Think about a dream you have.
One of my dreams was to become a medical doctor. I wanted to be able to help people who were hurting. I first had this dream when I was about 7 years old. A couple of years later, my dad, who paid the bills for our family, died. I dropped out of grade school. But my dream didn’t die. I would drop out of school again and go through numerous challenges in my small African village. Infinitely more than I could ever ask or imagine, my dream will become true in the United States.
Another dream I had was to start an organization to help inspire and support orphans. My dad is one of the most amazing men that I know. He was born a complete orphan at birth. He overcame a tremendous number of challenges to become one of the most successful people in his village. Unfortunately, he died in his prime. My dad was a “self-made” orphan who had turned around and started helping other people around him who were suffering. Because of my dad’s experience and my own personal encounter with poverty, I wanted to inspire and serve orphans. Again, far more than I could ever dare to ask or even dream—infinitely beyond my greatest imagination, the orphan care organization I started has helped over one thousand children in Cameroon and continues to help more children today.
Along the way, I’ve had many other dreams: To find and marry a great wife, to provide for my family, to financially support my mother, etc.
Think about a dream you have.
Then I want you to double that dream. I have observed that most people dream small dreams and achieve them. Many people underestimate the potential of their callings and dreams.
I’ve spent years researching and studying dreams and how people accomplish them, what works and what doesn’t work. I do this because I’m passionate about improving myself and helping others, especially the underprivileged among us to rise above their circumstances.
I have discovered that you can achieve any worthy dream you have if you do the following four simple steps.
1. Visualize the outcome you want to have
First, create a vivid mental image of the thing you desire. Have a vision for it. Faith is vision. If you can draw on a piece of paper the future you desire, do it.
Second, on a daily basis, take the time to see yourself having accomplished your goals. Because of how we are designed, what we envision has a powerful shaping influence on us. When we frequently visualize our dreams, we program our minds and hearts to help us achieve it.
2. Focus and Intentionally take steps to move towards that dream daily
A lot has been said about the power of focus and intention. Simply intending to do something causes physiological changes within our bodies. It aligns our minds with our goals and musters resources to accomplish our dreams. This intention is the faith that it takes to connect us to life’s abundant resources for our vision.
In addition, we must remain very focused and take conscious action to accomplish our dreams. Faith alone when it is not accompanied by corresponding actions is not going to fulfill the dreams we have. Yet, without faith, it is impossible to achieve our dreams.
You must believe that it’s possible to achieve your dreams. You must also believe that your dream is necessary and must be accomplished because achieving your dream will make the world a better place. Then you must prioritize your dream. Make it a priority, stay focused, and take intentional steps to achieve it.
3. Verbalize your goals to yourself daily and to a few significant partners
I once read a small little book titled, “You’re Crazy If You Don’t Talk To Yourself”. The author is right, you have to speak to yourself about your dreams. There is only one person who needs to believe your dreams for them to become reality. That person is you. Talk to yourself about your dreams regularly. Tell yourself you can and must achieve your dream because a lot hinges on it. Use affirmations and talk of the things the things that are true about yourself and the things that you want to achieve. The world around you is always telling you that you can’t do this, you can’t do that. You have to speak to yourself and remind yourself that you can.
Form a mastermind group with a few trusted friends you meet once a week to talk about each other’s dreams. Verbalize your dreams to them. Research read about the subject of your dreams. Don’t stop learning and talking about it till your dreams are realized. Remember, the people you surround yourself with will determine whether you achieve your dreams or not.
4. Act like you’ve already attained your goals
As much as possible, act like those who have already accomplished your dream. It was Aristotle who said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” If your dream is to become a medical doctor, learn the habits of medical doctors and start practicing them. When you start acting like a doctor, you will soon develop the habits that doctors have. And, listen to this: Doctors become doctors because of the habits they practice. They didn’t become doctors and suddenly develop the habits. The habits got them to their dreams.
For example, doctors are always learning. They work hard at school make good grades. They like problem-solving and acting like detectives. If you want to be a doctor, start acting like that. We become the things we act.
Regardless of what your dream is, when you figure out the habits of those who are living that dream now and start practicing them, it will tremendously increase your chances.
Learn to think, talk, and act like those already living your dream. It is their habits that got them there. Those people are not special. Life is no respecter of persons. What life does for one person who practices certain habits of success, it will do for the other practicing the same habits.
5. Be a Finisher: Never give up
On the path to achieving your dreams, you will meet many challenges. Don’t give up! Many people give up because they don’t know how close they are to achieving their dreams. Persevere and you will reap the benefits.
6. Trust, have faith
Keep trusting and having faith that you will achieve your dream. Don’t doubt. Just keep looking forward and working hard. Don’t listen to the naysayers.
Think about a dream you have.
Apply these six steps consistently and you will achieve your dream.
I created the mnemonic VIVANT to help you remember these six simple steps. Vivant in French means “living” or “alive”. Dreams are what keep the soul alive.