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5 Steps to Make Big Dreams Scalable and Reachable

5 Steps to Make Big Dreams Scalable and Reachable

Do you feel like your dreams are just too big? That perhaps it’s beyond what you think you can attain?

Does your dream feel so far out of reach, you don’t even know what steps to take towards achieving it?

If so, then here are 5 steps you can do now to make that dream scalable and reachable so that the first steps to make that dream come true are clear as day for you.

1. What’s the Point?

In this dream of yours, narrow down the essence of it by answering the following question,

“What problem are you solving?”

I understand that your dream may solve many problems, but get down to the most important, most pressing issue you want to solve and name it.

2. Who is it For?

In this dream of yours, who are the people you are helping?

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To find this out, close your eyes and imagine you’ve already have made your dream come true; that you are able to solve this specific problem for people. So who is coming to you for help?

What kind of people are they?

What kind of jobs do they hold?

What are their major concerns?

What are their interests?

What is important to them?

Write this stuff out. Make a list of your future clients and customers. Give them names like “Bob the electrician.”

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It is important to know the people you are trying to help because then you will know where to find them.

How will you find them? Easy.

You already know what kind of jobs they have, what concerns them, and their interests. With this information, you can determine where they hang out, what magazines they probably subscribe to and what kind of events they would attend.

3.  The Delivery System.

What is the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to get this solution out to the people you want to help?

A good point to keep in mind is that your initial delivery system doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to get the job done. You can make it fancier later.

Pastor and motivational speaker Robert H. Schuller said, “Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.”

With this in mind, will your delivery system be a brick and mortar, an online store, blog, book, ebook,  video, mobile app etc.

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When you think “fast, easy, and cheap,” what comes to your mind? 

4.  Who is in the Show?

In this dream of yours, are you by yourself or do you have other people in your dream helping you?

Close your eyes and think about this for a minute. See your dream realized and are you there alone?

If you are alone, then this is good to know off the bat. You are a one-man show. That means that the success of your dream solely relies on your ability to just do what you say.

If you see others helping you, then list these people out. Are they partners, employees, contractors, developers etc.?

Here is another way to use the fast, easy and cheap model.

Who can help you achieve your dream faster? Who won’t cost a fortune and you can easily work with?

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Write their names down.

Perhaps you may know some of them personally or you may already know offhand that you will be using freelancers.

5.  The Next Step.

Using the information you gathered from thinking about Steps 1-4, write down your next step.

Your next step may be:

  • Looking for a property space.
  • Registering a domain name.
  • Writing down the book title.
  • Calling up a friend to talk about your dream to see if they want to be a part of it.
  • Researching how much it would cost to hire a virtual assistant or app developer.
  • Start spending time where your potential customers and talking to them about their problems.
  • Check out your competitors to see what delivery systems they are using.

After concertedly thinking about the questions that were raised through this 5 step system, the first few steps to making your big dreams come true should be quite easy for you to see.

Now follow through and do something your future self will thank you for!

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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