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The Difference Between A Dream and A Goal

I’ve come to realize two things about dreams and goals. The first is that everyone has dreams, but they don’t always have goals; the second is that most people WANT their dreams to become reality, but they don’t know how to make that happen. I’m sure you’ve heard the words dream and goal used interchangeably just as many times I have, and I think that’s because sometimes there isn’t a clear definition in our brains on what each one is. So let’s define them today.
Dream has several definitions when you look it up in the dictionary, like the visions that happen while you’re sleeping, or a conscious release from reality, aka, daydreaming. The kind of dream we are talking about is the “strongly desired goal or purpose; something that fully satisfies a wish.” (Webster’s Definiton)
I posed the question on Facebook that, “If you could be doing your dream job right now, what would you be doing?” The response was incredible! I had comment after comment of people sharing their dream jobs with me which I could tell was a reflection of their passions and talents. There were a very small percentage that said they were currently working in their dream job, but the majority were not. We dream about so many more things than just our jobs; we dream about things like our spouse/children, where we’d like to live, vacations, income, and these are just to name some of them. But where do we move from a place of wishing for our dreams to come true to actually pursing the reality of them? That’s where goals come in to play.
Let’s define a goal. Goals are “the end toward which effort is directed.” (Also taken from Webster’s Dictionary.) Did you catch that one little italicized word, effort? Goals require effort to reach the end, whereas a dream is just an idea or desire. Effort is the ultimate difference between a dream and a goal.
Now, even though the difference between a dream and a goal seems like such a small thing, the way that you actually turn a dream into a goal is crucial. Yes, there are strategic steps that you can take to forming a goal that will take your dream from just a wish, and help you make it a reality. We are going to talk about this strategic planning on Thursday in the post How To Set Smart Goals.
So what are your dreams? I know you have them. Maybe some of them you’ve even put out of your head because they seem like such a far-fetched impossibility, and you’ve given up on it. Come back tomorrow because we are going to define our dreams which is the first step in setting goals. We’ve got to have a clear picture of what we desire in order to make a plan to get there. I’ve heard it said that it’s not the direction in which the wind is blowing that determines our course, but the direction in which our rudders are set. In other words, you rarely get to your destination by chance or happenstance, but through setting a course of action that will take you there. So be sure to come back tomorrow so we can define our dreams and start working towards making them a reality!
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