Learning to Dream Again
The next time you find yourself in the company of preschool-age children, ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Children are known for dreaming big. In a class of 20 students, you might find yourself surrounded by several future astronauts, firefighters, teachers, ballerinas, doctors, and scientists. Their little minds can be inspiring for us adults.
Children dream uninhibitedly. They dream about things the rest of us find unobtainable. Too often, we think about all the obstacles in our way and allow our minds to entertain the “what ifs,” rather than the “why nots.” As we mature, our goals need to be more realistic for our skills and abilities, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop reaching for the stars.
We need to remember our childhood innocence when it comes to our dreams. It’s the only way we’ll ever accomplish all the things we’re truly capable of achieving.
As Gloria Steinem says, “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
No one ever made it to the top of their industry by limiting themselves on what they were capable of accomplishing. Instead, you need to imagine the heights your business might be able to reach if you allow yourself to really dream big.
Of course, as a professional, your dreaming must take a slightly more predictable path. You must not only have the end goal in mind, but you must also be able to determine what you need to do to reach the desired end result.
Identify what you’d like to accomplish professionally
These goals can look vastly different. If you’re a small business owner, you might have a desired income you’d like to see from your business, or perhaps you want to have enough income to open another branch in a neighboring city. If you work for a company, maybe you want to reach the c-suite or gain the experience you need to start your own company. This is where you should be inspired by the dreams of those in the under age five crowd. Allow your mind to imagine where you’d like to be in 5, 10, or 20 years.
Outline a path you need to take to accomplish this goal
Once you know where you want to go, it’s time to outline the steps needed to get there. This includes setting small and incremental goals throughout your journey. If you want to reach a new position within your company, consider what type of education and experience you’ll need to obtain along the way. If you’ve started a business, learn about better business practices to bring in new customers and encourage them to stay. For example, set:
- goals for identifying and appealing to your ideal customer audience
- goals for improving the business website
- goals for improving customer experience
- goals for using inbound marketing and new digital marketing
- goals for integrating digital marketing with traditional marketing practices
Once you know what you need to do to reach your goals, you’ll be able to confidently set out on the path toward accomplishing them.
The path to success requires thinking outside the box and being willing to dream big. Children are excellent examples for us to think about what we might actually be capable of accomplishing if we don’t get overwhelmed by the potential obstacles. Too often we limit ourselves unnecessarily. Take a lesson from the smallest members of society and learn how to dream unfettered.