Do you remember when you had a truly wonderful dream one so inspiring that it generated an explosive surge of energy every time you thought about it?
Perhaps you dreamed of a brilliant career, of being a leader or achieving great financial success. You may have dreamed about the parent or spouse you wanted to be, traveling the world or developing and expanding your talent for music or art. Like an ocean wave lifting you up, the power of your dream was strong and made you feel you would do anything to achieve it.
What happened to your dream?
In the business of life, it’s easy to lose our dreams under the pressure of day-to-day responsibilities. A dream can be like a distant point on the horizon. When you see it through a telescope, it seems so close, yet when you take the lens away you realize how far you must go to reach it.
“I don’t have the money.” “It’ll take forever.” “I’m too old to start now.” “I’ll never find the time.”
These are the sounds of dreams dying. Eventually, we stop dreaming altogether and simply immerse ourselves in the demands of our lives that are more practical and more urgent. But in the process, we abandon something vital, something we will always feel is missing.
It’s a choice we don’t have to make. No matter how unreachable your dream may seem, you can begin today to move toward it. You simply need to harness the power of momentum.
Nowhere is this principle more clear than in the world of sports. How many times have we seen teams ignite an overwhelming victory from a short series of successful plays? They use each small success to build the momentum that carries them toward victory.
The same process can work for us. We just need to be willing to take the first small step.
If your dream is for a different career or a higher level of responsibility, take time today to make a list of the skills you will need to be successful. If you’ve dreamed of writing a book, create three possible titles. If you’ve dreamed of being a more engaged parent, give a small block of undivided attention to your child. Tomorrow you can build on this success by taking another small step, and then another.
It’s easy to dismiss these investments as trivial and instead do nothing. But although they may seem insignificant at first, these small steps can be the beginning of something great. Very quickly, you will begin to feel the power that builds as you follow through on your commitments and make steady progress.
Over time, your confidence will grow. One day you will see that your dream is starting to come true, even if you’ve reshaped it to fit into the reality of your life today.
Believe me, you can find 15 minutes today to take a small step toward your dream. We spend more time than that discussing the traffic or the latest episode in a popular television show. The return on this small investment may be the simple joy of reengaging in something you once loved doing or a doorway that opens to an entirely new chapter of your life.
But whether you are reawakening a dream you once held or creating a new one, nothing will happen until you invest in the first steps.
Twenty-five years ago, I dreamed of being a published writer. Twenty-three years later, after two children, three grandchildren, a wonderful marriage and a great career, I took the first small step toward that dream. And today, you are reading these words.
Start today to build your own unstoppable momentum. Your dreams are closer than you might believe.
Jim Huling is CEO of MATRIX Resources Inc., an IT services company that was recently recognized as one of the 25 Best Small Companies to Work For in America by the Great Place to Work Institute. Contact Huling at [email protected] or (770) 677-2400.