Turning Dreams Into Reality
“All of the buildings, all of the cars, were once just a dream, in somebody’s head.”
Peter Gabriel, Mercy Street
There are a few basic things in life that consistently make us happy. Connecting with other people. Laughing. Being healthy. Giving to others. Living with gratitude. And making progress.
When we are moving towards something, when we are advancing, even when difficult – especially when it’s challenging – we look back with a deep sense of satisfaction and true joy having gone from point A to point B or beyond.
Which is why the process of setting goals is so powerful. It not only increases the chances of being successful in a given area, it dramatically improves the likelihood you will be happy moment to moment along the way, independent of outcomes. People may think they are happy when they are endlessly idle, but those with deep down joy tend to be challenging themselves continuously in different areas of life – physically, financially, spiritually – and benefiting both in terms of the results they accomplish, and the enhanced mood associated with self-challenges.
We often think that happiness comes from something external, that someone else has to give it to us. We wait around out of laziness or fear or confusion for happiness to ‘happen.’
But in reality, we create about 99% of our lives. The choices we make day to day, over long periods of time, result in one set of outcomes or another. Rather than having little influence over where you end up in life, you actually have a tremendous amount of control.
About 10 years ago I made a decision to write a book. Lots of people say they want to write a book, but most never do. How was I able to accomplish this lifelong goal? I dedicated a small amount time each day, and I didn’t stop until I held a book hot off the printing press in my hands (As a result of my efforts, I got to meet tons of interesting people, attend book award ceremonies, get interviewed on TV and engage in other really cool associated events. While writing a book had been a bucket list goal for a while, it also served the purpose of helping to build my Financial Advisory business, Coastwise, as it gave me ‘street cred’ as a professional investor. You never know for sure what amazing things will come from engaging life in a deep, meaningful way, but you can be assured the proverbial (nor literal) phone will never ring while you are sitting on your couch watching endless Netflix.
The reality is very simple. If you don’t set a clear goal to do X (lose weight, run a marathon, write a book, etc.) then there is a 100% chance that thing will never occur. And deep down in your subconscious you will be less happy knowing you are letting a dream die inside you. If instead you take out a piece of paper and write this goal down clearly, and spend a little time consistently to move towards it, you will be happier along the way, and assuming you don’t quit, you have a very good chance of making the dream a reality. Remember, everything around us was once just a dream in somebody’s head. What dreams are in your head that deserve your attention to give them life?