80% of people in the US don’t “dream”. Of the 20% who do dream, 16% do not write down their dreams. Only about 4% of people have a dream and write them down. And, unfortunately, when 96% of people don’t dream, or at least don’t think about their dreams, then we become okay with being okay. Do you have dreams? Are you part of the 4%? I hope you are. If so, the odds are in your favor.
Do you have dreams? The odds are in your favor
The research into goal setting and its relationship to success has been made multiple times. In one of the most stunning studies ever made, Harvard studied this amongst its graduates. Even at this esteemed institution, only 3-4% of its graduates had written goals. That is amazing in its own right.
But the most amazing data wasn’t gathered for several years. A couple of decades later, they surveyed the graduates again. What they found was that the 3% who had written goals had achieved far more than the graduates who did not have written goals. In fact, the accumulated wealth of the 3% was greater than the accumulated wealth of the other 97%. Think about that for a moment.
Writing down your goals does not guarantee success. But it definitely plays a key role in driving success.
Do you dream of a legacy?
What legacy do we want to leave? What do we want to leave for our family, our community, our business, our friends? When we have dreams, we want to see our impact on others. Our goals and aspirations are bigger than ourselves. If we are honest about this, we will be more intentional in how we go about our daily lives.
If your dreams do not include something greater than yourself, then your dream is probably too small.
If you want to inspire your team, your family, your children, yourself… then you need to dream big. Put big goals in front of them. Put big goals in front of yourself.
So I ask again, do you have dreams? And if you do, are they big? Do they to something greater than just yourself?
Do you know your why?
Knowing your “why” is a big part of this equation. Do you know your “why?”. If you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s book, then stop reading this and go get it off Kindle right now. This should be a mandatory book for everyone that wants to achieve anything in life.
Most people still struggle with their “why?”. I don’t know if it’s because they didn’t really read the book, or they let others impact their understanding.
For example, I attend a networking group and a number of people will talk about their “why”. Inevitably, they put up a photo of their family, their children, or their dog. Now, I understand what they are saying. They are saying that these people, whom they love, are the reason, the “why”, for them to get out of bed Monday morning and work hard to make a living. But that isn’t they “why” that Sinek talks about. That isn’t the “why” that your customers care about.
Your customers care about why you do what you do. Not “why you work”. But why do you do what you do when you work. This can be a harder question. A why tells us why you chose to be a financial advisor, a developer of healthcare software or a family law attorney.
But what is your “why?”. I challenge my clients to think about this as a three-part statement. A statement that gives their fundamental belief. A second statement that refines their belief in more detail. And finally, a statement of what they do because of that belief.
Don’t be okay with okay
Without a goal, anything is “okay”. Without a goal, you really cannot measure success in any way. And when anything is okay, everything is okay. Mediocrity reigns. And we get “okay with okay”.
If you want to achieve more, be more, earn more and do more, you need to have dreams. You need to have what Jim Collins called “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”, or “BHAG” for short. Without these, you go through life on cruise control. Okay with okay. And you should never be okay with just “okay”.
So I ask again. Do you have dreams?
Make some goals, have some dreams
Instead of getting bogged down with goalsetting, how about you do some dreamsetting? Think about what you most want to accomplish with your career, your company or your life. Get that BHAG for your life and write it down. Then, when someone asks you “do you have dreams?”, you can give them an honest answer. You can say “You bet I do”…
As a leadership coach, I work with clients to help them set big goals. And then, by setting big goals we can collectively achieve some big goals. If you need help making dreams and setting goals, give me a shout today.