At times, I’ve had people say to me something like, “dreams are soft” or “don’t make them a focus within coaching.” I couldn’t disagree more. So then why should we as leaders and coaches lean into dreams?
Here is a simple answer:
They give us hope and they are worth pursuing.
This past weekend, I was moving my daughter back to NYC and as we drove across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and then New York, I kept thinking about how fun it is to work towards your dreams. Post-pandemic and finishing a successful contract touring the world singing, my daughter was moving back to the Big Apple for more hard work and the relentless pursuit of her passion, the Broadway Stage.
At Braintrust and inside our NeuroCoaching model we teach about the power of shared vision and the importance of understanding someone’s unique story and what we have found is that inside every story is a dream – some fulfilled and some not.
After getting my daughter unpacked and moved in, I returned the U-Haul and called for an Uber to return me to Brooklyn. It had been a long day but as always I started a conversation with my driver. I’m one of those strange people that would prefer to engage in a conversation than be stuck on my phone as we dodged the traffic across Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge. My driver asked what I was in NYC for, and I explained that my daughter was moving to the city after her past contract to begin work as a Marketing Manager and her pursuit of musical theater. He then says, “I love it when people have a passion”, so I asked him about what he is passionate about. He goes on to tell me about his family, his work driving Uber and his passion for magic. After that, he shares his pre and post-pandemic experiences as an entertainer including his Amazon show where he toured the country. He discussed how he started driving when the entertainment industry shut down due to Covid. He explained how this job helped him make it through those years and now drives for additional money while continuing to pursue his dreams. I was struck by the story because it was a perfect encapsulation of how to:
- work hard
- handle adversity
- make a living
- pursue our dreams
So let me ask you, what are you passionate about? When was the last time you thought about your dreams – dreams being defined as your future aspirations about who you are working to be and what you are daring to pursue?
As we coach people within the NeuroCoaching program, we encourage our clients to understand their values, build a deeply personal vision (including dreams), create goals, and figure out a way to lead up to those goals with a plan that keeps you on a path to fulfillment of your aspirations.
It isn’t enough to just dream. We need to have a plan, assess if we are on the path, measure progress while celebrating wins, and measure performance.
Here is the main takeaway from this article…Don’t fall into the worldly view that dreams are soft and no longer important. Dreams with a plan are stimulating even when we fail. I want you to think about a dream you have and then figure out how to go get it. I have a dream of bringing NeuroCoaching to as many leaders as possible so that we as coaches can impact others to their highest purpose and performance. In this pursuit, I have a big dream that I’m working on and to be transparent, I’ve fallen behind as I’ve gotten busy with other priorities.
Here are five steps I’m going to use to fulfill one of my dreams and I hope they help you to fulfill one of yours.
- Write the dream down
- Develop a daily plan to fulfill the plan
- Ask a trusted advisor to hold me to a high standard of accountability for the plan
- Measure progress daily
- Be honest about roadblocks and celebrate small wins
Here is a bonus one – keep doubts out of my head, silence the critics, and keep the dream busters out of my inner circle.
How about you – will you stay in status quo, fool yourself that you don’t deserve to dream, and then wake up one day with a list of what ifs? Don’t do it. If you have a coach that doesn’t guide you from where you are to where you want to go, then get a new coach!
I want to say a special thanks to my wife, kids, and an Uber driver for reminding me that dreams matter. I hope this blog inspires you to dream about your story! Your story is unique, powerful, and only yours – make it count.