“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
The most important part of learning to dream is to learn to dream big. That means seeing beyond the circumstances of the moment. It means asking yourself, “What would my life be like if…?”
If your dream of having more is just for you, it’s probably going to be hard – if not impossible – to achieve. You have to want more for other people as well as for yourself. Your dreams have to be big enough to include the good of other people. Most of all, it means thinking about how you can help other people achieve their dreams because as you help others achieve their dreams, you can’t help but achieve your own as well.
Here are three ways helping others can benefit you:
- Helping Others Is Part of What Makes You a Leader. Helping one another is part of life and a fundamental element of being a successful leader and cultivating a productive, efficient workforce. A leader is someone who is willing to teach and help others advance, learn from others and also showcase their own skills and talents.
- You Are Making a Difference. When you willingly help someone, you are making your network active, which can lead to more professional opportunities for yourself. Looking for ways to help those within your network sends a message and sets the tone for what a connection with you entails, making your network more likely to help you out down the road.
- It Gives You an Opportunity to Learn and Grow Professionally. Every professional interaction brings personal and professional growth, whether it’s furthering your problem-solving skills, communication tactics or leadership expertise. Helping others succeed proves you are a team player, which is an important quality to possess if you want to climb that corporate ladder.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities to support and help others along the path to success. This can range from being deeply involved by becoming a mentor, to simply telling someone that you love their idea, or that you believe in them. Helping others will not only give back, but it will expand your own network, and that is never a bad thing!
“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting and achieving goals.” – Og Mandino
One of our mentors explained to us that goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. That is, they need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Stamped; we personally feel that that last one is the most important because a goal that isn’t time-stamped is merely a dream that will never become a reality, and more often than not, that dream becomes a nightmare.
Your goals must be SPECIFIC. What do you want to achieve? For example, setting a goal of “making more money” isn’t very specific. It’s a very general goal. You must define how much more money you want to make in order to transform the goal from general to specific.
When we say a goal must be MEASURABLE, it means the goal must be able to be measured in some way. It should be quantifiable. If we are going by the above example, let’s say you set a specific goal to make $10,000 more a year. The next step is to decide how you are going to achieve that specific amount and how you are going to measure your progress.
The difference in most people’s dreams versus their goals is that goals are ATTAINABLE. It is important that your goals be achievable and realistic. It’s great to stretch yourself, but you don’t want to constantly disappoint yourself by setting unrealistic goals.
When setting goals, they should be RELETIVE to your path in life. If your chosen path is to become a surgeon, setting a goal to go to cooking school in Italy is not relative to your path. However, if your path is to retire and open a restaurant, then maybe cooking school is relative. Relativity is important to staying focused on what will ultimately propel you closer to what you really care about.
Finally, your goals must be TIME-STAMPED. Like we said before, without a time stamp a goal is just a dream. Goals must have a set time in which they should be achieved. This not only increases the urgency and importance of the goal, but it forces you to commit to it.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” –Anatole France
It’s not that we lose the ability to dream. It’s that we forget the power of our dreams. We begin to forget what it’s like to wake up in the morning, excited about the day. We begin to settle for the average, the everyday, the ordinary. We stop seeing the world as filled with hope and potential. It’s as if we put on sunglasses and turn off the lights and then wonder why the world is so dark.
The reasons why we stop dreaming aren’t all that hard to understand. Sometimes we don’t dream because of the lessons we learned from our parents. Many of us have parents who unintentionally taught us to stop dreaming.
There are a number of reasons to follow your dreams, to break the trend, and to live the life you’ve always wanted – here are a few:
They make life worth living.
Your dreams are what can get you through even the worst days. If you are struggling, your dreams are your reasons to keep going.
You can be an inspiration to others.
If you decide to go and follow your dreams, you will give hope to others who want to do the same. You can serve as their example and their reason why they should give it a try.
It will make YOU proud.
Even better than making your parents proud, you will be proud of yourself! Your confidence will rise, and you’ll enjoy the excitement and the adrenaline that comes with doing something you’ve always wanted to do.
You only live once.
Life is short. Our days are numbered, so why spend them doing something we don’t love? It’s time to make a decision to go for it!