I write this post sitting outside at my in-law’s house in Southern Illinois. It’s 82 degrees, and the view is astonishing. Their house overlooks rolling hills of land as far as you can see, there are no neighbors within sight, and best of all it is peaceful and quiet. Our 3 year old lab puppy is running around their land and swimming in the lake, the happiest you will ever see him.
I start out painting this picture for you, because this is my wife and I’s dream; to have a lot of land out in the country. This post isn’t about our dream and what we want, but about the power of having a dream and keeping your eye on it. We make it down here about once a month or so, and every time we are here it is a motivating thing for me in my career aspect. I always return home refreshed, motivated, and ready to take on the challenges necessary to get where we want to go.
Regardless of your age, when was the last time you stop and asked yourself what your goals and dreams are? What do you want to accomplish? When we grow up, everyone always asks “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But many people don’t stop and think about that after High School. Many people get caught up in the day to day rat race of getting paid to pay their bills, getting out of debt, and trying to survive.
Believe it or not, there is a power behind having a dream. Maybe your dream is something similar to ours in it being your living situation. Maybe you just would like to travel the world and experience different cultures. Maybe your dreams are being out of debt or being job optional. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family and loved ones. I encourage you to stop reading this for 3-5 minutes and just think that if time and money weren’t an objection, what would you do with your life? If you find yourself thinking about this for quite some time, I would highly suggest getting your hands on one of these 3 books: The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz, Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, and The Ant and The Elephant by Vince Poscente.
All 3 of these books teach you ways to harness the power of your dream and use it as motivation to go make it come to reality. The concept of the Ant and the Elephant is probably one of the most powerful. Vince Poscente relates it to the Ant being your conscious mind, and the elephant being your subconscious mind. If you find a way to feed your subconscious mind through what we call “Dream Building”, eventually it will take over your conscious mind and start problem solving and figuring out a path to get your dreams. Now here’s my quick disclaimer: you can’t just read these books, sit back and expect something to happen. It’s crazy, I know. Here are some things I have learned to help get the ball moving in the right direction:
1) Spend 15 minutes a day visualizing and imagining your goal/dream. Find time to truly visualize what it will be like when you achieve it. If it is receiving an award at a company banquet, imagine walking up on stage to receive it and the speech that will follow. If you are wanting a promotion, put yourself at the table of the meeting with your boss when this gets brought up and how the conversation will go. If you want to get out of your apartment and purchase a house, what will it feel like walking into that house for the first time after closing? Let yourself get lost in the dream.
2) Read for 30 minutes a day. This is something that took me a while to get in a good habit about. I vowed after college that I was never going to pick up another book. Then I quickly realized that if I wanted to grow myself personally, I was going to have to read. Einstein once said “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” In order to change some things in your life, you have to change some things in your life (habit wise). Best selling author Chris Brady said “You can’t take your same self into a bright new future, you’ll only darken it.” I struggled to find 30 minutes a day to read, and when I would I was always distracted and interrupted. I started getting up 45 minutes earlier than normal in the mornings and reading then, not only is it a great way to start the day, there’s nothing going on with my business at that time that interrupts me. Are you willing to sacrifice 30 minutes of sleep to achieve your next goal?
3) Associate with people who have results you are looking to achieve. Find someone that has what you want and learn from them. Learn from their mistakes. You wouldn’t want to walk through a minefield with a guy they call stumpy! I’ve seen and heard many times that your income equates to the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Think about who you are allowing to influence you on a daily basis.
4) Get your hopes up. Many times you will tell someone about your new goal and they’ll say “Don’t get your hopes up.” I love Claude Hamilton’s response to this: “What do you want me to do, get my hopes down?” You may not hit the goal in the time frame you want, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on it. No one has ever achieved something by ‘getting their hopes down’. As crazy as it is, people have a tough time seeing other people be successful and accomplishing things when they aren’t and that’s why they say don’t get your hopes up.
5) Dream build on a regular basis. Go beyond spending 15 minutes a day visualizing your dreams and go get your hands on what it might be. If your goal is to be able to buy a Tesla, go test drive one! Get in it, see what it’s like. If you want to afford a new house, go to open houses and get in them. This all relates back to aligning your subconscious with your conscious mind. The best way to “feed your elephant” is to see and feel what you want. This is why our trips to Southern Illinois are so powerful for us because we get to live it for 48 hours.
I hope this helps anyone out there that is looking for something more. If this article intrigued you, or started spinning the wheels in your head about what else you can achieve, reach out to me. I am currently looking for 3-5 new people to mentor and help achieve the life they’ve always wanted!!