I was asked by a local non-profit why I wanted to be a Big Brother, or mentor to a kid. I sat there for a moment pondering what I wish I had when I was a kid. I told her that I wanted to be stable friend, and I wanted to help a kid look beyond today and set goals for the rest of his life. What do they love doing? What do they want their life to be like in a year, 5 years and 10? I want them to dream, and then help them walk through the discipline and sacrifice it takes on the short-term, to accomplish long term goals. I want to encourage someone to not lose hope.
We are a people that were told to dream dreams and that we could be anything when we grew up. Then we were marched back to class in a single file line to get a deficient, cookie-cutter education in which we weren’t encouraged to think outside the box or blaze our own trail. We were told that there was one path to success and that was through a college degree and working for a good company. We were told to dream, and then we were told what the dream was.
I was fascinated with business since a very young age. I was always dreaming of businesses to start and how to make money. I never received much encouragement, which was pretty hard on me. Then one day in high school I wrote a thank-you card to my grandparents thanking them for a gift, and part of the response I got from my grandmother, I’ll never forget. Half way through her letter she paused and wrote:
“You are a very enterprising young man, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. Don’t lose hope if your plans don’t always come out the way you want them to. Keep your faith strong.”
My grandmother had no idea how powerful those words would be to me, nor how many times I would read back over them when I had run up against another wall of discouragement. My plans never turned out the way I wanted them to. And when they didn’t, I was often alone because I was the “dreamer”, always coming up with ideas on my own.
Goals and a vision for the future are both critically important in driving us to make sacrifices and to put in the work it takes to achieve our dreams.
What are your goals and dreams? What would you like to be doing for work? Would you like to be out of debt? Would you like to own your own business? Lose weight? Run a marathon? Travel to Hawaii? Spend more time with your family? Live somewhere else in the U.S. or in another country? Work remotely? Retire early?
Write down your dream. Then write down 4-5 goals that will help get you there. Under each goal write down 3-4 steps or changes that it’s going to take to achieve those goals. Then work on the first step of each goal until you’ve accomplished it and then move onto the next step. Do whatever it takes to accomplish each step and don’t give up.
Some of my goals that I have touched on here at the blog this past few years have been: to lose 40 lbs, get out of debt, take my family to Hawaii, start an appliance business and write a book. I’ve already achieved the weight loss and the trip to Hawaii and have made huge strides towards the other ones. And I haven’t stopped dreaming.
“Don’t lose hope if your plans don’t always come out the way you want them to. Keep your faith strong.”
I won’t, and I hope you won’t either. I would love to hear some of your dreams and goals, especially ones you’re pursuing because you stumbled across this crazy blog.