Dreaming is one of the most vital behaviors of any leader. As I (with the help of Carl Sandburg) discussed last week, nothing happens without first having a dream. The second half of that is that birthing a dream is always followed by struggles. The question invariably becomes how do you keep yourself on track when there are so many obstacles blocking your path. The answer is that there are only two reasons we don’t move forward: our dream isn’t big enough, or our belief isn’t strong enough.
I’ve put together this short list of ways to help keep the dream alive by gathering information from various leadership materials from experts like Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady (number 7 and number 12 top leadership gurus, respectively).
Go dream building
One of the most effective ways to grow a dream is to…well…grow a dream. Visit homes, look at cars, flip through travel magazines, look up charities. Find something that excites you and helps you visualize what you want from your life.
Keep your dream in front of you
Once you find your dream, put it up everywhere. Whether it’s a picture of a home or a credit card statement with zero balance, you need to plaster it wherever you can as a constant reminder. Visit it every day.
Write an affirmation statement
Create a statement about where you want to be as if it’s already come to pass. If you hate reading, but want to get better at it, part of your statement might look like: “I love to read. I read at least 15 minutes every day.” Read it to yourself every day. You may feel ridiculous at first, but over time it will help build belief in yourself.
Avoid people who tear you down
Your dream is too precious to let someone poison it. There’s a story told about a young aspiring baseball player who was given the opportunity spend some time with Ken Griffey, Jr. and ask advice. Of the few points Griffey laid out for the boy, the most important was: “If anyone ever tells you that you cannot have your dream, never take advice from that person again.”
Seek people who encourage you
We become the average of the 5 people with whom we spend the most time. Make sure you’re choosing the right people to influence you. If you can’t get around people who can mentor you personally, read books and listen to audios from successful men and women. The belief you can build by listening to stories of how others won their battles is priceless.
Set small achievable goals
Many times we get disheartened on our paths to success just because of how long it takes. Nothing worthwhile comes quickly. To keep from getting down, set short-term goals that align with your long-term vision to offer yourself little victories along the way.
There are many other techniques we can use to help keep us moving. These are just a few suggestions.