, however, the lesson I learned from it remains helpful for me, however accurate the story actually is.
It has to do with a young lady who, at the time, became the youngest violinist to play solo at the Carnegie Hall in New York. After a rapturous applause and a standing ovation, she left the stage and went on to be interviewed. After some initial conversation, her interviewer asked her a question, and her answer has stayed with me ever since I heard it. He asked her: “How have you managed to become so accomplished in your performance at such a young age?” Her answer included just two words that have inspired me ever since, and she replied: “Planned Neglect.”
She went on to explain that after getting up in the morning, getting dressed and having breakfast, everything in her schedule was intentionally neglected until she had completed her violin practice. Nothing else came in the way or caused her to miss making her practice a top priority, or interfered with her pursuing her dream.
Often times I am reminded of this story whenever I am planning my schedule, and even more so in the last couple of years as I find myself pursuing a new dream. It can be so easy to see so many priorities, so many things that need to get done to support the dream, that sometimes the dream itself gets left out.
The first step in discovering my dream, your dream, is to understand the difference between a goal, and a vision. Simon Sinek puts it this way:
“The difference between a goal and a vision is the finish line. A goal is 26.2 miles, I don’t know what it looks like but I know how far it is. A vision, on the other hand, is a crystal clear sense of what the future state looks like but I don’t have an idea how far it is. In reality, every goal takes us closer to that vision.”
~ Simon Sinek
A vision has to do with what the future will look like and has little regard to the getting there. Martin Luther King had a dream, which he made known in his famous speech of August 28 1963.
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress the dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade. … His goal was achieved on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong stepped off the Lunar Module’s ladder and onto the Moon’s surface.
Five years after Walt Disney passed away his wife Lillian attended the dedication ceremony of the first Disney theme park that Walt had envisioned. Apparently, during the ceremony, someone observed: “Isn’t it a shame that Walt didn’t live to see this?”. She answered simply: “He did.”
“Dreams come in a size too big, so we can grow into them.”
~ Josie Bisset
A dream is that thing which makes you want to neglect everything else that would interfere with achieving it. It’s that thing that inspires you to push through those difficult, sometimes seemingly insurmountable challenges. It’s the thing that makes you want to confront those inner voices that insist that you’ll never be able to do this, or that.
Every DREAM has a PRIZE: “An inspiring image of the future that produces passion in people, and turns ‘Have to’ into ‘Want to’”.
Where do we find our dream or our prize? Well for some people it seems that it just is. There is a passion driving everything they do and it just seems to be part of who they are. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Nelson Mandela, Walt Disney, Martin Luther King … who would you include on the list of famous people that had a vision we now know all about?
For me, it was my personal timeline that uncovered my passion and my dream and exploring it revealed the direction I have currently taken in my life and career. It’s a dream that has taken me through so many “fear barriers” and confronted so many thoughts such as “I’ll never be able to do this” and “you must be barmy”.
“Imagination is the soil that brings dreams to life.”
~ John Maxwell
If I could summarise it, I might say something like: “For me, the heart of my dream is to add value to the room.” Of course, I mean adding value to the people in the room and seeing them leave the room with something helpful and new to take into their day. One of my most treasured moments was when someone I was working with shared with his team something that I had helped him discover. For me, that’s inspiring. That’s my Prize.
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.