Now, that’s not a question for everyone because not everyone has a dream. That’s not intended to be a slight or a negative statement; but it is a reality that I learned the hard way. You see, about 10 years ago I wrote a book called, Put Your Dream to the Test, and after it was released, I encountered person after person saying the same thing.

“But I don’t have a dream.”

Not exactly what you want to hear when you’ve just published a book about dreams. Still, it was a valuable lesson for my leadership journey, and one I’ve not forgotten. Which brings me back to my initial question:

What does it feel like to see a dream come true?

It’s no secret that one of my dreams is seeing a country transformed. Over the last few years, the vision of transformation has motivated everything I do, and it’s at the heart of everything my companies do. We want to see the world transformed—to see men and women, boys and girls, value other people and then demonstrate that value in the choices they make.

I dream of seeing a world full of leaders who make adding value to others a priority.

Now, that’s a big dream. It’s the kind of thing that’s too big for me to achieve on my own—I’ll not only need other people (obviously), but I’ll also need help from a much larger source. Something—some One—greater than me.

And I’m totally fine with that.

When we first started casting the vision of transformation, I didn’t think it was something I’d see in my lifetime. I believed it so much I told people that on the front end so they would understand that I had big dreams, but I wasn’t completely crazy.

Over time, as more and more people have joined me in my dream, I’ve come to realize that not only is transformation possible, but I believe I’ll see it before I die. I’ve gone from having a dream to having a belief, and that belief grows stronger every day.

It grows when I see thousands of people gather at an outdoor venue in Guatemala to learn about the values of leadership.

It grows when a fifth-grade girl stands in front of her entire classroom to recite a speech she wrote on becoming a transformational leader herself.

It grows when I think about the 500,000 school children going through our Values Roundtables right now during their school day in Guatemala.

It grows because I can see the impact that we are having by simply and consistently living and leading by adding value to people in everything we do.

What I wrote in Put Your Dream to the Test is still true today: every person who sees a dream come true must first own that dream. They must see it clearly, and chase after it passionately with every strategy, skill, and talent they possess. Dreamers must call others to their dream and pay the price to move forward together with tenacity.

But most of all, a dreamer must see and desire all the ways their dream will benefit others more than it benefits themselves.

I’ve seen a lot of dreams come true in my life, but what I’m experiencing now is something different, something deeper, and it’s something I want so many others to experience too. I want everyone to know what it feels like to see a God-sized dream come true, because it is amazing in a way I can’t even describe.

To quote my friend, Kevin Myers, I want more for you than I want from you. And I want bigger things for you now more than ever.

Let’s make it happen.

To hear more about transformation, you can download a special episode of The John Maxwell Leadership Podcast on Friday, April 5th. The episode features a candid conversation between myself and my CEO, Mark Cole, that will give you greater insight into what our team is seeing in our work around the world.


  1. Mavis mabaire on April 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    That’s so powerful ..thank you for empowering me

  2. Michael Barrantes Sylvan on April 2, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Excelent message, somethings i use Your podcast and books for learn english, Godoy blessings You!

  3. Normil Acosta on April 2, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    I believe that dreams comes true in our life, if we believe in others.

  4. JoAnne Ernsberger on April 2, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    I dream and see fulfillment .. not that I deserve it, but that God chooses to use me for His glory and for His people.

  5. Robert Warren on April 2, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    My Dreams have come true – My first dream was to study to be an Engineer, I became an Chartered Engineer. Next; more side by side, was to conker dyslexia which to a large extent I have. Find a loving and giving wife, next was to build my own house for my wife and family – I did. Its a very special house and to some extent very advanced too.
    I retired at 53! and quickly went back to work being board! I needed to give. The one factor in all of this is being intentional and giving up time and money to improve. Having a plan, Jotting each day, continuously improving myself and others as I learned more. The more I tried to give knowledge away the more doors opened for me. Life’s landmines are easy to navigate with a good wife and the ability to plan, discuss and lesson to advice as the case my be. You always need to re-plan as more data becomes available. Only with change can opportunities arrive. John’s books are dog eared and highlighted cover to cover and covered with my notes. So what does it feel like ? Each night I sit in my plant room before bed time and look at what I have achieved and beam satisfaction, contentment and love for all Ive been able to do. My wife and I are the power house behind our son; who Dreams too! Thank you John for shaping and crafting me over 30 years.

  6. Jason Fulmer on April 2, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you! I love to hear about the great success of those who are further down the road than I am. It gives great hope that it’s worth the journey!!

  7. Lillian on April 2, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    My Dream as a little girl became a reality 40 years later through many bumps on the road and finding my passion and purpose it took me on this journey where I saw every detail of my dream. I stood there and cried. I asked an artist to paint a picture and she couldn’t she said it is your dream and I can’t get there, she tried.

  8. Henry Nave on April 2, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    WEEK OF PRAYER MEDITATION related to your transformational thinking
    JANUARY 23, 2019

    Our world is filled with paradoxes as summarized by the late comedian George Carlin. “We build wider freeways but have narrower viewpoints, we have more knowledge but less judgment, we listen too seldom, hate too often and pray only rarely. These are times of big men with small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. We’ve travelled to the moon and back but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We’ve cleaned out our house but polluted our soul.” I say, the United States of America could now be called the Divided States of America! The very same issues that the Apostle John wrote about in his 1st letter distract us from the light of Christ and drag us into darkness.
    We increasingly see important issues through deeply polarized lenses. Vital issues of public policy are now distorted by partisan warfare and guided by an unspoken mantra of “don’t confuse me with the facts!” How much worse can things get? We have to learn to talk to each other without hiding behind the anonymity of internet blogs and hashtags. We experience anxiety over our irrational fears of others who are different from us in small ways but alike us in every way that really matters to God such as some of the endearing personal traits mentioned in remembrance services for those who died in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. They were described as “helpful, charismatic, kind, witty, sweet, loving, welcoming, respected, extraordinary, gentle, lights up the room.” These are the traits that ideally should guide our daily relationships and create love and respect. The differences that shouldn’t matter to God’s children include race, creed, age and sex.
    Some of today’s polarizing issues include our environment, healthcare, immigration, sexual harassment, age discrimination, abortion, global warming, and social welfare. These are not right and wrong, left or right, yes or no topics but are complex issues that require objective discussion that takes the best of each side’s views and melds them into something greater than either side’s original position. Respecting others ideas does not imply or require agreement. A popular book “Just because I’m right, doesn’t mean that you’re wrong” highlights a strategy to productive agreement.
    The Apostle John identified three attributes consistent with our Christian faith to insure productive relationships. First, Light and Darkness provide a doctrinal test on issues that really matter. Jesus, the light of the world, illuminated that which is significant to God. (1John1:5-6) “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” Second, Truth and Falsehood define the moral test. We must speak the truth. (1John1:8-9) “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. Satan has no power to force us to lie and sin, but only the ability to use clever falsehoods that tempt us to sin. “Third, Love versus Hate provides the social test. ( 1John 2:9-11) “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going , because the darkness has blinded him”.
    Unfortunately, hatred is one of mankind’s basic emotions. Small scared people hate, self hating people hate, bullied and betrayed people hate as though hate will make them bigger and safer, stronger and right. Last summer while in Europe a museum’s Protestant Reformation exhibit featured the timely wisdom of John Calvin who said “Those who rant about strangers could not demonstrate more plainly how unworthy they are to be counted among God’s children.” When I asked myself who are the strangers of today, I see today’s men versus women, Muslims versus Jews, whites versus blacks, yellows, reds, blues or greens, LGBTQs versus straights and migrants versus established

    society and I cry as I recall MLK’s great “I have dream” speech about equality for all. We are all God’s children picking on insignificant differences to develop hatreds that prevent us from being happy with who we really are.
    I ask where does this hatred come from? The hater is just a person… some mother’s son or daughter, a child of God who succumbed to the noise and confusion of today’s prejudices without the benefit of John’s 3 criteria for proper Christian relations. How did the child learn this hatred? It is the result of today’s media reward structure that elevates the loudest and angriest voices while the voices of reason, moderation and negotiation are systematically mocked, ignored or under-reported!
    While the political games go on, our climate continues to deteriorate, our criminal justice and immigration systems remain broken, gun violence increases, strongmen overwhelm politics with egotistical agendas, budget deficits soar and we suffer. The true problems we face fester with virtually no attention, let alone solutions.
    WE CAN AND MUST DO BETTER. That starts with reaffirming John’s 3 criteria. Our media have a duty to cover stories and issues that may divide but also the obligation to present a balanced focus on solutions. Shining the spotlight on the biggest outrage only ensures that outrageous people will dominate our thinking. Turn to the person seated on your right or your left, you won’t get far telling them where they are wrong but rather focus on understanding their views and make progress. If you are sick and tired of politics don’t just complain, vote. Help to elect candidates that will fix our system without tearing it down.
    In Florence Italy we found the truth about our silence. In Dante’s words from the Divine Comedy he said, “The darkest corner of Hell is reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis!” Thus we must try to live by John’s challenging criteria to engage in Christian thoughts and fulfill the Lord’s command to proclaim the good news of God’s healing word and reforming love to all creation …or …stay in the dark, hating the world and spreading falsehoods. You choose!
    Henry Nave

  9. Onoja Faith chubiyo on April 2, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    I can see clearly the impact John Maxwell has been created and still creating. All thanks to him

  10. oliver on April 3, 2019 at 5:44 am

    This is happening at the right time, 05th April, 2019.

  11. Patty Dreier on April 3, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    I’ve been putting my own Dream to the Test and just had my autographed copy of John’s book open to review my progress. Happy to share with the world that I have just officially cast that dream out to the world today…. I am growing a movement to empower young people to stand up for themselves and their planet. Certainly, the Monarch Butterflies in the photo above need our help. So do countless other species and millions of people across the world. Together, we dream of brighter futures for our young people and a brighter future starts with a planet that is life-supporting and life-enriching. I’ve learned a great deal from John Maxwell and now it is time to fly!

  12. […] * This article was originally published here […]

  13. Alice O. Caasi on April 5, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks Sir John i just bought one of your published book intiyled The Gift of Leadership.. I really want to learn how yo become successful specialy i am a single parent with five kids to raise.. Thanks and God bless more power.

  14. Anita Sookdeo on April 17, 2019 at 2:31 pm


  15. Christopher Dias on March 1, 2020 at 11:57 pm

    I heard your Podcast on Dreams and I found it really insightful. Thank you for sharing such powerful insights.

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