How to Make Your Wildest Dreams Come True
When you were a kid, you had the wildest, craziest dreams. You wanted to be the centerfielder for the Yankees or the President of the United States, but then something strange got in the way: your parents, teachers and friends told you to stop dreaming. Not in those exact words, but you were told to get realistic and get your head out of the clouds. Eventually, you realized that your family, teachers and friends must be right and you let go of your dreams. And that, my friend, is a damn shame.
Dreaming is what makes life worth living. When you dream, you come to life—anything is possible for you, your family and your law firm. Life is full of possibilities. The limitations imposed by others are no barrier to what you can achieve. But did you ever stop to think that your staff members have dreams to? What if you helped your staff achieve their biggest dreams?
When you help your staff identify, articulate and fulfill their dreams magical things happen. You become someone other than the boss. You become a dream manager. You become the only employer (and perhaps only person) in your employees’ lives who took a personal interest in making their dreams come true. And not only his that really cool, it can be transformative for your law firm.
Breaking Out From the Ho-Hum Conundrum
We basically live ho-hum, boring lives (known as the “ho-hum conundrum” by dream manager, Dan Ralphs). We tend to let the past create a cycle of behavior, so that our future will be similar to the past. All of our decisions are based upon our past experiences and we try to keep our lives how they’ve been in the past. This is our known and familiar territory (a/k/a “the rut”) and it has a strong power over you.
“Dreaming is identifying possibilities that are not part of our routines.”
Dan Ralphs, the Dream Manager
When you experience something new and different, you take a small leap out of the rut. Taking a step out of the rut might be as simple as going to a yoga class for the first time, but a dream has to be something that is desirable and makes you happy. Case in point, losing weight is not a dream. Losing weight might be something you want to do, but a dream should be something that lights you up and excites you.
When you get outside of your comfort zone, the “rut” becomes a little bit bigger. The new territory becomes old territory—you’re building a bigger house and the whole world seems more accessible. And dreams that before seemed impossible now seem possible. With the horizon open to new possibilities, you have increased confidence in yourself.
What is a Dream?
To qualify as a dream, it doesn’t have to be realistic—it is just a fun possibility. Your dream might be to end extreme poverty in the world. Realistic in your lifetime? Almost certainly not, but this would be a helluva legacy that you spent your life working to end poverty.
“What is something for you that would just take a miracle?”
Dan Ralphs, Dream Manager
There is a difference between a dream and a goal. Goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (“SMART”), while dreaming has a much looser interpretation. You should dream without limitation—anything is possible. Dream management deals with the future, not the past.
Give Words to Your Dreams
A dream has live in language—you have to give it words. Once you give the dream words, it has power. Allow yourself to imagine and write a list of dreams to bring them to the surface. Now, ask your staff to do the same.
“Just writing down a dream can have a powerful effect on our ability to accomplish it.”
Dan Ralphs, Dream Manager
As you identify things that are desirable, it allows you the opportunity to take specific action in the real world. Identify the dreams that you have courage to do and take a little action. What is the future and where do you want to go? Now, just go and do cool stuff.
What Type of Dreamer are You?
The four types of dreamers are the Idealist, Architect, Inventor and Adventurist. Once you identify the type of dreamer you are, you will have a better idea of your strengths, struggles and what you need to focus on. Take a 1-minute quiz to find out what type of dreamer you are. Go to TheDreamBlog.com/quiz.
The Idealist: The “Idealist” has an incredible imagination, but struggles with consistency problems in pursuing a dream over time. An Idealist should focus on simplifying the dream and discovering what they love.
“Be willing to step into fear, not knowing the ending.”
Dan Ralphs, Dream Manager
The Architect: The “Architect” is strong with execution, organization and perseverance, but struggles with dismissing dreams too quickly and feeling that they have permission to pursue dreams. The Architect should focus on creating space for imagination and trust that others around you will be supportive.
The Inventor: The “Inventor” is the analytical type (most rare type of dreamer) and their strength is problem solving and learning new things. The Inventor struggles with taking the first step and their dreams tend to be practical and pragmatic. The Inventor should focus on getting something on the calendar for their dreams.
The Adventurer: The Adventurer has no lack of passion and is courageous and fearless, but struggles with following through, taking care of the details and long-term commitment. The Adventurer should focus on choosing one dream, getting organized and committing on one dream over the long term.
The Types of Dreams
Spend a day in the imagination state with no electronics or interruptions. Make a list of your 100 biggest dreams. Just write down your dreams without committing to doing them. Always think of the “and” rather than the “or” when writing your dreams. If you need help, go to BucketList.org for a list of 5k dreams.
Bucket List Dream: This is a one-time event, such as throwing out the first pitch at a Yankees game.
Achievement Dream: This is the big achievements of your life, e.g., getting a law degree or Ph.D.
Habits/Attributes Dream: These are the attributes or qualities you want to have, e.g., “be wise, be healthy”.
Legacy Dream: This is the legacy you want to leave behind, e.g., end world poverty, and has a big impact and is transformative.
How to Get Started Dreaming
Start your list of dreams and share 1 dream that you can accomplish in the next 12-18 months. Make a list of what you can to do to give more to the world. The dreams of your employees will surprise you, e.g., “I bought a grand piano and want to learn to play”.
With the Dream Manager Program, your employees will meet with the Dream Manager once every month to discuss what they’re doing to achieve their dream and provides resources to help them. The Dream Manager will facilitate the dreaming by asking 2 questions, “Tell us more” and “What can we do to support you?”
The Power of a Dream Wall
Spend time in the dreaming space and make a list of your dreams and bring them to the surface. Put a whiteboard in your conference room for your staff to write their dreams (a/k/a the “dream wall”) and add another board for the fulfillment of dreams (a/k/a, the fulfillment wall). You will be surprised by your staff’s crazy dreams and they will appreciate that—for the first time—you’ve taken a genuine interest in their dreams.
“We pursue dreams better when we go it together.”
Dan Ralphs, Dream Manager
As dreams are fulfilled, have your staff mark them cross them off on the Fulfillment Wall. Celebrate and throw a small party when dreams are fulfilled. Recognize the fulfillment of dreams at firm meetings and encourage your staff to share their dreams.
Why Chasing Your Dreams Down is a Good Thing
You will grow into a much different person as you begin to pursue your dreams. Those who have accomplished dreams are far more generous than those who haven’t.
“Don’t ever let someone tell you can’t do something. If you’ve got a dream, protect it.”
Will Smith, “The Pursuit of Happyness”
What are your excuses for not pursuing your dreams? For almost everyone, the excuses are the lack of time and money. So, what can do you do about this? Make more money and create more time. How much money do you need to live your wildest dream? Once you know what that number is, you can work to make it happen.
Why Every Law Firm Should Have a Dream Manager Program
Once your employees know that you care about their dreams and have implemented the Dream Manager Program to make their dreams come true, they will walk through walls for you. There is no more powerful way to motivate your staff and they will reward you with their loyalty, dedication and gratitude. The Dream Manager Program might be the best thing you’ve ever done for your law firm.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Dream Manager Program, you should contact Dan Ralphs, one of the world’s foremost experts on the power of dreaming. Dan has an amazing ability to help people discover their dreams. Before founding Dream Coach, Dan was the facilitator of the Dreaming Program at Infusionsoft (a software company in Chandler, Arizona), where he helped its employees to identify, articulate and accomplish their dreams.
Dan Ralphs can be contacted at DreamLeadershipConsulting.com, 2019 E. Mia Lane, Gilbert, Arizona 85297 (480-272-2244).