Today it’s my privilege to introduce Charlie Waldburger to All Groan Up. Charlie loves to help build people and companies. He currently runs operations for a successful international life and leadership coaching company, while regularly advising non-profits. He writes and teaches on productivity, goal-setting and purposeful living. Find him at DoLifeBig.com and @cwaldburger.
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Pursuing a dream is hard.
It’s hard because anything that challenges our comfortable routine is hard. We like safe. We like habit. But we know that a life of safe and habit can get in the way of something truly meaningful.
What makes doing our dreams so hard – the reason so few people are living theirs – is that we’ve wrongly defined the idea of ‘dream’. Living your dream is not just a destination. It’s a process PLUS a destination. And if we see the ‘process’ as simply an avoidable nuisance when we picture our dream, we’ll lose enthusiasm and give up.
In fact, working your dream is almost all process. And in the process is where the meaning happens. It’s where the sweat and frustration lead to exhilaration and accomplishment.
What’s your dream?
- Publish a sci-fi novel?
- Write a blog?
- Start a non-profit?
- Backpack Thailand?
- Summit Mount Everest?
- Plant a church?
Good news. Your dream is closer than you think.
If you want to write sci-fi novels, you need to write. Every day. The moment you pick up that pen, you’ve begun to realize your dream. It may not feel like that. You may be a long way from being published, but no one who ‘lives their dream’ ever just woke up in the middle of it.
If your dream is to travel to Thailand, the dream begins when you sell your car on eBay to buy a plane ticket. It develops as you scrounge rummage sales looking for a suitable backpack. It sharpens as you’re keeled over, puking, because of street-food poisoning in Bangkok. But if you’re honest, the dream isn’t to wake up one morning dropped into a dream without tasting, seeing and experiencing the adventure of getting there.
If your dream is to summit Mt. Everest, what if I secured you a helicopter ride to the top for you? Would you say your dream came true?
Of course not. Essential to your dream is the training, the unrelenting snow, the physical pain, the crampons and the rush of a summit.
You don’t have a meaningful destination without first having a process.
When your dream is feeling far away, remember that the moment you take a step toward it, you’re actually in the middle of it. So reframe your definition of ‘dream’. If you do, you’ll experience joy in the 90% of life that is made up of process. And you’ll appreciate even more, the 10% that becomes breakthrough. If you don’t, the frustration of endless process will crush your motivation and you’ll come up short again and again.
Let’s hear it — how can you start to live your dream today?
Charlie, I love the truth of this post. We all too often think of our dream as the final moment when it comes to fruition, when it’s every day. Every moment that you take that faithful, small step that no one will ever know, that’s living the dream.
Good stuff, Charlie! 90% process, 10% breakthrough. I guess if we were always reaching our destination or even if it was easy, it would not be as big a deal when it happened. Thanks again.