All too often I hear people use the terms Dreams, Vision, and Goals interchangeably as though they each meant one and the same thing. For years (decades) this has resulted in tremendous confusion on my part, leaving me unable to understand how to identify my goals, I mean my vision, wait, I mean my dreams … oh, never mind, I don’t know what I mean! Just kidding, I actually do know what I mean, but for the longest time I did not know. The outcome of my confusion was of course that I had no clear goals despite having many dreams and no real vision.
Clarity came over the past month or so, and especially in the past week. I came to the realization that each word is unique and that they are quite different from each other, while also being indelibly interconnected with one leading to or relying on the others. In essence, Dreams lead to Vision, which leads to Goals, which leads to Action. While you can have each independent from the other, the result would most likely be utter chaos of a schizophrenic nature. However, when understood and properly incorporated, the result can be, and often is, astoundingly unbelievable!
So what’s the actual difference between these terms? And just how important is it that you understand this difference?
First, what they mean.
Dreams are WHAT you want and desire in your life external to you. For example, a happy marriage, children, a nice home, nice vehicles, a great career, your own business, friends, wealth, travel, etc. All these things are external. They cannot be absorbed into your being. They are the trappings of life and what you want your life to look like.
On the other hand, Vision is completely internal in nature. Vision is WHO you want to become. Who you want to be known as. Some examples of vision include things like:
•Being a highly successful and sought after author and motivational speaker
•Being charismatic and attracting people to you like flies
•Inspiring people to take action to transform their life
•Being a leader of leaders
•Being a person and leader of integrity
•Being a person who helps to feed thousands and millions of children and people worldwide
•Being a person of action
Goals are the specific steps required to achieve your Dreams and Vision. Goals should be identified at the daily, weekly, monthly, annual, 5 year, and 10 year levels. Goals should be clear, specific, and detailed.
Action is simply the implementation of the identified goals.
So why is understanding their differences and their intimate interconnectedness so darned important?
Without Action, Dreams, Vision, and Goals are useless. Without clear, specific, and detailed goals, you’ll forever spin your wheels in the mud and your Dreams and Vision will remain elusive and unattainable. Without clear Dreams and Vision, it is impossible to identify the appropriate Goals—there is no firm foundation on which to build.
For decades I have had many Dreams, but no clear Vision. I kept doing a lot of things, but because I had no clear Vision of where I wanted to go and who I wanted to become, my activity was always in vain, resulting in most of my Dreams remaining just dreams! No amount of activity on my part could take me where I wanted to go because I didn’t know where I wanted to actually go with my life. Result? My activity was wasted and I rarely achieved my Dreams!
Have you had dreams that you have never been able to realize? Do you often feel like you’re just spinning your wheels, wasting your time drifting through life with no control over your life? Remember that to reach a destination you must first know where it is you are headed and then determine the best route to take. Without a specific destination, you cannot determine a route. You will zigzag your way to nowhere. Do you want your life to once and forever change in a big way?
Then, my friend, grasp the bronching bull of your life by the horns, give it a good shake to let it know the CEO of your life has arrived, and get laser focused on developing your Dreams, Vision, and Goals. But, most importantly, get ready to take MASSIVE Action to implement your goals! It’s time to fully realize your Dreams and your Vision!