We all have huge dreams, you know the kind that may never come true, but the problem is not that you can’t make those dreams come true, the problem is that your personal goals and your dreams are not aligned. The usual solution or what it’s suggested is to align your personal goals with your dreams. Personally, I think that is the wrong approach.
The dreams you should avoid
Back when I was working at the bank, I used to hear all kind of dreams that people wanted. Things like “I want to be rich” and “I want to be famous and travel the world” were very common. Both dreams can be fulfilled, but those who said it were never doing anything to get there.
I will call these the “big hole dreams” because the only thing they can do is left you frustrated and unmotivated. These kind of dreams are impossible to align with your personal goals because there is no clear path towards them, they are totally vague. That’s why you can’t move towards them, not even with tiny steps.
I must warn you about this dreams, they are nothing but a horrible way to hurt you. They will drain your energy each time you remember them, and if your current life is nothing close to them, you will feel horrible. There is nothing worse than a dream that only makes you feel worst!
The right kind of dreams
Dreams should be big and bold, but not vague at all. A good dream is something that will challenge to grow as a whole. Not only in a career way, or a personal level, but in all the areas of your life.
Your dreams should reflect where you want to be on the long run, but there must be a path that can take you towards them. A good dream is more descriptive. It’s not “I want to be rich,” it should be something more descriptive like: “I want to write awesome books that will reach the top sell charts and make me wealthy.”
The big difference is that now the dream has actions in it, you have to do something to get them instead of just waiting for them to fulfill themselves. Believe me riches don’t fall from the sky.
Now take the time to think in your dream and add more to it, how do you truly fit into it. What do you want to be doing? How will you feel?
Personal goals are part of the dream
Now that you have a more descriptive dream, it’s time for you to expand and set some checkpoints along the way. Now you will know you are walking in the right direction. Which will leave frustration out of the way.
Your personal goals are still very challenging tasks, but they are well within your means. These goals are the checkpoints in your journey towards your dreams. Just as with dreams there is a good way to craft them and help you move towards them easily. Just remember this simple rules:
- You can track your progress. For example if your goal is to write a complete novel, you can track your progress by the number of pages or chapters that you have written so far. Take into account that tracking your progress must not be a huge and time consuming task, it must be easy and done in a couple of minutes.
- You have actions to take regularly. Back to the writers example, the action that the writer must take to complete his bestselling novel, is expressed everywhere, he must write regularly. If you don’t know what you have to do when you think in your goal, you may need to think again.
- You need a deadline. If our writer wants a bestselling novel, he needs to finish it. There is no use to have goals without a deadline. If you have an infinite amount of time to complete them you will never do anything, because you could start tomorrow, and that sounds to me like procrastination.
To stay in the clear side of things, let’s help our imaginary writer friend to craft his personal goal: “I will complete my first novel in by January of the next year by writing 4 days a week.” As you can see his personal goal has everything he needs to take action. Notice that we still don’t know if it’s going to be a bestselling book, or if he will get rich, but it’s an important milestone in the way, he needs his first book published.
You can get more specific with your goals, but remember they must remain challenging.
Taking the time to align everything with your life
The most important thing about dreams and personal goals is that they need to make you feel better as a whole. They are like a chain, if one link is broken or rusted, the chain may not really work.
This is the key to making everything work. They have to align with your values and your heart. They need to fit like a glove with your personality. If they go against one of your values or one of your goals make you feel bad, toss it far away!
It’s better to take the time to rethink one goal or the whole dream, than selling your soul and crushing your heart. Remember the whole point of aligning your dreams and your personal goals is to be happy and fulfilled, not to end up as a bitter old person with no desire to live at all.
Now take the time to check your personal goals and your dreams, sit for a couple of hours if you need to and align everything to your life. This may sound like a waste of time since you won’t be acting to get something. But in reality it’s the best investment you can do, your whole life will have a deep sense of purpose. One key element of turning into a true warrior.
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