When I was growing up, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I discussed this aspiration with career advisors, family and friends. I outlined my plans in university student kitchens at three in the morning. It was the main conversation in the staff cafeteria of the large corporation I joined to tide me over until I launched my enterprise. I met up with an old friend whom I had not seen for fifteen years, and we chatted about old times. After the talk of foreign assignments, pension plans and leadership roles had died off, I mentioned that I was looking to start my own company. My friend took my hands in hers, looked me in the eye and said, “Ric, you´ve been talking about that dream for twenty years. Don´t you think it´s time to do something about it?”
Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” I finally turned my dream into a reality, not by wishing upon a star, but by converting it into a concrete vision. Today, I own my own leadership development company.
Dreams and visions are quite different.
Dreams are… Visions are…
A dream is something, a vision does something; a dream is a place to be, a vision is a place to go. A vision, in other words, is more structured, intentional, enduring and rooted in daily living than mere wishful thinking.
In his seminal text, The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz describes a vision as a hybrid between future state (the result you want to create) and current reality (the starting point). Fritz argues there is an inherent tension between these two states that can help you “organize your actions, focus your values, and clearly see what is relevant in current reality.”
Moving from one to the other.
And herein lies the secret of turning ephemeral dreams into tangible outcomes, of launching that company that's been on the bucket list for decades, or publishing that novel that´s been languishing in the bottom drawer since the dawn of time -- it´s being able to structure the dream into something that inspires action and momentum.
Here are six habits that can help turn dreams into tangible outcomes: