Written by Liza Gresse
“The distance between our dreams and reality is action”
Have you ever tried to turn the clock back? We all have…
Have you ever wished you did things differently? We all have…
Back in the 70’s, at the tender age of eight, a financial institution called Trust Bank, made an inerasable impression in my mind.
The branding colours of this bank’s logo were black and yellow. The logo depicted a little animated man wearing dark spectacle. The MD of the bank was a flamboyant businessman called Jan Marais. This bank came to my 8 year old attention not because of its banking capabilities, but because of the beautiful ladies that worked there. Unknown to me at that tender age, it was compulsory as per company regulations to wear lots of make-up, beehives and very, very short dresses. To me, the ladies working in that bank were the ultimate embodiment of beauty. Trust Bank was well known for its sexy ladies.
At age eight, my Grade 2 teacher asked us to write a short piece on:
“What do you want to be when you grow-up?.”
When you are only eight years old, you have no limiting thoughts on what you can be or achieve. Your belief in yourself is absolute and your confidence in your abilities limitless. You can be anything you choose. You can be a policeman, a firefighter, a ballerina or a famous singer. None of these choices are limited by societal beliefs or conditioning. At age eight you are free of prejudice, and income has no significant impact on your career choice.
Excitedly I got down to the job of writing down my future aspirations and dreams. I wrote:
“I have given quite a lot of thought on what I want to be when I grow up. If I grow up to be beautiful, I would like to work at Trust bank and wear short dresses, lots of make-up with my hair all teased up. If I grow up to be ugly, I would like to become a teacher.”
Well, needless to say, my little essay evoked quite a response from my teachers and headmaster, who was very amused.
As you might have gathered from my resume I did not grow up to become a Trust Bank girl, quite the opposite. Looking back, I do not regret this either. The point is, we were all once eight years old and we all had dreams for our lives.
WE ALL DREAMED AT A YOUNG AGE ABOUT OUR FUTURE
“One day I am going to manage my own business – a huge business!”
“I am going to be a world renowned sports star”
“I’m going to become a great lawyer/architect/doctor.” – the list goes on…
For most people dreams are just something that will happen one day. Then life happens with all the responsibilities of being an adult and before you know it, “ONE DAY” is staring you right in the eye, in the form of old age and a bag full of unfulfilled dreams.
The one thing we know about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. – Jeff Rich
Most of the time, these unfulfilled dreams are accompanied by bitterness, blame and resentment. Endless excuses are raised for not realizing our dreams: “My child keeps me too busy.” “My budget does not allow it.” “I am overworked.” I have too many responsibilities.” At the moment I just can’t.” The list is endless.
The truth is, winners make their dreams come true – they set themselves very specific goals, set realistic plans in motion, and then work hard and achieve the life that they envisioned for themselves.
Winners do not blame, they take responsibility for their actions, they make conscious choices and they show resilience when everybody else bails out.
Life is a wonderful gift, but life is not always fair. We do not have control over everything that happens to us, but we do control how we react to this. A setback in life, such as death, divorce, bankruptcy or retrenchment might not be what you dreamed of when you were only eight, but life happens. Some people use these setbacks as excuses for not achieving their dreams, whilst the winners realize that they have a choice to remain focussed, to remain positive and to move on to fulfilling their dreams despite the setbacks.
Liz Murray, an American inspirational speaker who is notable for having been accepted by Harvard University despite being homeless in her high school years said:
“Like my mother, I was always saying, ‘I’ll fix my life one day.’ It became clear when I saw her die without fulfilling her dreams that my time was now or maybe never.”
I firmly believe that life is about choice, and that you choose where and how you want to live your life.
The following behaviours, difficult as it may be, can help us turn dreams into reality:
Winners have strong, positive attitudes. This helps them survive the challenges in life, this determines their will to succeed, and they never give up or allow setbacks to derail them from fulfilling their dreams. They take responsibility for their lives and they determine their own altitude.
They are the people that do not wait for the storm to pass, but keep on dancing in the rain.
2. Setting goals:
Winners link goals to their dreams and work with passion to fulfil them:
Have you set your goals yet?
Napoleon Hill once said: “A goal is a dream with a deadline”
Winners are very aware that their dreams have deadlines. They take action, and put plans in place that they follow step by step to achieve their dreams.
3. Courage and resilience:
Winners do not wait for ONE DAY to full fill their dreams. They believe in TODAY.
Winners know that it takes courage and sacrifice to make dreams a reality. They challenge themselves and keep going even when the stakes are down. They carry their own swords within.
This life is not a dress rehearsal – stop postponing your dreams. Forget about ONE DAY, make it TODAY! Start today and turn your dreams into reality.
“Follow your dreams. If you have a goal, and you want to achieve it, then work hard and do everything you can to get there, and one day it will come true.”
– Lindsey Venn
[If you need assistance with your goal setting guidance, whether in a corporate environment or privately, contact us today!]
This article was also published on LinkedIn.