As I continue this post series inspired by a plaque I purchased while visiting the Biltmore House this past Christmas, I keep getting challenged by both the plaque and the process of writing about each word in succession.
Today, I'm tackling a topic that does not come naturally to me. Actually, dreaming seems a bit flaky from my perspective. (Remember, I call myself The Recovering Engineer).
For me, dreaming triggers thoughts of unrealistic expectations, false hopes, and illogical pursuits. These are the first thoughts that come to mind based on my naturally analytical, logical, fact-based view of the world.
My second thought is that this view is a bit sad.
It's sad because it limits possibility. It's sad because it extinguishes hope. It's sad because it's so logical.
I am not suggesting that we give up logical, rational assessment. That would violate my natural view of the world.
I am suggesting that we give logical, rational assessment a holiday on occasion so that we can see possibilities.
When we fail to see possibilities, we are stuck only what we currently have. Without a dream, nothing ever changes for the better.
Without someone having a dream, we would not have
- Air travel
- Personal computers
- Smart phones
- Indoor plumbing
- Sporting events
- And the list goes on.
Do I believe that dreaming alone will make good things happen? No. I do believe that good things will not happen without a dream to get the ball rolling.
Do I believe that a dream will get you through every obstacle you face? Nope. I don't believe that either. I do believe that the dream gives you the energy it takes to do the work to anticipate and overcome the obstacles you will inevitably face in pursuit of the dream.
Yesterday, I listened to an audio program by Dan Kennedy. Some people love him. Some people hate him. Anyone who studies his business track record will agree that he has been very successful.
In that program, he said that he was optimistic about the big picture and pessimistic about the details. In other words, he operates with the hope and expectation of accomplishing big things even though he realizes that he might experience set-backs and challenges in the pursuit. To deal with the set-backs and challenges, he anticipates and plans for anything he can envision going wrong. Then, when he encounters a problem, he has a plan for dealing with it rather than being defeated by it.
In short — dream big and plan for problems.
I think his approach is a great idea.
Today, despite my natural tendencies, I encourage you to dream.