I come across a lot of creative people. People with good ideas. Many with great one’s. A few with really bad ones.
What I don’t see nearly as often is the unction to put ideas into activity to make them a reality. Whether it’s an idea for a business or a goal such as running your first 10k, most of us harbor some kind of image of a desired future. Not all of us have the willingness or ability to try making it happen.
Sometimes creative people are only dreamers.
But here is the fragile part of dreams – they are always one morning away from ending. Literally and figuratively.
That means more of us have “had a dream” than “have a dream”.
To have once had a dream that is now but a sentimental memory toward which there is no movement, to me is sad.
Probably even more frequently I see people who work a mundane job and have no imagination for it beyond the very activity they are in at the moment. I see it in the vocations as well as the professions. The brick layer is just stacking bricks. The teacher is just babysitting a classroom. The physician is just a vendor of prescriptions. Every day is just another day to “go make the donuts” as the commercial use to say.
And so here is the fragile part of a job – any kind of work can and eventually does become mundane.
That means more of us just do their job than enjoy their job.
To have just a job that is nothing more than an unavoidable necessity from which there is no sense of achievement, to me is sad as well.
Somewhere along the way those who experience the greatest satisfaction in their business and career come across one fundamental principle that transforms the way they see their work. That principle is this:
Dreaming and doing must never be separated.
Doing is the lifeblood of dreaming as is dreaming the spring of doing. Dreaming has its greatest potency when accompanied by doing. Doing has its greatest meaning when accompanied by a dream.
Every work on every level is both a doing and a dreaming. An idea and an action. Satisfaction in your work, whatever your level, is directly related to how well you decide to connect the two.
All the greats are both dreamers and doers. Some are well known like Richard Branson who has created over 100 brands, though not all successful. Or Youtube sensation Lindsey Stirling who had a dream for a different way to perform as a musician and didn’t let a defeat on America’s Got Talent keep her from still doing it.
Then there are the lesser knowns such as my friend Debbie Chesney, who had a dream for a unique kind of home-based orphanage for children who needed the love of family. Her organization Homes of Love is the result of years of dreaming and doing.
Dreaming is about a future that does not yet exist. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work for it in the “hear and now.” It is work in the “here and now” that creates the future that is “not yet”.
Doing and dreaming have a unique interdependent bond and were never meant to exist alone. Here’s how to develop the mental habit habit of holding both together.
To Develop Your ‘Dreamer’
Step back away from the doing for a bit, and think about what you are trying to accomplish. Make a one page plan with your dreams, goals, desires in writing. Make sure they are not all about you, but about what you want to give to the world. Refer to that one pager often. Every day if need be.
Remember what you are all about. Get very clear on the value you provide and who benefits from it. Ask your supervisor and their manager to help you with this. Find out all the benefits that your company and products provide to others. If you are a sole proprietor think about what value you bring to your customers. But by all means develop a sense for what you do that goes beyond just a paycheck.
To Develop Your ‘Doer’
Don’t be caught squandering a day merely dreaming without doing. Get off your butt. Make a small list of things to do that will advance toward that dream. Focus on the first one and stay with it until it is done. Cross it off your list and move to the next. Let the chemistry of action and getting things done course through your body and move you one step at a time toward your dream. Ironically, it may well be time to wake-up and do something in order to keep your dream alive.
Make everyday embody both a dream and a doing. Practicing this mindset will turn it into a mental habit.
See for yourself how it can transform your career and work in ways you may never have imagined.
What do you think this could mean for your career or business? What might you need to do differently?