I met a friend for lunch, and I was so excited to see her and catch up. I said, how are you? She replied Living the Dream!
After our lunch, I thought about the difference between these three words on my way back to the office. “Living Your Dream” or ” Living the Dream.” I think most of us have heard the phrase ” I am Living The Dream.” In essence, it means leading an ideal life, especially when it comes to our careers. The Life you have always wanted! Let’s shift our focus to ” Living your Dream.” We live in a country that embraces the belief that any person can accomplish any dream or goal through a commitment to hard work and perseverance.
The truth is we are born into a world that embraces this possibility. Even as children, we are taught to think about what we want to be when we grow up—the pressure on high school students heading to college having to decide on a career for the rest of their lives. One thing is for sure; we need to make certain that we stay focused on living our dream, not our parents, or what others want for us—the Life we have planned for ourselves with the goals in mind that we see for ourselves, what will make us happy and give our Life meaning.
I may hear some of say, Yeah, Lisa. I wanted to be a Professional Golfer on the PGA and play like Tiger Woods or Justin Thomas. Well, I know there could be limits to living that dream. I realize I can practice golf 12 hours a day for years and not be as good as Tiger Woods. And very few of us have the talent to become an Oscar-winning performer ( Although I must say I have come close on client calls to a perfect performance). Well back to my point, living your dream is all about what you want out of Life. Living Your best life! Throughout my management career, I have been so fortunate to have worked with some very talented people. I learned so much from each of them over the years.
And the past year, I believe, has taught all of us that Life is short, and we don’t want to spend it Building someone else’s dream- focus on what you want to achieve with your time and talents.
I was thinking back on one of my sales leaders, who seemed like he was going through the motions at work. I asked him how he was doing in one of the coaching sessions, and he replied I am doing okay. He shared that his father had been ill and that the two had always had a strained relationship. His father was a successful surgeon, and he was in Radio sales. His father had taught him that living the dream was all about financial success, expensive homes, and extravagant vacations. See, his father had a plan for him to follow in his footsteps to become a doctor. Although he had the benefit of enjoying these luxurys’, he had a different path he wanted to go. He went into sales, which his dad met with disapproval. See, he felt he could still earn a high income without losing his authentic self.
I remember asking him what makes you happy? What are your dreams? He shared that he had dreamed of being in a band and owning his own consulting company. He was more of a free spirit and not much on the corporate settings of rules and expectations—more jeans and tee-shirt guy. I asked him what was stopping him from living his dream. He didn’t want to disappoint his father, especially now that his father was ill and not in good health.
I expressed my sorrow that his father wasn’t doing well, and I explained that perhaps the moment is now. Take the step to start fulfilling his dreams. I do believe Life has a way of shifting us to where we need to go next. Life Happens for us, not against us! I told him to think about it over the next few weeks and determine if working at the radio station made sense. Well, weeks later, he turned in his resignation, and I was thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I loved working with him but knew his heart was not in it. I told him how proud I was of him for having the courage to start building his dream? Today, he is playing in a band and owns a very successful consulting company. See Dreams Do Come True!
My advice to you is this; Life is short; take the time to review where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow, a month or year from now. Write down your vision and create a plan of action to Living Your Dream. I can think of countless people in my Life living their dreams. They are in Bands, CEO’S, Consultants, Coaches, Teachers, Healthcare workers, In Sales helping their clients, In Realestate, others Helping Restaurants Market themselves, Running Non-Profits. You could say the Live To Give!
The only difference between you Living Your Dream is this -Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up!