Dream vs Goal: Is Your Dream Big Enough?

When I’m working with clients, I’m often hearing “Stacey, I think my dream is too big, so I’m going to shrink my dream. I’m going to go after this goal, and then once I achieve that goal, then I’ll start thinking about what it is that I really want.” My coaching in those moments is to actually invite people to dream bigger. There’s a big difference between having a dream and a vision versus a goal, and what I find most people do is they set their goals, what they think are their dreams, but they’re really their goals based on their conditions and their circumstances.

So what we’ve been trained to do is to look at our conditions our circumstances, and then figure out what we think we can do, and that’s what becomes our goal and our dream. So we look at our calendar, we look at our money, we look at our experience, we look at the amount of time that we have available to us, and then we set a “realistic” goal of what we are sure that we can accomplish this year. That’s certainly one way that we can set goals, but what we’re talking about here is building dreams, building visions.

What we're talking about here is the third type of goal, which is the wish, the want, the desire, if you could wave your magic wand! And these types of goals, you have no idea how you're going to accomplish it, but it's something that lights you up and gives you life.

So what’s the difference between a dream and a goal? How do you know if your dream is too big? How do you know if your dream is big enough is the real question.

Bob Proctor, one of the greatest transformational teachers on the planet and one of my personal mentors, I had the privilege of working with Bob for a number of years, he talks about three different levels of goals, A, B and C. And he says what most people do is they set goals based on what they’ve done before. So you’ve bought this type of car before, now you have a goal of buying a newer version of that car. Well you know how to do that, you’ve done it before, you’ve accomplished it before. The second type of goal is when we look at the evidence, and we do our research, we look at what what’s happening in the marketplace. We look at what we’ve accomplished before, and we set a goal based on what we think we can do.

What we’re talking about here is the third type of goal, which is the wish, the want, the desire, if you could wave your magic wand! And these types of goals, you have no idea how you’re going to accomplish it, but it’s something that lights you up and gives you life.

So as you’re considering your goals, your dreams, your vision, what category do they fall into? It’s something that you’ve accomplished before, or a version of you think you can do it, or you know how to accomplish it? Or is your dream, your goal one of the ones where you have this idea, you would love it, but you have no idea how to accomplish it? That’s what I’m talking about here. Setting a dream or a vision that you have no idea how you’re going to accomplish it. So what we’re really after when we’re talking about a dream and a vision is something that you have no idea how to accomplish.

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So why is that important? Why would you dream something that you don’t know how to accomplish?

There’s a few reasons for that. First of all, what it does is it gives you passion and it gives you purpose. If you have a goal that you’re just somewhat interested in, or you know how to accomplish, it usually there’s not enough life behind it, right? It’s okay, but there’s not the same passion, same aliveness, when you have a vision or a dream that lights you up. When you think about living into that dream, there’s an excitement, it gives you that passion, it’s going to get you out of bed in the morning.

When things aren’t going your way and you start to have the failures and setbacks, if you’re in love with that vision, you’re going to be able to look at those failures and setbacks, and know that they’re simply learnings.

The biggest part of having that goal, vision,  or dream that you don’t know how to accomplish, is how it’s going to cause you to grow, to stretch, to think differently, to really become a new elevated version of yourself. When we have big dreams, big visions, we’re caused to grow beyond our comfort zone, beyond our current paradigm our current belief system, and that growth I believe is why we’re here on this planet. We’re never meant to stay the same. We’re meant to grow, we’re meant to expand, and one of the ways that we cause ourselves to grow and really become the best version of ourselves is having that vision that stretches us to be better versions of ourselves.

A goal does play an important role in this, they are going to be markers along the way into the vision. So the difference between of a vision and a goal, is you don’t know how you’re going to accomplish it. A goal is something that you can influence on your way to the vision.

For example, let’s imagine that you have an income goal you want to achieve, a certain level of financial freedom. So as you’re building that vision for your financial freedom, then you’re going to create goals along the way. These are markers that you can influence and take action towards in service of that vision. So as you have your overarching vision, then you can set goals for yourself for the year, for the month, for the week, and from those goals then we start to establish our action steps. What action step can I be taking today in service of that goal, which is then serving the vision? Most people just get stuck in the action, we’re in the doing, and we’re taking action, but it’s not really in service of a greater goal or a greater vision. That’s when it feels like we’re on the hamster wheel, where we’re taking the action, but we’re not getting any further ahead, because it’s not in service. We’re not moving that energy in service of something that’s really important to us.

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So if you feel like you’re just on the hamster wheel, you can’t get ahead, chances are you’ve lost sight or you haven’t set that vision of what’s really important to you. Or maybe that vision, that dream isn’t big enough, and it’s more like a goal rather than a vision. So if you’re feeling like you’re on the hamster wheel, you’re feeling like you’re not getting ahead, probably time to relook at that vision and what it is that you would really love to create what’s important to you.

Put the “how” on hold. Give yourself permission to dream and once you have that vision, all of a sudden you start to think different, you start to feel different, and your actions are now in service of a bigger idea. They start to feel meaningful and purposeful.

So if you’re somebody who’s reading this and thinking, “I don’t have a dream. I don’t know what it is that I want.” There’s lots of resources here to help you in giving yourself permission to tap into what your dream is, what your purpose is, what’s important to you. And there are ways that you can get clarity on what that dream, what that vision is for you and and for your life, and what it is that you would love to create.

Your vision, your dreams, your goals, all of those are combined to really support you to live more intentionally, live more on purpose. We’ve created a Live on Purpose Toolkit that’s going to support you in bringing greater purpose, greater intentionality, greater meaning to every day of your life. So if you’re ready to live more on purpose, have more meaning in your life, make sure that you download that Live on Purpose Toolkit, it is filled with different resources to really help you live more and more into your vision and into that passion and purpose.  You can get that in the link below.

Here is to you living a life that you love,

Stacey Berger

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About Stacey

Stacey Berger

Stacey Berger

After 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder, mentoring entrepreneurs in marking, operations and finance, I made the decision in 2014 to teach success principles full time, combining my love of business and personal development.

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