Success is not all about strategy, and it's not all about who you know. It's about your ability to dream big. Dreaming drives innovation and creativity. It inspires us to explore the seemingly impossible. It puts people on the moon and behind the wheel of cars that drive themselves. People who dream make all things possible; so much so, that even Richard Branson wishes he would have done more of it.
"Sometimes I think, what if this is all a dream? This excites me," says Branson. "I'd quite like to go back and plot my life all over again, and have even more big dreams." If Richard Branson wishes he would have spent more time dreaming, why shouldn't you do more of it? When was the last time you kicked back to allow your mind to explore a world of possibilities--or better yet, impossibilities? Consider these points and give yourself permission to dream big.
Don't be self-conscious about dreaming big.
Innovative entrepreneurs master the art of dreaming because they know that dreaming isn't just measured by the outcome. The journey toward your dreams brings inspiration, teaches valuable lessons, and sparks even greater ideas. Don't be self-conscious about dreaming, or about people thinking you're too idealistic, and not serious enough. "Don't betray your dreams for the sake of fitting in," says Branson. "Dreamers move the world forward."
Don't judge yourself.
While I launched my business coaching practice 15 years ago, I recall that it took me exactly six months to realize that, while the mind of an entrepreneur is his greatest asset, it is also his greatest obstacle. "Don't allow your self-talk to be judgmental," says Branson. "Look at the world with wide-eyed enthusiasm, believe you are more powerful than the problems that confront you and dream big."
For every doubt that runs through your mind, counter it with a reminder of a past success. Take inventory of everything you have going for yourself and recall the accolades of current and past clients or customers. These things will help to reprogram your brain and achieve a supportive, positive mindset.
Allow your mind to drift.
Counter-intuitive to advice you'll find in every productivity book or article you will ever read, drifting off opens the mind, creating a gateway for even more ideas to emerge. Just roll with it; your rambling brain may discover something that even you had never considered before.
Be scared; it's a good sign.
Yet another popular Branson quote, "If your dreams don't scare you they are too small." There's always some level of risk when your dream takes you out on a limb. Branson believes that people who have big dreams may be scared but never scared off. Whether you risk failure, money, criticism, or the loss of hope. If you don't take a chance on yourself, your dream will remain only a dream.
This is where strategic mastery comes into play. Dreamers sometimes have a difficult time with strategy, so enlist help. A great dream drives collaboration, so let others in. How are you going to make your dream a reality? Break your goals down into measurable, actionable steps and take them one at a time.
Visualize your dream to make it a reality.
When you engage in visualization, you enhance motivation, increase confidence, improve motor performance, and prime your brain for success. Fight the belief that you are "doing nothing" when you spend time visualizing your dream. Imagine, in as much detail as possible, that your image of the future has already become a reality. Engage as many senses as possible by focusing on things like how the air smells, the clothes you are wearing, the details of your surroundings, the sounds you hear, and most importantly, how you feel as you live out your dream.
Here is the most important step of all: Open your calendar and schedule a time to dream. Otherwise, you probably won't do it at all. Whether it's five minutes, an hour, a day, or an entire vacation built around dreaming, do everything within your power to make it happen.