Archive for December, 2010
I have found 10 characteristics that every person who becomes a dream achiever needs. As I said in the preview for this blog series these 10 characteristics aren’t necessarily all of the characteristics. These 10 are what jumped out to me when I was thinking about my life and the lives of other successful people that I’m fortunate to know and meet. So here’s the list that we will be tackling in this series:
- A Dream (Defined)
- Planning & Preparation
- Right Attitude
- Undivided Focus
- 10. Duplication
The first set of characteristics that we’re going to dive into is:
1. A Dream (Defined)
Some people may be thinking, “How is ‘a dream’ a characteristic of a dream achiever?” Well you need to have a dream in order to achieve a dream, and believe it or not, there are many people who never act on any of their dreams. For some people it amounts to them believing that it’s not possible for them. For others because they get so busy with the cares of life they forget the dream that was so pressing on their mind. And for others, they’ve been so disillusioned with a life that has been negative, stale, and boring for so long that they no longer believe that their dreams are capable of coming true. Far too often people who believe this are the same people that believe that just because they think about their dream that it’s supposed to automatically happen and that no work is required. That is so far from the truth (no matter what the new-agers out there are trying to say, just thinking strongly about your dream will not make it happen without some action on your part).
Once you have a dream in your mind that you would like to achieve, you need to get to a computer, pen & paper, voice recorder, or anything else that will allow you to take your dream from being in your head to being documented so that you don’t forget it as well as so that you can consistently reference it. Your dream defined is your 1st characteristic because a dream defined allows you to see the end/desired result of what you want to accomplish. It gives you something to build towards. Stephen Covey refers to this as “begin with the end in mind”. When the picture of what you desire is truly defined, then you can find a way to get there, but when what you want is still somewhere in the clouds with no definition, how do you think you’re going to make that happen when you don’t even know what it is you want? Once you have a dream defined you will need to work on characteristic #2.
Webster’s Dictionary defines knowledge as:
(1): the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association (2): acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique.
So now that you have your dream defined, you must gather the knowledge that you will need in order to accomplish that which you are looking to achieve. If you always wanted to play a musical instrument at the highest level possible; or be a professional athlete in any sport; or even be a CEO in business you’re not going to just waltz in the door of these professions with no experience and assume these positions (well maybe the CEO is an exception if you are starting your own business, but I think you get my point). You need to gain knowledge of all of the aspects and attributes of what goes into being a professional musician, athlete, or CEO before you can ever become one and be successful at it.
The knowledge that you gain allows you to be prepared to work on the next characteristics that we’ll cover in our next post: Planning/Preparation & Practice.
STOP LETTING YOUR PAST HOLD YOU HOSTAGE!!!!! Your past is exactly that, your past (already happened, doesn’t have to repeat itself if you don’t want it to, not your present, etc….). It’s nice to reference if you need to remember a lesson learned or have a fond memory of a person, place, or event in your life to make you smile, but all too often those who have allowed their past to hold them hostage are those who are constantly replaying bad/destructive memories (like an old television show that’s in syndication) in their head that develops into a mindset and thought life of negativity and allows you to believe that you’ll never achieve anything or be anyone but a nobody.
Who told you to believe someone else’s lies about your life? ONLY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO KEEP YOU FROM LIVING YOUR LIFE AT YOUR FULLEST POTENTIAL WANT YOU TO BELIEVE THAT!!!! We all need guidance and wisdom to get to our dreams but ultimately you have to make the decision as to where YOU want YOUR life to go, not someone else. As someone who is a Christian believer, it is my belief that my decisions need to be based on what God has to say; and the direction I choose to go because (I know some in the Christian world may not like this statement, but it’s true) contrary to some popular teaching, God does not want to make every single decision in your life, He wants you to make some, in fact most of your decisions based off of what you want in light of what He has to say about you through His Word and other means of communication to you.
I speak this from my heart as this is a life lesson that I’ve been learning more and more each day as I personally am letting go of the negative thoughts that have held me captive for a long time so please heed these words:
If you don’t let go of your negative past, your future will always be held hostage by a past that never allows you to live in your present.
As I go through a very important transition in my life right now I’m finding that I’m achieving some of my dreams and goals that I previously thought were unattainable at this point in my life. It caused me to think as to why this is the case (both why I’m achieving so that I can duplicate my success elsewhere & why these goals were so unattainable for me earlier in my life) and it hit me, I wasn’t truly doing all that I needed at the time either physically, mentally, or spiritually to get to my dream. It’s because of that that I’ve been inspired to write my first series of Blog Post on one theme. That theme is entitled Characteristics of a Dream Achiever.
I have identified 10 characteristics that I will be writing blog posts about. My goal is to tackle 2 characteristics per post (when possible) so that we can all go on a journey of discovery about some of what it takes to achieve our dreams. By no means am I claiming that these are the only characteristics for achieving your dreams. These are just the characteristics that jump out to me. I hope that you will join me on this journey, and bring along a few other people that you think would benefit from these post. First post in the series will be coming out this Thursday!!!!!
Wisdom; it is truly something very valuable to have and exercise in your life. It is also something that can be very misunderstood as some know of the word but don’t really know what it means or how to apply it. So let’s delve into this a little bit. Wisdom as defined by Dictionary.com is:
- the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
I have another definition of wisdom that I’ve taught in the past and would like for you to consider today. My personal definition of wisdom is:
- having wise dominion (dominion being control/stewardship) and application over all that you possess along with knowing when and how to use it.
When I say all I mean your money, knowledge, time, toys, all/everything that you have! I’ve heard people say that wisdom is a product of age; wealth; social standing; and other material things that people use as status markers, but the truth of the matter is that wisdom does not come with age, in fact wisdom doesn’t come to you at all. If you want wisdom you have to pursue wisdom because wisdom comes from pursuit, learning, and application. I have been told most of my life thus far as far back as I can remember (and I have siblings and others several years older than me to back it up) that I have wisdom beyond my years and I never really understood that statement because I’ve only seen the attaining of wisdom happen via pursuit.
Your pursuit of a thing will tell me how much you truly want it, so if you’re not pursuing wisdom and claiming to be wise I doubt you truly are. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t smart. You can be smart and know many facts but still lack wisdom. Wisdom and knowledge differ in one main area; application. Knowledge can be gained and never applied while wisdom is knowledge continually applied and lived. I hope this isn’t a confusing post for you, but I needed to get that off my chest because I’m sick and tired of seeing the wisdom of youth being ignored by those that feel they know enough because they are older and I’m also sick of seeing the wisdom of those that are older ignored by those that think that there’s nothing to learn from those that are older and have valid experiences.
Last night I played a jazz gig with some of the best musicians from the Greater Hartford Area and I truly had a lot fun playing. My musical history in the area of Hartford is filled with a lot of bumps and obstacles in my journey but I have overcome them all. One thing of note however is when I am looking back on it all I realize that many of these obstacles were self-imposed and it comes down to one basic concept; I stopped having fun with music. I started to play jazz because it was challenging and fun but somewhere along the line I allowed it to become challenging, competitive, a job, something to get a degree in, something to pursue because at that point in my life it was expected of me, etc. But the one thing it stopped being was fun.
That’s when I stopped playing, practicing, and even stopped listening to jazz for a quite a while. Once the fun started to come back into playing music, I stopped worrying about how I felt with my performances because truthfully be it music, business, or anything else you tend to be your worst critic. My performance last night earned me some praise from a former professor and musician that I really admire as well as from my peers that were in attendance, something that I haven’t been accustomed to receiving before.
The lessons to be learned from this experience are really simple, whatever it is that you choose to do with your life make sure that it is something that you like and something that you HAVE FUN doing. Don’t let it become a J(ust) O(ver) B(roke) (Job for those of you that didn’t get it); instead let your fun be an extension of who you are that allows you to live your life instead of toiling to try and make a living.
One of my favorite cartoons as a child was Thundercats. I used to love the action and story that came with it. But there was one thing that happened just about every episode that you could rely on. Anytime there was trouble brewing, Lion-O (the leader of the Thundercats) sword (the Sword of Omens) would begin to make a noise which prompted Lion-O to but the sword to his eyes and say the following words, “Sword of Omens, give me sight beyond sight.” It is from that statement that I want to focus on.
There is a clear difference between sight and vision. Sight is what you see in front of you on a daily basis (sight being narrow), while vision allows you to see beyond what’s in front of you in order for the bigger picture to come clearly into focus (vision being broader). In order to achieve your dreams and goals you need both, but the challenge comes in discerning when you need to use your sight and when you need to use your vision. Lion-O, when his sword was prompting him, asked to be given sight beyond sight. He needed to see what was going on outside of him as well as to know how it affected both himself and those under his charge. That is what vision allows.
Sight will only get you so far in achieving your dreams and goals, and vision doesn’t allow for you to see the day to day things that need to be accomplished to support the goals that are propelling you to achieving your dreams and goals. You need them both. There are some people that tend only to rely on their immediate sight and those that tend to only rely on their forward thinking vision. In most cases, these people are both disappointed because they never reach their end result because they don’t see all of what they need to see in order to get to the goal.
So I encourage you to learn the difference between sight and vision and employ them both in your everyday walk.