Even in first-world nations, most actual dreaming around personal career development is surprisingly conservative. If pressed, the bulk of people would concede that they dream of a ‘slightly better’ version of their current career. Utopia would be what they already have, plus a little more of this; a teeny bit less of that. Slightly higher pay. Slightly fewer boss-issues. More convenience; less hassle. With a universe at our disposal and all the knowledge and capacity of human history behind us; as members of a species beginning to explore beyond our planet and out into space; how bland! It smacks a little of lights hidden beneath bushels, of stories unfulfilled, of ‘lives lived in quiet desperation.’ Dreaming is free. There is no plausible excuse for allowing anyone or anything to shrink the size of your conceivable life story. Of all times in our existence, when we dream, we have permission to be absolutely unfettered. Have you been conned and conditioned into dreaming in dull earth-tones?
I’d like to invite you to think significantly bigger than most of the people around you will ever have the courage to do. I’d like to invite you to spend 10 structured minutes being utterly audacious and envisaging a future that is way, way beyond your current reality.
By way of an example, here’s mine: I once drove by a billboard on the highway, advertising a public event with author and global keynote speaker Robin Sharma. It was sponsored by a magazine for the drippingly-wealthy, a watch that costs more than a car, and a car that costs more than most people’s homes. One day, I’ll see my name on such a highway billboard, in a foreign nation, proudly sponsored by the gold-standard of high-end snobbery.
What specific moments are non-negotiable for you, in the once-only story of your life and career? What heights would make you feel your existence and your effort in working each day was, fundamentally, worth it? What do you refuse to die without experiencing?
Here’s your challenge, and it will only take you ten minutes; so make it a frenetic and focused ten minutes: Fix your ultimate outcome in your mind’s eye; the biggest, fullest, most vivid and desirable career you can possibly envisage; the life you yearn for to the depths of your being.
Then, in ten minutes of free-flow brainstorming, write down any step or requirement you can think of that might actually get you there. Anything. And don’t pause to consider whether it might be realistic. Just jot down what it might take.
I am willing to bet that when you zoom back and stare the messy page before you, you’ll discover that a great portion of your ideas are eminently doable. Hard, certainly. But doable. And I’m willing to bet that the exercise will leave you pondering a simple but profound question, which is: ‘So, why don’t I? Indeed, why don’t you?
Here’s to you becoming the greatest in your game!
Douglas Kruger is a professional speaker and author of the book ‘Own Your Industry – How to Position Yourself as an Expert.’