Photo Credit: Jim Howk


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Herding Cats :

The following are three questions many of us have been asked or have asked ourselves…

  1. What are your dreams?

  2. What are your goals?

  3. What is your reality?

It seems that these questions often fall flat and seem meaningless after a short while. These questions are variants of common things I have been asked during many interviews and work reviews. Questions of “Where are you now?”, or “What is your current salary?” have come up during discussions with recruiters and HR over the years, where they want to have an idea of what your current reality is. This is generally followed up by “What are you looking to get out of this position?” or “What do you see yourself providing to this team?”; questions to see if your goals line up with where the business has you placed and what their future outlook is. The fact-finding usually continues during an interview with “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “What are your hobbies?” or “What do you like to do in your spare/free time?”. These are sometimes checks to see what your dreams and aspirations are, but often are simple indicator questions for hiring managers to see if you have clear direction and desire in what they have to offer you. While these questions can help a business align with you and, in turn, help you gain direction in your line of work, they can seem impersonal and put the keys to your future in your employer’s hands instead of taking charge of your life.

Aiming High :

When you focus on evaluating these questions for yourself and your own purposes, it makes things much more personal (and personalized). I propose the following changes be made in order to gain the most impact for your life. You only get to live once on this planet, so you should be intentional and make every effort to make the most out of every moment.

  1. What are your dreams?

  2. What goals does it take to make your dreams come true?

  3. What does it take to make your goals become a reality?

When you identify your personal dreams, this gives you something to aim at, else you’ll be aiming at ‘nothing’ and missing your dreams nearly every time.

You then need to set some goals to split up your dream into milestones that you will need to achieve to make your dreams come true.

Once you have those milestones written out, it is now time to split out each milestone into many individual, bite-sized tasks that can be tackled within a short amount of time such as one day or one week. I recommend that no task be longer than a total of two weeks. These tasks should be something you can put on your daily to-do list and see progress daily. The idea is to have attainable, reachable tasks that can be completed. These are steps toward meeting your goals on the timeline you have set towards living your dreams. Keep things on a schedule and continue right where you left off if you drop off the wagon for a few days. The longer it takes you to get back to your small tasks, the longer it will be before you get to impact your reality. Be intentional and disciplined and you will see the impact in a matter of weeks.

Reaching for the sky :

These simple changes transform these somewhat disparate questions into a cohesive battle-plan to make your dreams a reality.

Don’t let your future happen to you. Happen to your future! Dream big, and if you are willing to do what it takes to meet your goals, your dreams will become your reality.

Till next time,
Jim Howk

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