Reality Check: Possibilities and Potential

Lauren has a dream, and she’s talked about this dream for years. When she’s asked what she does, Lauren replies without hesitation: “My dream is to open a home for challenged youth.”

People who know and love Lauren encourage her and admire her good intentions. It’s a noble dream, and Lauren would be so well suited for it.

Having a dream and concentrating on possibilities and potential can inspire hope and optimism. Dreams can help you come up with a plan for the future.

The goal in Lauren’s mind is beautiful and detailed. She can picture the house, the youth, the rave reviews, the exceptional results. Lauren is waiting with open arms for the universe to offer what she believes she so abundantly deserves—this chance to do good.

Lauren wishes, “If only I had more money and more education, if only a mentor would materialize, then I could get started.”

She also speculates. Perhaps her uncle will advance some funds, but she hasn’t picked up the phone to ask him. She’s thought about approaching a teacher who had encouraged her, but she hasn’t followed through. She’s considered taking courses to become qualified, but hasn’t gotten round to looking into that yet.

Here’s Lauren’s reality. Despite all those years of wishing and hoping, her dream remains a dream. Her present—the reality in which she lives day to day—hasn’t changed a bit.

While Lauren is usually satisfied by her dream, life goes on. Occasionally, on birthdays or when she sees other people celebrating their accomplishments, she’s startled to realize that she is getting older, yet her dream is no closer to fruition.

As long as Lauren keeps her dream in the “vision” stage, she has no disappointment. She can’t fail. Neither, however, can she get the satisfaction that comes with achievement or completion.

While it’s often true that the slow-and-steady turtle wins the race, at some point, the turtle does have to start moving. Sitting at the starting line won’t get the turtle, or Lauren, to the goal.

I’m not knocking serendipity—sometimes good things do happen seemingly out of the blue. Perhaps it is because you have been concentrating on your wish with persistence. However, it’s good to be ready should serendipity knock, so you’ll know what to do with it!

Unless Lauren looks into what she needs to do and sets a plan for how to do it, her dream will remain a dream. An effective question for Lauren at this stage is, “What’s your plan?”

While she needn’t create a detailed plan for years to come, if she wants to change this dream into reality, then she needs to set a direction and take those first steps.

Taking action is a habit as much as anything. If you develop the habit of acting in a certain direction, rather than wishing and waiting, then like the turtle, you have the possibility of moving closer to your ultimate goal.

Do you think it’s time for Lauren to start planning and turn the dream into some action steps?

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