“Living the Dream”, “If I could just be a successful entrepreneur one day…”, “I want to have my dream career!”
Do you know these thoughts too well? Every once in a while, I also catch myself dreaming. In general, dreams are good. They offer a vision and goals we want to achieve. But there is a limit to how much we should actually dream. Dreaming itself is not enough. It helps us build castles in the air. But unless we take action and work really hard, this castle will never be more than some clouds made up in our mind.
I always try to show you the realistic side of entrepreneurship. There are the good times but there are also the hard ones. And I can promise you one thing: “living the dream” means something very different than what we what it would look like in our dreams. It means hard work. Is it really your dream to invest all your time, effort and money in a business? Is it really your dream to wake up at night thinking about what to do next? Is it really your dream not to have any weekends anymore?
It is easy to get caught up in day dreams and romanticise a possible career path or avenues in our personal life. The grass always seems greener on the other side. Unless we take action and see what it is like on the other side, we will never know.
In a recent interview, American designer Rosie Assoulin went even further and talked about the necessity to kill our dreams.
“I always say, kill the dream. I had to kill the fantasy. I had to kill it and just start. I had to get the fantasy out of my way and say, ‘You can’t have any of that—now let’s begin.’ That’s hard.”
Killing your dreams may sound dramatic, but there is some truth to it. If you only sit around and wait for your dream to happen, it will never become reality. It will stay a castle in the air. Assoulin mentioned further that she breaks down her dream (which is kind of a meta-level) into smaller tasks. I can totally relate to this.
As I am a very visual person, I usually use a big sheet of paper (most of the time an A3 format) and write my dream, vision or meta-goal – however we want to call it – at the top of the page. Then I write down whatever comes to my mind: Every task I need to complete to come closer to my goal. As a next step, I prioritise the tasks and rank them. This exercise makes my “dream” much more tangible and realistic. Furthermore, it makes it much easier to get started. Sitting in front of a huge pile of tasks may seem daunting and can lead to procrastination. Smaller tasks are not as scary and it feels really good when I tick them off my list.
I find this strategy really useful and apply it to many types of projects as it helps me to get going and structure my thoughts, tasks and strategies. I think it is not only applicable to entrepreneurs but to any type of job. Moreover, it can even be used for dreams in your personal life. Just give it a try!
To sum up, I would not go as far as to say “kill your dreams”. Reading her interview, I am not convinced that Assoulin really meant killing them in the sense of completely putting an end to our aspirations. In my opinion, having dreams is not only necessary but very normal. But I would say “Stop to just dream, take action and break your dream down into achievable goals.”.
What do you think about “killing our dreams”? Do you agree? Or do you have further advice about how to turn our dreams into reality? I look forward to hearing your opinion!