Steps to Achievement?
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie
Steps to Achievement
by Chris Widener
Since this is a time of adjustment for me and a time for me to renew my dreams of what I want to accomplish in life and business, I want to share a few thoughts on achieving your dreams. It is never too late to dream or renew your dream for a better life. The real question though, is how do we achieve a dream? Well, here are some thoughts that will help you answer that question!
Can achievement be broken down into steps? Well, it isn’t always that clean and easy, but I do know that those who achieve great things usually go through much of the same process, with many of the steps listed below as part of that process. So if you have been struggling with achieving your dreams, look through the following, and internalize the thoughts presented. Then begin to apply them. If you do that, you will be on the road to achieving your dream!
- Dream it – Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. They dared to dream, to believe that it was possible. Take some time to allow yourself to ask “What if?” Think big. Don’t let negative thinking discourage you. You want to be a “dreamer.” Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family, and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow cold, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go.
- Believe it – Yes, your dream needs to be big. It needs to be something that is seemingly beyond your capabilities. But it also must be believable. You must be able to say that if certain things take place, if others help, if you work hard enough, though it is a big dream, it can still be done. Good example: A person with no college education can dream that he will build a 50 million-dollar a year company. That is big, but believable. Bad example: That a 90 year-old woman with arthritis will someday run a marathon in under 3 hours. It is big alright, but also impossible. Your dream must be believable.
- See it – The great achievers have a habit. They “see” things. They picture themselves walking around their CEO office in their new 25 million-dollar corporate headquarters, even while they are sitting on a folding chair in their garage “headquarters.” Great free-throw shooters in the NBA picture the ball going through the basket. PGA golfers picture the ball going straight down the fairway. World-class speakers picture themselves speaking with energy and emotion. All of this grooms the mind to control the body to carry out the dream. You have to see it in your mind before you can see it in reality.
- Tell it – One reason many dreams never go anywhere is because the dreamer keeps it all to himself. It is a quiet dream that only lives inside of his mind. The one who wants to achieve their dream must tell that dream to many people. One reason: As we continually say it, we begin to believe it more and more. If we are talking about it then it must be possible. Another reason: It holds us accountable. When we have told others, it spurs us on to actually do it so we don’t look foolish.
- Plan it – Every dream must take the form of a plan. The old saying that you “get what you plan for” is so true. Your dream won’t just happen. You need to sit down, on a regular basis, and plan out your strategy for achieving the dream. Think through all of the details. Break the whole plan down into small, workable parts. Then set a time frame for accomplishing each task on your “dream plan.”
- Work it – Boy, wouldn’t life be grand if we could quit before this one! Unfortunately for the lazy folks, the successful are usually the hardest workers. While the rest of the world is sitting on their couch watching re-runs of their favorite television shows, achievers are working on their goal – achieving their dream. I have an equation that I work with: Your short-term tasks, multiplied by time, equal your long-term accomplishments. If you work on it each day, eventually you will achieve your dream. War and Peace was written, in longhand, page by page.
- Enjoy it – When you have reached your goal and you are living your dream, be sure to enjoy it. In fact, enjoy the trip, too. Give yourself some rewards along the way. Give yourself a huge reward when you get there. Help others enjoy it. Be gracious and generous. Use your dream to better others.
When you have become successful and achieved your dreams circle around and go back to number one. And dream a little bigger this time!
Chris Widener is the Co-Founder of Made for Success, www.MadeForSuccess.net, a wealth of ongoing motivation and leadership skills training.
Coaching Call To Action
Do you have a dream? If so identify where you are on Chris’s steps and what comes next? If you don’t have a dream, each day this week take some time and wonder “what if”? See what ideas come to mind and record them in your journal. And that’s all it takes to start achieving your dreams!