In this series, professionals share the words of wisdom that made all the difference in their lives. Follow the stories here and write your own (please include the hashtag #BestAdvice in the body of your post).
Deepak Chopra once told me that dreams are the fuel of your future. They’re the uncluttered, unfettered visions of your desire.
From an early age, my desires were always ambitious, yet I was almost embarrassed to share them lest they sound too grand. Chopra’s advice propelled me to dream big as an imperative for achievement.
This empowered me to shape my destiny, ultimately realizing my dreams to be a major executive and entrepreneur in diverse industries from entertainment to sports, new media, technology, and education.
Individuals have since sought my advice to develop their strategy for career success. Inspired by Chopra’s wisdom, I formulated my success equation:
Dreams + Goals = Destiny
So many people are fearful and lack the belief that they can fulfill their dreams. As a result, they remain paralyzed on the left side of this equation. But there are tools that can accelerate the process of recognizing and articulating your dream, designing and executing your goal, and realizing your destiny. The three simple navigational stakes I use to propel me to the right side of the equation are:
Own your dream.
The first audience you have to move is you to you. If you can’t authentically own it — feel it, live it, taste it, smell it, ingest it as part of your being — it will remain dormant. The best way to create this authentic ownership is by writing it down by hand (not on a smartphone or computer) in the past tense as if it already happened. I sometimes write it on rice paper and then eat it. Yes, I do! Standing in front of a mirror read or say it out loud. Record it. Now listen to it played back. Does it sound authentic? Does it exude your belief and conviction? Do you believe you? Say it to someone you love, trust, and care about. Own it in every way. If you’re still doubtful, it’s possible deep down you know something about this dream is inauthentic. There’s likely a lack of congruence between your heart, tongue, feet and wallet. Stop and figure out which of these components needs to be realigned. Do all this before you continue to the next step: give your dream a time limit, which makes it a goal by giving it urgency. Make a real deadline. This is saying, “Yes, it’s going to happen!” generating urgency, but not an emergency.
Don’t hide it, pride it.
You must be able to say your goal and have everyone recognize it on a rainy, foggy night driving at 60 miles an hour. Success in today’s complex and rapidly changing business environment requires collaboration and optimizing interdisciplinary skills and experiences to gain competitive advantage. A good tool is to model others who have taken this journey. What are their processes? Make a list of individuals by category (who you know, who you want to know, and who you know who may know who you want to know) and use your resourcefulness and resources to deepen or create relationships with these folks. The key is to lead with “what’s in it for them,” not “what’s in it for you.” Achieving your goal also requires having acute sensitivity to results. You must understand the elements required to enlarge the target of your goal, shorten its trajectory, and accelerate the process while at the same time remaining nimble. The path to success is never straight.
Relish the process, speed bumps and all.
Your success will be directly proportional to the amount of uncertainty you can reasonably handle. By definition, the journey for great success is long, arduous and uncertain. You will continue to face naysayers and negativity. You must be dyslexic and think “no” means “on.”
The irony is that you can do all of these things and the results may not occur. But, if you do none of these things, the results will definitely not occur. Developing the skillset to overcome the inevitable challenges is honed more through your failures than your successes. However, by embracing, learning from, and leveraging your failures and your successes, you will be well-poised to live your dream and realize your destiny.