Within each of us, lies a dormant dream. Sometimes, we talk ourselves out of that dream, saying that it’s too big to be achieved, or we don’t have what it takes to succeed. Before we can even give ourselves a chance at success, our own limited thinking hinders our actions. And we allow our fears and rational thinking to rule. In the end, we stand in the way of our own life.

If you have a dream, it’s really helpful to go through John Maxwell’s list of questions below, to identify how far are you willing to make your dream a reality? (excerpt from his book, “Put your dream to the test”)

1. The Ownership Question: Is my dream really my dream?
2. The Clarity Question: Do I clearly see my dream?
3. The Reality Question: Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?
4. The Passion Question: Does my dream compel me to follow it?
5. The Pathway Question: Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?
6. The People Question: Have I included the (right) people I need to realize my dream?
7. The Cost Question: Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?
8. The Tenacity Question: Am I moving closer to my dream?
9. The Fulfilment Question: Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?
10. The Significance Question: Does my dream benefit others?

Walt Disney’s Creative Strategy

Having worked on some Disney projects here in Malaysia, I am truly amazed at how much one person’s dream has changed the world. It all started humbly with a mouse in 1928 and now has grown into one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.

How did this man achieve his dreams?

He was talented at recognising 3 Walts in his life… the Dreamer, the Realist and the Critic. The dreamer will think about the possibilities, but the realist asks, how can it be done? And the critic will ask, why should it be done? We need to wear all 3 hats so that we can move forward.

The Dreamer – No restrictions or criticism

Over the past 3-4 years, a dream started to birth within my heart. I desire to make a positive impact in the lives of families and couples through the work that I do…whether it is through photography or coaching. I would love to build a physical safe space where families could come, have a memorable photo session together, go through experiential marriage and parenting workshops, get coached, buy products made by Malaysian artisans promoting healthy families, have meals and good quality conversations… there are many possibilities!

I just have to ensure I ask myself the right questions so that I don’t limit my dreams…
1. What do I really want with this dream?
2. What if there are no limitations?
3. What innovative ideas could I create in relation to this dream?
4. How would you imagine the solutions to be?
5. What are the benefits of applying these solutions to me or my world?

The Realist – creating real, manageable action plans

Once the dreams are solid, it’s time to put on the Realist hat. This role is not meant to shoot down your dreams, but it’s meant to be constructive to turn dreams into real, workable plans.

1. How can I apply these ideas into my current reality?
2. What is the big picture plan to execute these ideas?
3. What are 3 possible steps to get me closer to my outcome?
4. What is the timeline?
5. How will I evaluate my idea in relation to the outcome? Will it need more time for execution?

In relation to my dream, I am already taking baby steps to making it a reality. In fact, I do have a physical space, but I sometimes think that it is not ideal. Sometime this year, I’d like to renovate my current space slightly to incorporate more play. I am a few steps away from completing my coaching course, and I am identifying people who have the same dreams as I do.

The Critic – discover barriers and how to overcome it

Lately, I’ve been seesaw-ing between two extremes, feeling motivated about my dreams, and then feeling demotivated about it the next. Lethargy sets in when I am not moving. I allow my emotions to overwhelm me, and everything seems so huge and unattainable. I realised that this was my own barrier. My brain is giving me a red stop sign so I stop moving. But this thought came to me recently, if I never fulfil my dream, I will not only be robbing myself, but all the others who would benefit from this dream in the future. Keep moving, Grace.

By focusing on what we can control, and not just the problems, it provides space for us to move forward.

1. What could be missing from the idea?
2. What could go wrong?
3. What could be the weaknesses of the plan?
4. What could be the threats standing in my way?
5. What is really within my control?

And finally, the power of the word, instead.

What do I want instead of this? (this job, challenge, relationship etc)
Who do I want to be instead?
What do I want to be thinking instead?
What do I want to be feeling instead?
What do I want to be doing instead?
What do I want to be saying instead?
Where do I want to be going instead?

Leave a Reply