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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are you a dreamer or a visionary?

by Pam Roth
We could probably ask the same question about several famous people who have influenced our world in one way or another.  Think about Christopher Columbus, Benjamin Franklin, Mozart, Bach, and Michelangelo – were they mere dreamers or did they have a plan to accomplish something that no one else had ever done?

Dreams inspire us.  However, without a clear sense of direction and confidence, a dream can end up being shattered; leaving us feeling defeated and discouraged.  

Dreams are the beginning of what may become a specific vision.  When you were young, did you dream about being an astronaut, Olympian, teacher, nurse, or fireman?  If so, did you follow through with a plan to accomplish your dream?

Young Christopher Columbus had a dream; and recorded history tells us that he persevered until he accomplished his goal.  This past year, we had the opportunity to see replicas of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria docked at a marina in the Gulf of Mexico Sound at Biloxi, Mississippi.  As we approached the dock, it was hard to imagine traveling from Spain to America in these three fairly small vessels.  I’m pretty sure there were people in 1492 that said, “Really, Columbus what are you thinking?”  Do you think Columbus was considered a dreamer or a visionary when he made plans to set sail to come to America?

And in the not too far distance from the three ships was another nautical icon - the Biloxi Lighthouse.  Although Columbus was not guided to land by a lighthouse; lighthouses provide a beam of light for a ship’s captain to be focused on as he makes his way toward the shoreline.

Much like a lighthouse, a vision statement is a declaration of where you hope to go.  A vision statement doesn’t necessarily tell you how you’re going to get there; but it will begin to help you set the direction and guide you to your destination.  When you take your dream and move it to a vision statement, you move from merely having a good idea to creating a plan to reach your desired outcome.
I can imagine that if you are like most of us, you are saying, “But, I don’t have time to sit down and write out a plan.  I barely have enough time to manage what has to be done in my life now.  Frankly, I just want to get through today.”  May I ask you a few questions?  Hopefully, these questions will encourage you to stop and create a plan out of your dream.

Why is your dream important to you? Be careful not to be influenced by opposition.  Let your “why” motivate you to reach your desired destination.

What is the purpose behind your dream? What do you see needs to be done? How do you plan to use your gifts and talents? How is God speaking to you?

Have you clarified your dream? What is your desired future? Who do you want to become?  What are some of your greatest resources?  What are the roadblocks?

Have you already put your plan into action? If so, have you shared it with someone that you trust? Have you considered a life coach to come alongside you to help you accomplish your goals?

What step can you make today that will lead to making a significant difference in your future?

Quote: “You can never cross the ocean unless you have courage to lose sight of the shore” Christopher Columbus

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