Things I Have: Goals and Dreams

I’ve been reading (listening to) Peter Walsh’s Lighten Up, as I think I’ve mentioned a few times here. I’m on my second listen, in fact. I’ve asked (am forcing) my wife to read it. She picked up on one of his themes …dreams versus goals. She and I talked a little about them, and differentiating the two isn’t exactly easy.


I think it’s because sometimes a dream can start as a pipe-dream (something that could NEVER happen), but can evolve into a regular dream (something that COULD happen and some other people are doing it). Then, some “dreams” suddenly become ideas that need plans because they don’t seem all that far fetched and before you know it …poof …a dream has transformed itself into a goal and you had darn well better start taking steps toward that goal or you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life.

Here’s a ridiculous “dream”: Someday I’m going to play point guard for an NBA team.

Why is that ridiculous? Because I’m 5’5″, I’m 40 years old, and I’ve never really played organized or competitive basketball. However, I love basketball. I love the NBA (not really, I mean, I used to, but the NBA is pretty boring, but still …playing point guard on an NBA team is about as outlandish a goal as I can come up with). Is my dream really to somehow be a part of the NBA, to work for a team, or the NBA itself? I’ll bet they have a careers section on their website if I looked. Or is my “dream” to play point guard and some basketball, for fun? Either way, the “dream” can suddenly adjust, be tweaked, and now either of those outlandish ideas can become “goals.”

I could coach a youth basketball team. Volunteer at a basketball camp by my house. Apply to be an assistant coach somewhere at a small local university or college. I could start a blog about basketball. I could join a team looking for players in a beer league, for starters. The list goes on and on.

If you have “dreams”, find a way to turn them into “goals.” My buddy Dennis suggested this road map for my “dreams”, recently. He suggested that today, I think of something I can do to forward my new business (write an email to someone, call someone, incorporate myself, sketch a business plan, created a list of potential customers, etc.). Or think of 3 things I can do by the end of the week and then do all of them by the end of the week. Then think of 5 things I can do in August and then do them all.

He’s 100% right. If you told me three years ago that by the end of 2013 I’d have four writing clients who pay me to write for them, and that I’d have a portfolio and writing resume that features a full length concert guide (book), multiple blogs, and various other articles, I’d have said, “oh, right, and maybe I’ll play point guard in the NBA someday, too.”

Dreams can become goals.

If you like Twitter and want to know when I think of something clever in the middle of the day, I’m at @donkowalewski.

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