“A goal is a dream that burns in your belly.”
About 16 years ago this simple phrase became the most important advice/message I would ever hear. It was spoken by a keynote speaker at a work conference and it changed my life forever. You see, these were the words that kicked me in my ass to make the commitment to follow my lifelong dream of being an author.
The message was simple: In order to fulfill a dream, it must first become a goal. Then that goal needs to become a focus in your life, even an obsession. It needs to burn in your belly, annoying and nagging, until you pay attention and take steps to fulfill it. Only fulfilling it will make the burn go away. Like an itch in a difficult spot that drives you nuts until you manage to scratch it. Or a greasy cheeseburger that needs Rolaids. Once the goal is met, the sense of accomplishment is overwhelming and sets up the path for the next goal … and the next.
Dream vs. Goal – aren’t they one in the same? No, they are not.
We all have dreams – wishful thoughts that may or may not be viable as goals. Very few dreams become goals and even fewer become realized goals. Dreams are passive. Goals are active. You cannot reach a goal without taking some type of action. When it came to my dream of becoming a published author, I first elevated it from a dream to a goal. Then I kicked into action. I learned my craft. I put words to paper. I found an agent and, after several years of perseverance, eventually became a published author.
Since then I’ve applied this dream-to-goal-to-reality method to several of my dreams, long term and short term. It works. Trust me.
So go out and grab your own greasy burger. Devour it. Digest it. Then seek the relief you need to stop the burn by taking action. And don't lose sight of your mission.
But be careful, turning goals into realities can be addictive. But what an addiction!