“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
All kids dream big. They want to be super famous, super meaningful, super powerful superheroes. (I used to spend quite a bit of time dreaming about doing something special and be famous for making a positive difference to the whole world in my own way.)
As we mature, these dreams are typically educated out of us. With age comes “wisdom” and a more “practical” perspective. We lower our expectations and often fear failure and risk taking.
Such a shame!
Even if not every aspect of our dreams is realized, our dreams herald big results.
What most successful people have in common is that they had dreams and consistently maintained a “think big” attitude.
The beauty of dreaming big is that it means that the best still lies ahead of you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how stuck you feel in your life, or where you are right now: with big dreams come big possibilities!
And isn’t that what makes life fun and worth living?
A few tips to get you started realizing your dream:
Face your fears and acknowledge them. Confronting your fears doesn’t make them go away, but it will build courage. And that’s what courage is: confronting your fears. If you continuously confront your fears, theywill diminish;
Realize that anything worthwhile takes focus, dedication, and follow-through;
Think big, execute small. Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time. Starting small helps you break down that big dream into small, manageable action steps. A small step towards a big dream is often the only motivation you need to take the next step, and the next;
When practicing big thinking, seek like-minded people who energize you. Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams, encourage your ideas and support your ambitions;
Cultivate a “can do” attitude. Focus on the positives, the potential, and the possibilities. Crush negativity (“No, I cannot do that”-thinking)
Invest in yourself. This could be something as small as buying a self-help book or enrolling in a business class or as big as traveling across the world;
Celebrate Your Failures: Each time you fail consider it a lesson learned. Learn from it and move on because with every baby step you take you’re one step closer to realizing your dream;
Above all: Believe in Yourself. Belief is the most important part of realizing your dreams. If you believe it can happen, it can happen. To quote Steve Jobs:
“Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
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I think about a famous lesson from Confucius around 450 B.C. that illustrates the importance of active engagement and real-time experiences in learning:
“TELL ME, AND I WILL FORGET, SHOW ME, AND I MAY REMEMBER, INVOLVE ME, AND I WILL UNDERSTAND.”
By reflecting on the actions, I took at work and the concrete experiences I had has taught me to recognize that the experiences have shaped a new way of thinking for me.
Communication is one of the most important professional skills that I could develop. I use action-oriented and positive words whenever communicating.
By describing how I perform my work, including skills and tools I use to manage my work tasks give me a clear picture of the past. The learning objectives that I established can highlight the skills that I have developed. I used the PAR strategy to have a clear method to document my accomplishments.
All things being equal, people will work with people they like. All things not being equal, they still will – John C. Maxwell
Let me start with a question:
In Business or elsewhere in your life, think about times when you tried to be something you weren’t to impress others or gain acceptance. What did that experience teach you? Why do you think you fell into it?
It is tempting for women who report primarily to men to believe they have to copy-paste men’s management, leadership and interpersonal styles. They adhere to many of the “rules of conduct” that spelled success for men.
It is a given that you need to have both substance and business acumen to lead in today’s business environment; However, what keeps leaders focused and able to make tough decisions is their authenticity.
Billy and Betsy are having their monthly ‘mentoring’ session. Boss was not happy with the monthly performance report Betsy has sent in. She takes the criticism highly personally Billy gets fed up after a while and tells her to toughen up.
(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)
A great leader:
Is open to and actively seeks feedback to improve her performance;
Learns from her mistakes;
Develops a network of support to help her succeed in her role.
The world is full of knowledge to absorb. Day in day out I encounter the need to full fill my hunger for information. On any given topic whenever it occurs. I make it a habit to research on items which are not clear to me. Travelling to places where question marks are raised on every corner I walk to. You know there are times when you get into a discussion about a subject. My slogan then is “I will check it out now”. Praise to my iPhone which I carry with me wherever I go.
Time flies by easily and the focus not to waste it made me aware of the fact that you can be productive no matter where you are. To prevent me from forgetting I always keep a notebook at hand. Yes, even in these days of advanced technology I prefer to write down notes. It gives me a better sense of connection with my subject.
Recently I’ve met Tamara – a Sales Leader of a big International Company. She has that extra special something that you just can’t put your finger on. She has a magnetic energy and ability to engage others that truly sets her apart.
She has “charisma.”
Charisma is the ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you. Related terms and phrases include: grace, exuberance, equanimity, mystique, positive energy, joie de vivre, extreme charm, personal magnetism, personal appeal, electricity, and allure. Usually many of these specific qualities must be present within a single individual for the person to be considered highly charismatic by the public and their peers.