Archive for January, 2011
Do you truly know what you want? Is what you want based on what your neighbor has? Is it based on what someone else wants for you? Is it based on what the latest fashion or entertainment magazine says you should have? Or is it based on what your favorite celebrity says is in?
Do you have a say in what you want? Has want you want been decided for you by a parent, teacher, supervisor/manager, mentor, or relative? Have your friends or colleagues dictated what you should want? Are your wants based on your contacts at Facebook, Twitter and other such online sources?
Do you know how to get what you want? Have you been taught how to plan for what you want? Is someone else dictating how you should go about getting what you want or even worse; is someone else “forcing” you to go in a direction you don’t want to go to get to what you want?
What are your wants? Are they material? Spiritual? Family? Work Related? Social? Physical? Emotional? Intellectual? Are your trying to fill a void with something that you think you want only to find out that it wasn’t what you wanted or needed?
Are your wants truly wants or are they needs? Do you know the difference between a need and a want? Are you calling a need a want and a want a need?
Is what you want being dictated by what you don’t have? Is your desire for more causing you to overlook all that you have now and poisoning your ability to enjoy what you currently do have?
Are you willing to face that some of what you want may not be good for you?
Just some food for thought.
This time of year is always funny for me, as the anniversary of my mothers death was 8 years ago this month, and my birthday is coming up next week which is 2 weeks after the anniversary of her death, but this year is even more funny as I’m going through a big life transition that I wouldn’t wish on anyone but has taught me much and brought me both death and life at the same time. I’m in the process of getting a divorce, something that I’ve never ever wanted in my life and while it is now “normal” in the USA for this to happen, it still isn’t normal to me.
This process has reminded me that I am dying a daily death, but at the same time, there are some things that are gaining new life within me. All of us, and I mean all of us die daily (and I’m not talking from a biological standpoint). There are ideas, zeal, attitudes, mindsets, and habits that die within us everyday either because they are outdated for who we now are in life, or because they haven’t been nourished like they need to be (either through discouragement, laziness, or just being worn out). Quite honestly, there are many things that need to die daily in our lives in order for new life to spring forth within us.
Yesterday we finished our series on the Characteristics of a Dream Achiever, but the more I thought about the ending of this series and what I’m dealing with right now, the more I really began to understand that we are all dying a daily death but is what’s dying in us the very thing that we need to live the best life possible or the very things that are keeping us back from living all that we can live? That’s something that only you and I can decide as this is the one type of death that we have full control over.
Take the time to examine yourself and discover what things you need to let go of [and let die] and what things you need to nourish so that they can live [and bring new life].
So here we are; the last post in our series about Dream Achieving. So let’s get straight to it. The last 2 characteristics that we’ll be discussing in this series are:
If you are ever planning on achieving anything in life then you know that you must be able to persevere. This is ever so important in becoming a Dream Achiever. Perseverance will help you to press through the disappointments, near misses, attempts of others to discourage you/block your dream from becoming a reality. If Application is the #1 characteristic where most people stop in achieving their dream, then Perseverance is the #2. We must all learn to establish and cultivate the various supports systems that individuals need in order to achieve their dreams but there is also a time in which you must be your own cheerleader so to say and be able to press through when everything seems to be trying to shut you down.
So now of all Characteristics of a Dream Achiever, I think that this is the one that several people would not understand just from looking at it. Duplication is a characteristic because you need to learn how to duplicate your small successes (as well as your large ones) so that you will establish a mindset and pattern within yourself of success so that no matter what the dream or goal is, you will be able to duplicate your ability to achieve it. Notice I didn’t say repeat. I didn’t say repeat because in order to repeat a thing, you have to have identical circumstances and the likelihood of you have identical obstacles and issues to conquer during every phase of achieving your dream are slim to none unless you create the same obstacles for yourself over and over again, which is an insanity that I’m sorry to say far too many people are currently living in.
I thank you for taking this journey and reading these blog posts. It has been my goal to be of help to all of you in the achievement of your dreams and I hope that I’ve been able to do so with these posts.
Before we move on to the next 2 characteristics let’s review what we’ve covered so far. So far we’ve seen that in order to become a Dream Achiever one must have a Dream that gets further developed by the Knowledge you attain in order to bring your dream to life. Then we learned that we need to have Planning & Preparation in order for us to Practice what we’ve gathered to this point. After all of this we learned that we need to have the Right Attitude coupled together with Undivided Attention to get us to the topics of this post today, the characteristics of:
Application as defined by Dictionary.com is:
- The act of putting to a special use or purpose
From this definition right here we see that what we are applying/the application that we are speaking of is every dream achieving characteristic (and the lessons that each of them has taught us by adopting them) that we have learned thus far. This is the point in Dream Achieving that we truly begin to see the various components of the dream coming together and becoming real in our lives. If there is one thing that I’ve learned is that this is where a lot of people stop and their dreams die. This is the place where people really find out how much they’ll have to step out of their comfort zone; sacrifice; change their life and lifestyle; and when they decide that it is too risky to step into the unknown in order to create and bring to life the dream that they’ve had inside them for such a long time so they would rather continue to wonder what if instead of applying themselves and achieving their dream.
So now that you’re at the place of application you have to pursue what you’ve spent so much time working on so that your dream becomes a reality and doesn’t die. Your pursuit of your dream will tell anyone that has achieved a dream or that is in position to help you achieve your dream how much and how hungry you are for the achievement of your dream. Pursuit isn’t just a leisurely stroll after your dream; it is a frantic yet controlled pace that propels you forward until you have what it is that you have been going after. Pursuit is birthed out of your passion for dream achievement.
The next 2 characteristics that we’ll be talking about are:
- Right Attitude
- Undivided Focus
Have you ever been told that you have the wrong attitude or that you need an attitude adjustment? Do you ever wonder what having the right attitude means? When it comes to being a dream achiever, having the right attitude is everything. There is no single “right attitude” for every dream. The reason why this is true is because each dream that a person has to achieve has a different path towards achievement. In fact you can have 2 people start with and achieve the same dream but get there 2 different ways. So while there is no single “right attitude” there are some common traits for every “right attitude” that are needed for achieving your dreams.
Some of these traits include: perseverance; patience; determination; being able to bounce back from disappointments/failures; boldness; and humility (among several other). All of these combined with the unique traits that you pick up along your specific journey will help propel your dream to something imagined to something real.
The greatest enemy to progress, dream fulfillment, or anything requiring you to do any kind of school or work is broken focus. Dr. Mike Murdock has often said (paraphrasing) that if you want to stop a man with a dream, give him another dream to work on that will break his focus. Once you have decided that you want to accomplish any goal or dream then you need this very, if not most important Characteristic of a Dream Achiever. I can’t count the amount of times in my life thus far that broken focus has kept me from achieving something that I’ve wanted. Because of broken focus as well as fear which is a byproduct of broken focus, I allowed myself to listen to my detractors early on in life who told me that I wouldn’t achieve something that I had dreamed about and desired for a long time.
Thank God that I learned to stop listening to them! Once your focus is undivided and on the sole goal that you wish to achieve, nothing will be able to stop you. Undivided Focus allows you to harness the energy that comes from your passion and excitement towards your dream and focus it into all of the efforts that are required to bring your dream to life. Undivided focus makes you unstoppable, divided focus may not cause you to stop, but it does allow someone else to take the wheel, steer your life and passion (that focused energy we spoke about a few sentences ago) where they want it to go instead of where you need it to go.
Our next post will talk about Application & Pursuit.
(Before we go into this post today, I want to apologize for not posting this sooner. I was on vacation since December 23rd, but I’m back now and will be posting the rest of this series this week so stay tuned in!!!)
In today’s post we are going to look at the next set of characteristics:
- Planning & Preparation
Planning & Preparation
Planning and Preparation are necessary parts of achieving your dream. While this may seem like it should be 2 separate steps, I grouped them together because they really go hand in hand. We’ve established that a dream defined will show you the end result that you desire and that you need to gain knowledge of what skills, resources, etc you will need on this journey towards dream achievement. Planning allows you to map out the steps that will be necessary as well as set the timeline you believe it will take for you to get to your end result while the preparation portion of this step allows you to prepare whatever resources you currently have as well as yourself for the next step in the journey of dream achievement.
It is at this point that you are ready to practice some of the things that you’ve learned thus far. Practicing allows you to sharpen your skills as well as yourself so that when you arrive at the point of dream achievement you will be able to take full advantage of it. Ralph Marston says, “What is the best opportunity? It’s the one for which you’re the most fully prepared.” Whitney Young Jr. backs up the reasoning for practicing your necessary skills and gifts by saying, “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one that to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
Your practice time is so vitally important in achieving your dream. To go back to the musician example I listed in the last post, I can tell you from experience as a jazz musician that when I first saw live jazz and decided I wanted to be able to play music like what I saw on stage I had to go home and spend a lot of time practicing. It was in the practice time that I sharpened the skills that I had as well as acquired new skills that would bring me closer to my goal of performing live jazz. As a result of years of practice time (which never stops as I still practice) I’m able to get on stage and perform jazz like I wanted to when I was a boy.
There’s an old saying, “Practice makes perfect”, and I’d like to modify that saying for our discussion and say, “Practice makes you ready to fulfill the dream that you are willing to work to achieve.”
For the next post we’ll talk about Right Attitude & Undivided Focus.