Advance Advice

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Rethinking ‘Follow Your Dream’: A Realistic Approach to Success and Fulfillment

Last time around I smirked a little at some of the trite boilerplate that passes for inspiration these days.  It was fun and refreshing – so I think I’ll give a little more excerpted “Wisdom of the Flying Pig” by Jack Hayhow 😊

To paraphrase from our last chat; no amount of wishing OR work will make a 5’ 9 guy like me into an NBA Center or NFL Linebacker, I don’t have the requisite raw materials to make that happen.  “Follow your dream” is often mugged by reality.  Dreams are great – goals and aspirations are wonderful, but take a moment and read the “Dream Analysis” below, and stick around for some aphorisms that merit pondering.

While the phrase “follow your dream” is often seen as inspirational and encouraging, there are valid arguments against blindly adhering to this advice. It’s important to recognize that the idea of following your dreams can be overly simplistic and may not always lead to the best outcomes for everyone. Here are some counterarguments to consider:

Unrealistic expectations: Dreams are often depicted as grand and ambitious goals, and not everyone’s dreams are attainable or even practical. Pursuing unrealistic dreams can lead to disappointment and wasted resources.

Financial stability: Following your dreams may require financial sacrifices, and it’s not always feasible for everyone, especially those with responsibilities like supporting a family or paying off debts. Prioritizing financial stability might be a more responsible choice for some individuals.

Risk and uncertainty: Pursuing a dream often involves taking risks, which can result in failure. Some people may prefer stability and security over the uncertainty that comes with chasing a dream.

Changing interests and goals: People’s interests and passions can change over time. What may be a dream today might not be the same in a few years. Pursuing a single dream rigidly can prevent individuals from exploring new opportunities and evolving as a person.

Lack of direction: Simply following a dream without a well-thought-out plan or direction can lead to aimlessness and frustration. It’s essential to have a clear path and realistic goals when pursuing your dreams.

Following your dreams may require you to make sacrifices in terms of time, relationships, or other aspects of your life. It’s important to weigh these trade-offs carefully and consider whether they align with your values and priorities.

Success means different things to different people. Not everyone’s dream is centered around achieving fame, wealth, or recognition. It’s essential to define success on your terms rather than conforming to societal expectations.

It is crucial to approach this advice with a dose of realism and pragmatism. It’s important to evaluate your dreams in the context of your individual circumstances, responsibilities, and goals to determine whether they are worth pursuing or if there are more practical and fulfilling paths available to you.

SO, one of the most important things you can do in leading (for yourself AND others) is identifying talent(s) and matching tasks to talent.

To build on a person’s strength, that is, to enable them to do what they can do, will make them effective… to try to build on (strengthen) their weaknesses will be frustrating and stultifying.  Peter Drucker

“The most compelling, satisfying, and motivating force in the universe is achievement”. From a meta-analysis of motivating factors contributing to job satisfaction, by Frederick Herzberg.

Each of us has a profound need to be unique and an equally profound need for a union with something greater than ourselves.  That sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? But think of it this way; when you offer people a way to make a unique contribution to a team pursuing a worthy goal their need to be unique and in union have both been served.  “Mobilize your people around a common goal.  Help them to feel part of something genuine, special and important, and you’ll inspire real passion and loyalty”.  Michael Dell in “Direct from Dell”

Finally, we can all do each other a favor every day by being clear about our expectations.  Hayhow reminds us that “The number one reason people don’t do what you want them to do? They don’t know what you want them to do!” Philip Crosby, in Absolute Leadership says “People can’t do anything well unless they can define it in a way that they AND others can understand”

Stay Curious my Friends


Blaine's World

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