Thomas Watson Sr. (no relation) was 40 years old when he took over as general manager of a little known manufacturing company that processed meat slicers, time clocks, and simple tabulators. He had a dream and a vision for a machine that could process and store information before the computer became a reality. To move the company toward his dream and vision, he renamed the company, International Business Machine Corporation or IBM. In an interview he would later give after the success of the company, he was asked, “What point did you envision the company becoming successful?”, he simply responded, “At the very beginning”.
Thomas Watson Sr. had a dream that he turned into a reality. Vision begins with imagination, joined with the belief that the dream will come to fruition. This is what many of us call faith.
Helen Keller was asked in an interview what was worse than being blind. “Having eyesight and no vision,” she responded. Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, spoke to an audience during an engagement, “What kept me alive in a situation where others had given up hope and died, was the dream that someday I’d be here telling you how I survived the concentration camps.” His vision and dream allowed him to overcome the horrific concentration camps and share his experience with the world.
We must visualize our dream and envision it unfolding. We must become so dedicated to our dream and vision, that we don’t let anything disrupt the goal of obtaining it. Our dreams open up the doors to our reality. Our futures must be envisioned before becoming reality.
There is power in words. The words, “I have a dream,” from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. touched the hearts of millions of listeners and prompted a belief that anything was possible.
The power of dreaming or envisioning a positive reality has been taught to athletes in the form of positive mental imagery to galvanize peak performance for years. Anticipating and dreaming of the future guides individuals toward that outcome, be it positive or negative.
When we dream about our future and identify individuals living out similar dreams, it is critical that we get the full perspective on the journey they endured to accomplish their dreams.
In a recent interview, I was asked, what is the number one factor that prevents others from reaching their dreams of success? I responded by stating that:
“Many people enjoy seeing and hearing about the success of others. Often times we hear all about the GLORY (what went well) of success; however, we don’t hear about the GRIT (what went wrong) of success. We don’t hear about the price that individuals had to pay to achieve success. Therefore, when many individuals say they want to achieve something- they do not know the GOOD, BAD, and UGLY of a person’s journey so they end up ill prepared. Being ill prepared prevents individuals from having the resilience needed to get beyond the many barriers that are a prerequisite to succeeding.”
In fact, when I began my journey into the world of entrepreneurship, I spent time meeting with entrepreneurs who had been successful and those who had not been successful. The ones who had not been successful would say, “Tommy, I started my business, this went wrong, that went wrong, and that was enough for me. I stopped.” The person who was the successful entrepreneur said, “Tommy, I started my business, this went wrong, that went wrong, this went wrong again, that went wrong again, and I stayed with it. I kept going.” It did not take long for me to solely focus my meetings with only those entrepreneurs who had been successful.
(Read the interview in its entirety: http://dreamstothings.blogspot.com/2013/02/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-ja-x.html)
Knowing the full story behind a person’s journey will keep us motivated to stay after that dream during times of GRIT and have a deeper appreciation for moments of GLORY.
Here are some questions to consider as you prepare to stay motivated to reach your dreams in 2017:
What makes your dream come alive for you?
What makes you yearn to fulfill your dream?
What three accomplishments would make you feel as though you have come close to your dream in 2017?
Who are the people who will support you as you reach your dream in 2017?
What have you already started putting in place toward your dream in 2017?
What part of your dream could you begin working on now?
If your dream were to become a reality today, how would it feel? What would you do to celebrate?
What makes you feel proud and capable to pursue your dream in 2017?
(Orem, S., Binkert, J., Clancy, A., 2007. Appreciative Coaching)