Give Your Dream a Scheme

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

Disney offers great entertainment but lousy life lessons. You’re not going to receive a visit from a fairy godmother or find a genie in a bottle to grant your wishes.
It’s not just Disney that promotes the power of wishful thinking. Motivational speakers peddle the same nonsensical notions. “If you can see it, you can be it!” “If you can believe it, you can achieve it!”

People with experience in the real world know that there’s huge gap between what you can believe and what you can achieve. If you wait for what you wish for, then you’ll spend your whole life waiting. You have to work extremely hard to take hold of what you wish for, and you need a strategy to give direction and focus to your work. Without a plan, you’re like Peter Pan—childishly refusing to accept responsibility for your growth.

Maybe Disney should rewrite its lyrics something like this…

When you wish upon a star
You won’t make it very far
Anything you dream requires
Schemes to come true.

“Why?” and “what?” are two huge questions related to your dream. The answer to the first provides you with a sense of purpose. The answer to the second gives you a vision for the future. However, you won’t get anywhere unless you also address a third question: “how?”

Planning begins by understanding where you are. Not where you wish you were or where you desire to be, but where you actually are. In all likelihood, the distance between your present abilities and your future potential will appear vast. That’s okay. We all start out light years away from where we aspire to go. The key is to generate a plan that gives you a realistic chance of traveling from here to there. Genuine hope does not rest solely on an optimistic outlook; it also needs the sturdy foundation of a solid plan.

A sound strategy…

1) Should be written down

The process of putting your plan on paper forces you to think it through clearly. 
A written plan also serves as a tangible reminder of your priorities.

2) Should have deadlines.

To do great and important tasks, two things are necessary: a plan and not quite enough time. Deadlines push you to accomplish something by a designated endpoint. They prevent procrastination and delay.

3) Should be shared with others.

As you plan, seek feedback from trusted advisors. They can point out blind spots in your self-assessment, and they can lend insight into the steps you will need to take on your journey of personal development.

4) Should result in significant changes to your daily schedule.

To pursue your dream, you will have to make sacrifices. You will need to let go of some current commitments, habits, and relationships in order to reach for others. The simple fact is that you will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

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