“The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; the question is what he will do with the things he has. The moment a young man ceases to dream or to bemoan his lack of opportunities and resolutely looks his conditions in the face, and resolves to change them, he lays the corner-stone of a solid and honorable success.”
Hamilton Wright Mabie
When we stay focused on the problem or the issue that is standing in the way of our dream – we hold ourselves back. We stop moving towards achieving our dreams. Instead, we spend time complaining, commiserating and crying.
Mabie’s second question becomes much more relevant, “What will we do with the things we have?” Let’s make a list.
1. Have a dream. Dream that you want to win a Nobel peace prize, write a Pulitzer winning novel, become the next Microsoft, own a house on Maui, travel around the world. Mentally ignore the boundaries and limiting factors, whatever the dream, go for it.
2. Review your assets. Evaluate what you have in your personal and professional toolbox. Assess your talents, strengths, relationships, education, experience.
3. Create a plan. The dream now can take shape. Planning will help turn that intangible dream into a tangible reality. When we plan, we take positive action towards a dream that may not be achieved in our life time. But, perhaps it can be. We will NEVER know if we don’t try.
4. Take action. The first action step is to write down the goals that will help to achieve the dream. Simple to-do lists become mini action plans for each goal that will take you closer to your dream. To-do lists can be great fun but be careful not to make them a laundry list that takes over with tasks that actually take you away from making your dream come true.
5. Measure results. Maybe, the book you write doesn’t even get published. At least, your wrote the book. Perhaps, you only traveled from one country to another and didn’t make it around the world, yet. Measuring and monitoring progress is important to helping lock in success and motivation. It helps us to keep on keeping on.
If we want to make our dreams a reality, we have to work with what we have and then we will “lay a corner-stone of solid and honorable success.”