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The Difference Between Dreaming and Having Vision

The Difference Between Dreaming and Having Vision

“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.” ~Douglas Adams

Who doesn’t like to dream? Fantasies, daydreams, whimsies of all kinds are pleasant and indulgent. Dreams are thought candy—enjoyable in the right quantity and within a balanced thought diet.

Anyone who ever left a mark on this world had a dream. Whether they created a business, governed a country, or created a movement, it all started in their mind and heart as a dream. At the beginning, that dream might have been laced with fantasies of fame or riches or power. They may have pictured successes or accolades or respect. Therein lie the temptations and the snares of big dreams.

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Of course it doesn’t stop there: dreaming is a place to start, but not one to prematurely end. Bringing a dream into the real world involves facing down challenges and problems, obstacles and outright resistance. So what separates the dreamers from the visionaries? How does a dream move from fantasy to reality?

When the Reality Kicks In

When we call someone a dreamer, it is rarely a compliment. We generally mean someone who is unfocused or lost in their own thoughts, and we expect that they are unlikely to do anything of value or to make any meaningful impact.

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When we call someone a visionary, however, it is an entirely different matter. They are someone we see as ahead of their time, bold and adventurous. We expect them to do great things. The difference is they make things happen here in the real world.

So what is vision that makes it so different from dreaming? Vision is the result of applying the laws of physics, human nature and economics to a dream so as to transform that dream into a reality. The visionary ceases to luxuriate in all the possibilities that are inherent to dreaming, picks one and makes it real. Being a dreamer is a prerequisite for being a visionary but it is hardly a given that every dreamer becomes a visionary. Vision calls for refinement and many dreamers just aren’t willing to do the work or make the sacrifices that such refinement requires.

Does business or government or education or religion require vision? No. There are plenty of visionless organizations with visionless leaders. If that doesn’t sound very inspiring it is because it isn’t: vision is a motivator and so it is understandable that visionless organizations don’t do much to improve the world we live in. In fact, they are usually attempting to be a force to maintain the status quo. For anything to move forward, upward or onward, vision is required. Even small organizations can have an impact with enough vision behind them, and small organizations with vision often become large organizations. That’s how we got Kiva and NPR, Amber Alerts and Girl Scout cookies. It’s also how we got organic vegan mexican food at Gracia Madre and delicious Jersey milk and yogurt from Saint Benoit Creamery.

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Don’t know those last two? It’s probably because they are also committed to being local in addition to healthy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t visionary outfits lead by visionary people. There are times when the vision is deep rather than broad. That’s the great thing about vision—it is up to the visionary to choose.

Why Visionaries are Willing to Pay the Price

By now you have probably figured out that you can dream all you want for free but there is a price for being visionary. To turn a dream into a vision means making hard choices: it means ditching frivolous attachments and speculative leanings. That might sound like it would suck all the joy out of your dream, but consider this: would you prefer to spend your days wishing you had the perfect pony with a flowing mane and trophy-winning speed, or riding your own real live horse?

Not everyone is meant to saddle up. You might want the horse, you might want the race, or you might want the stables. There is a lot of room for complementary visions. Whatever your dream may be, one truth remains: it is vision that transforms dreams into reality. So buy that horse, because until you do there is nothing to ride. Learn to ride that horse until you can race, then race the best you can. Win or lose, you are now beyond the dream, doing something real.

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Not every visionary is a household name but every visionary makes a difference. Join the ranks of those who, big and small, are making an impact because they are living their vision and not merely indulging some dream.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams

20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams

Have you ever said or done something that stopped and discouraged you from taking action toward your goals?

Excuses and negative self talk are common problems and are what usually stops most of us from fulfilling our dreams. But they aren’t apparent until we become conscious of them. And it’s not until you become conscious of them that you can start to begin changing them to help you move forward.

Here are 20 of the most common excuses people use that stop them from reaching their dreams:

1. I’m too old to start.

As long as you’re still living and breathing, you still have all the resources to turn your life around. All it takes is will and desire.

2. I’m not talented enough.

Talent alone isn’t enough to be truly successful. It might help you progress faster, but ultimately, all it requires is hard work and dedication to improve.

3. I wasn’t born in the right area.

Your environment may have influenced the way you’ve been fostered, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decide to change your attitude. You are in control of what you choose to think and feel about yourself.

4. I come from a poor background.

Some of the most successful people got there with little but a few dollars in their pocket. Money may help you reach your goals faster, but the real value is your inner resources and resourcefulness to get the job done.

5. I’m not smart enough.

Don’t despair if you feel you lack the knowledge to pursue your goals. There is a good reason why you lack the knowledge—you’re just starting! The key to learning is to start from somewhere and make progress.

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6. I don’t have the support.

While having the support is beneficial, it will not be the reason for your success and is simply ideal for getting you through hard times. The biggest things that matter in your journey toward success and achievement is your drive and motivation.

7. I don’t have enough time to discover what I like.

If you sit down and make a list of all the things you do in a typical day, you’ll begin to realize that you actually have enough time. Figure out what is wasting your time, and replace it with the things that will get you to your goals.

8. My family and friends don’t think I’m capable.

No one can tell you how capable you really are besides yourself. If your friends and family disappeared tomorrow, will any of it still affect you? You are the driving force between where you are and where you want to be.

9. I don’t know if I will succeed.

The greatest mystery about life is in not knowing what’s going to happen. Sometimes, your journey will take you on roads you never thought existed.

10. I’ve already dedicated myself to a different path.

It is never too late to change paths. Just because you’re on one road doesn’t mean you can’t take a different path and pursue a different journey.

11. I’m just not lucky enough.

All of us are lucky all of the time. The difference is, you just don’t see the opportunities presented to you due to lack of preparation. Focus on preparing yourself for them, so when an opportunity comes, you naturally will become luckier.

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12. I didn’t have the right teachers.

There really aren’t many things in this world that you can’t teach yourself. There is free and useful information you have access to at your fingertips that will give you the instructions you need to get started.

13. I’m not destined to succeed.

Everything that ultimately happens in your life is all due, in part, to the decisions you make. If that’s your current belief about yourself then, chances are, you’re right.

14. I’m not motivated enough.

If you lack the drive to do whatever it is you hope to do, there’s a chance you don’t want it badly enough or see it as something you really want.

15. I’m too easily distracted by other things.

There are always going to be things around us that are more fun and exciting to do. But the key thing is to be disciplined and to dedicate a certain period of your time to help move you forward toward your goals.

16. I’m not educated enough.

Education isn’t necessarily something you have to learn at school. You can never have enough education to get started. If you’re unsure, just take action anyway and learn along the way. Experience always will be the best educator.

17. I can’t handle failure.

If that’s your belief, then it’s a lie. We are rejected every day of our lives, but we fail to see the rejections because we don’t choose to acknowledge them. Learn to detach yourself from outcomes and to see the process as journey of self-discovery.

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18. I will start tomorrow.

There is no such as a future, only the present. If you genuinely have the time to do something now, then use the opportunity and go and do it. You will feel a lot more energized and motivated, knowing you’ve pushed yourself and made progress.

19. I’m not ready.

You can never be prepared to get started. If it means learning more will prevent you from failure, then you’re wrong. You will make mistakes and simply learning more will fool you into thinking you’re making progress, when in fact it’s simply a buffer from taking action.

20. I don’t believe I can do it.

As with point No. 14, your beliefs help steer and guide you toward your goals. If you honestly believe with full conviction that you can do it, you will start to see that everything around you becomes easier. The quality environment is dictated by the things inside you.

Now, stop making excuses that keep you from reaching your dreams. Go forth and prosper!

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