How To Turn Your Dreams into Goals
“A dream written down with a date becomes a GOAL. A goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN. A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come true.” — Greg Reid
My dream for Toronto Dance Salsa was that every instructor would do huddles and tell personal stories and now it’s a goal. By the end of next year, I’m going to have seven instructors doing huddles and sharing stories. But eight years ago it was just a dream. I still have a dream. My dream is that there are 100 Toronto Dance Salsa studios across the world. It is still a dream because I only believe in it 1%. But in the last few days, it went up by point five percent thanks to one of my students.
At the end of class, a student in my Level 1 Salsa class walked up to me and handed me a gift. It is a book called “Yes to Life in Spite of Everything” by Viktor Frankl. I was excited because I have read other things by Frankl. He was an Austrian psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust and wrote about finding meaning and beauty in life. So I was about to flip through the book and my student put his hand over mine and asked me not to open it. I was confused and said “Dude, do you know how books work? You’re supposed to read them.”
My student laughed, his face turned red and he said; “Yes I know how books work but I wrote you a personal note. Please read it after I leave.”
I smiled, hugged him and told him it wasn’t a problem. As soon as he was out the door and out of sight, I eagerly opened the book and read the note. The note was personal and heartfelt so I started reading it with a smile. But when I got to the middle of the note I started to cry. I cried because he wrote “I like your idea of having 100 dance studios. If you don’t do it, nobody will.”
You know that kind of gut punch that takes the wind out of you because you receive a gift or a compliment that is so good that you don’t feel like you deserve it? That’s what I felt like.
A student, to be honest, a stranger, who I have only met about four times for an hour each week in class believes in me and says that I have to do it. Opening 100 dance schools is my mission. Having huddles and sharing stories started as a dream and now it is a reality. So how did my dream become a goal and then a reality?
Our dreams don’t come true because we don’t turn them into goals. And then we lack structure and follow-through to make our dreams come true. Our dreams don’t happen because we lack belief in ourselves and our abilities. I was fortunate eight years ago to have a few people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. They believed in my dream that Toronto Dance Salsa could be more than just a dance school. And now I have people believing that this school that’s more than a dance school should be in 100 locations.
And so the only way to turn your dreams into goals is to say them out loud. And I know it’s hard. It’s hard because I don’t know about you, but I’ve been rejected so many times, that it is easier to bury our dreams. We need an army of people believing in us. Especially in the moments when we don’t believe in ourselves. They simply remind us that we’re meant to be there. And so, share your dreams. Share your wishes. Give them a chance to grow by having others support you. You’re not crazy. And you’re meant to have what you want. You just can’t do it alone.
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