A Dream is Not a Plan

Passion can power a purpose driven life. A given field or endeavor can draw us into its orbit. When this happens, we might feel as if we do not need to expend energy pursuing whatever it is that has captivated our interest. On the contrary, it often turns out that something we have a natural affinity for provides us with more energy than we put out in its pursuit.

How do we know if we have passion for something, be it art, music, sports, an entrepreneurial endeavor, etc.? One signpost of our predilection might be that we are always thinking about that activity. When we wake up in the morning it is on our mind. We think about it when we go to sleep. Oh, and during the day when we are supposed to be doing others things, this activity exerts a continual pull on our attention.

Passion is wonderful. When we are passionate about something we often talk about that thing as our dream. For example, some people are passionate about acting and, consequently, they dream of becoming a well known actor. That is fantastic. A dream, being the focus point of passion, can provide us with a tremendous sense of purpose in what can be a chaotic and uncertain existence.

However, it is important we understand that a dream, in and of itself, is not a plan. A dream can serve as the ultimate goal for a set of well laid out plans. Yet, a dream without a roadmap of how to get there is something that is unlikely to be achieved.

How might we construct a plan of action to make the focal point of our passion, that is to say our dream, come true? One approach is to work backward from our dream to where we are at the present time, deconstructing the steps that it might have taken to succeed.

If we dream of ourselves as a famous actor winning a coveted award, we might work backwards from our acceptance speech for that award. What kind of movie were we in? How many movies were we in prior to that? How did we break into the business? Who was our manager or agent? What kind of acting training did we have? What heartbreaks did we face until we began to gain recognition? And the list goes on.

By meticulously working backwards from a moment of imagined dream accomplishment glory, we may be able to deconstruct the steps that it might have taken to make the focus of our passion come to fruition. Then, hopefully, we can recreate those steps into a realistic plan leading us to realizing our dream.

Image courtesy of [Idea go] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

You can reach me with your questions and comments at [email protected] Like today’s column? Check back frequently.