Why do so few people get to live their dreams?


It seems strange that in these times of incredible opportunity, so few people get to actually live their dreams. Each of us has our own unique ideas, hopes, wishes and dreams. Yet in too many cases they remain pipe dreams, never to be realised. This can leave us feeling frustrated, unfulfilled or disappointed, causing us to give up.

If we can understand the reasons why so many dreams never become reality, we can take the correct actions to make them come true:

Here are a few reasons why, with suggested actions:

  1. There is a big difference between a dream and a goal. A dream is just a thought. A goal is a written, spoken or drawn representation of the thought. Make the time to speak about, write or draw/find images which represent your dreams.  Then you have turned your dreams into goals. Now display those goals prominently in as many places as you can.
  2. We do not create visual reinforcements for our goals. Go to google images and search for the words “vision board” – you will find a whole lot of great examples of a powerful way to turn your dreams into reality. Now create your own vision board.
  3. Some dreams are too far-fetched – fancy sports car, home on the beach, traveling the world, massive fame and fortune. Start with a smaller goal, something which stretches you but is realistically achievable if you put enough effort into it. Examples of this could be: buying a second hand vehicle, reducing your debt, saving a sum of money, taking a local vacation, improving your physique etc. Set smaller goals and make sure that you achieve them – this will give you the confidence to set and achieve the bigger ones afterwards.
  4. We set the wrong kind of goals. In too many cases, goals are only about physical achievement, things we want to have and do. We should also set some being goals, such as being happier, less stressed, more balanced, less angry, more patient etc.
  5. We do not take time to think of WHY we want the goal. This talks to the points above. WHY do you want the fancy car, when all you need is a reliable vehicle right now? The fancy car can come later. Why do you dream of winning millions in the lottery when you could rather set a more achievable goal to reduce your short term debt and start saving right now? Why set a goal to have something which you believe will make you happy, when you can simply set a goal to be happy? Why set goals to impress others? Rather set goals which align completely with who YOU really are.
  6. We are reluctant to ask for support in reaching our goals. Think of the most supportive person or people in your life right now. Talk to them about your goals. Tell them what you are aiming to achieve and WHY. Ask for their support by encouraging you and holding you accountable.
  7. We do not set SMART goals. Effective goals need to be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and have a Timeframe. Here is an example of a SMART Goal: By the 31st July 2015, I will be the proud owner of a well maintained, pre-owned Red VW Golf for which I will have paid a maximum of R 80 000.
  8. We do not believe that we are capable of reaching our goals. This is the natural human self-sabotage mechanism. We can overcome this by setting SMART written goals and taking small actions every day to move us closer towards achievement.
  9. We tend to set too many goals at once. It is quite OK to start off with a long list, but the list needs to be prioritised and categorised. Then focus on a maximum of 3 goals at a time.
  10. We lose focus and easily get side-tracked. Our lives are busy and demanding. Set reminders in your calendar, visually display goals in prominent places and ensure your support structures keep you on track.
  11. We do not have the discipline to stick to the tasks required to achieve the goals. It takes courage to change our behaviour. Courage is a quality which can be cultivated through conscious, repetitive practice.

I love this quote about courage.

Statistically, only one in 10 people take the courageous action of turning their dreams and wishes into clearly written goals. Is it any wonder that so few people live their dreams?

You have the right to live your dreams.  You have within you the power and ability to achieve them.  Follow the simple processes above and watch the magic happen.  Most importantly, remember to have fun in setting and working towards your goals.