Turning dreams into reality…

April 24, 2023

OK. It’s a Monday. You have the weekend behind you and the work week ahead of you. If you spent a part of the weekend dreaming about a better or different life; or maybe you just decided that something must change in your life; now is the time to turn those dreams into goals and those goals into plans.

Most people’s dreams are not small or insignificant things. They involved large, long-terms change. That may make them seem to be unachievable. The key to success in achieving your dreams is to break them down into smaller, more achievable steps and then commit to taking those steps and sticking with the process until you have achieved the whole dream.

For most just the process of writing things down will help. It provides them with a “To Do” list of things that they need to do and a check-off list that they can use to mark their progress. Writing thigs down will also help you see where you still have big chunks that need to be further broken up into achievable steps (goals).

Sometimes going through this process of breaking a big dream up into smaller steps and writing down the steps that you must go through to achieve that dream will cause you to rethink that dream and decide that it isn’t something that you want to put in the effort to achieve. That’s OK, too. Not all dreams should be taken past the wishful thinking phase anyway. What you’ve really done is to evaluate that the end result is not worth the effort that would be required.

Don’t stop dreaming. Just take the time to consider what would be required to turn you dream into an achievable plan. If it still seems like something that you want to do, then execute the plan. Dreaming is good. Planning how to achieve that dream is better. Successfully executing your plans is the best.

Dream on.

So, get started already…

April 19, 2023

My last few posts have been about change and achieving things in your life. They offered encouragement that success and even greatness is available to those who embrace change to achieve that greatness.

Today’s post may be looked at as step one on the road to greatness – getting started. Nothing kills or delays greatness more than procrastination. Procrastination is the mother of the lament – “coulda, woulda, shoulda”.

I would opine that just starting, no matter in which direction, will get you to where you want to end up. Getting started puts you in motion and allows Newton’s first law of physics to take over – a body in motion tends to stay in motion. That first law also states that the body in motion will travel in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force. That force is the willingness to change. If you embrace change in your life those changes (forces) will alter the course of your life.

Embracing love will also change your life – love of self and love of others. Embracing love is not the opposite of embracing hate, it is the opposite of embracing apathy. I have posted here a few times about the importance of loving yourself before you can love others – see https://normsmilfordblog.com/2023/01/18/love-yourself-first/. Embracing love is a change from being apathetic and will set you on a new course to greatness.

Embracing a faith in (and love of) God is a change (a force) that most experience at some point in their lives. Many step back or away from their faith or lose track of it and that lack of the force of faith in their lives may dictate a direction in their life that does not end well. A life without faith is like sailing on a ship without a rudder – it will drift along in some direction, but it is not under control.

Maybe that is the key to getting started towards greatness – loving God, loving yourself and loving others. At least it gets you going and in a good direction. Try it today. Get started with love.

No instant gratification in greatness…

April 18, 2023

There are some events or competitions that take very little time in themselves. The 100 meter dash comes to mind or a quarter-lime drag race. Both can be over in under 10 seconds, but both events are really just the culmination of lots of hard work – sometimes years’ worth of preparation.

We have become a society more conditioned to, and used to, instant gratification. Patience and perseverance have been largely relegated to the dust bin of history in this era of smart phones and short attention spans. The mantra, “we want it all and we want it now” rules the day for many.

Yet, there are those who still understand that great things take time and sustained effort. Every now and then the TV coverage of one of those seemingly short-term successes will go behind the scenes to report on the amount of training time and effort that went into that 10 second blast of success. Only then do we appreciate the patience and perseverance of the winning athlete that went into that moment.

Many people pursue great things/goals without giving much conscientious thought to them. Being a good person, spoouce or parent pops to mind. Goals like those are just lurking there in the back of your mind. One might pause every now and then to think about what the “right thing” to do is in any particular situation, and the commitment to being a good person or a better husband or parent kicks in and guides your decisions.

Unlike the winner at the end of the 100-meter dash, we do not get to wrap ourselves in a flag and take a victory lap for having been a good person or parent. We may sit and reflect upon the success of the parenting work that we put in as we listen to our son or daughter take their wedding vows. I suspect that there isn’t a dad or mom who didn’t tear up while doing the wedding dance with their child. That was their victory lap and they realized it.

As I enter the Autumn years of my life, I look back and realize so many of the ambitions and goals that I pursued, including most of those that I accomplished, turned out to be relatively meaningless. The goals that really mattered – to be that better person and a good husband and parent – are still what drives me day-to-day. Those are great things worth pursuing with patience and perseverance. My hope is that my last thought on earth will be – I won those races.

Then, I’ll take my victory lap in heaven.

You make change happen…

April 17, 2023

Many people start their day hoping (dreaming) that something will happen during the day to change their life and make it better.  The truth is that change only really happens when you make that change happen. Waiting passively for something good to happen that will change your life has about as much chance of success as buying a lotto ticket hoping that it will make you rich. Does it happen sometimes – Yes. Does it happen often – No.

Many people allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the thought of change, or at least the change that they desire. The change may seem to be too big to possibly accomplish. They cannot “see” how to get from here to there.  Those who succeed do so by turning the change that they desire into their goal and never losing sight of it. They then spend the mental time to break down the intermediate steps that may be required to accomplish that big goal and turn those steps little goals along the way. They can end each day by looking back on their accomplishment of a little, intermediate goal or two and feel good able making progress towards the big goal.

If they suffer a setback it is usually only a setback to a small portion of the journey towards their big goal. That setback does not mean that they must abandon their big goal, but perhaps some of the intermediate steps and goals must be retried or even rethought.  They get another chance to change their own direction.

The key to accomplishing your big goals and changing your life is making that decision to be in charge of the change, instead of just waiting for it to happen.

So, take charge. Be in charge. Make change happen in your life and the changes that you desire will come true for you. It may make you smile to think of yourself as the little red boat in the graphic sailing off in a new direction. Don’t be scared. Be excited. You are changing for the better.

Have a great week full of change and new adventures!