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Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
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Moving From Good to Great: Making Your Dreams a Reality

Almost everyone dreams of a better life or a better version of ourselves. Not everyone makes their dreams come true, even when we have the potential and ability. Why is that? It is because dreaming is easy. The challenge is making the dreams a reality.

Moving from dreaming to working to make the dream a reality requires effort. Sometimes we overthink it. The world seems to believe that success only comes from getting a big break, like making it big on American Idol, or inheriting wealth or winning the lottery.

However, to achieve what we really want, we cannot rely on other people. We need to take responsibility for our own success. We need to do create a plan, work smarter, and stay focused on what we really want. We can follow these steps to move from where we are to where we need to be:

1.Prioritize your mental health. I had a conversation yesterday with a colleague who is plagued by depression and anxiety. He wants to get better, but every day is struggle. You can have all the good plans in place, but if you have mental health issues, your journey from where you are to where you need to be, will be more than just a struggle. It is helpful to wake up and remind yourself that you have what it takes to get where you need to be. This requires you to avoid negative people or anything that makes you doubt your capabilities.

2.Be grateful for what you have now. It is easy to compare ourselves to others. Other. People’s success, house, car, and lives can seem perfect, and it can make us feel inadequate and resentful. Comparison robs us of our internal happiness. Gratitude is one way to keep us in a good mood and motivated. Counting our blessings gives us hope for the future. Gratitude also shifts our focus from negative aspects, which helps clear our minds and enables us to see things from a more positive and productive perspective.

3.Reflect on goals daily. Take a few minutes every morning to reflect on your daily and future goals, in addition to what you are grateful for. Some people call it meditation or getting centered. Remind yourself why you chose the path you did. Sometimes you need remind yourself why you chose to be the person you are or want to be. When you start to want to give up, this helps you take the right action to move forward.

4.Know and revisit your core values when you need to make a decision. Is this the right decision for you? Does it further your goals? I was recently asked to do some work for an organization that did not share my goals. While I wanted the work, I knew that collaborating with them was not consistent with my core values and goals. I had to say no. When we keep our principles and boundaries in mind as we make decisions, we make better decisions.

5.Do the work. Strategies do not implement themselves. Get up and get things done. Even when you do not feel like it. Especially when you do not feel like it. Wasting precious time is why many people fail. As Mel Robbins says, take action within the first 5 seconds when you think about what you need to do. Yes, it takes effort. Yes, it takes determination. Yes, it takes saying no to other things competing for your time.

6.Guard sleep carefully. One of the mistakes that we make is sacrificing sleep. Exhaustion can affect us mentally and physically. When we are well-rested, we function better.

7.Adjust, as necessary. We do get moments where we feel as if our dreams are taking too long to become real, and we start doubting if they will ever come true. Life is not just about that one dream. We will always have things to work on. This includes character development and gaining work experience and serving others. Focus on where you want to be in your life and change jobs, locations, or relationships when they no longer support your big goals.

8.Build and strengthen your connections. We are the sum of the people around us, whether socially or in the workplace. We need people we can rely on when things are tough or when we feel discouraged. Build and maintain good relationships with people who enhance your life. These are the people who understand and believe in your goals so that you are supported with ideas and enthusiasm.

Many people settle for a life, a job, and a relationship that is fine, fairly good because they do not know how to get too great. Moving into your full potential means focusing on what you can do to become what you consider GREAT. This 5-Minute Good to Great Plan may help.


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