Lessons from Dreamers of Impossible Dreams

Dreams are easy to achieve if you are no longer willing to put up with mediocrity. The way to stop settling and start achieving is to overcome childhood fears that being criticized for trying an idea is worse than not trying at all. Dreams come true when we recognize that it is not bad to try and fail.

Here are the secrets of some of the world’s most successful dreamers:

Even the wildest dream needs a plan. Many people think Henry Ford invented the automobile. He didn’t. The automobile was invented in 1769 and was powered by steam. The first gasoline-powered car was built about 18 years before Ford sold his first car:

HENRY FORD’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:

He wanted every family in America to own its own car. That was an impossible dream early in the 20th century, when all cars were built by hand, one at a time. Automobiles were too expensive for all but the very rich. Yet Ford made the automobile available to nearly everybody by developing the moving assembly line.

Ford achieved his dream by turning it into a clear plan of action. He did that by converting:

  • His dreams into specific goals.
  • His goals into specific steps.
  • His steps into specific tasks.

Then he assigned a specific time to complete each task. All he had to do was follow that plan, step-by-step, task-by-task, and his dream would be achieved.

Payoff: There were about 250 other manufacturers when ford built his Model T assembly plant in 1908. With his assembly line, he built more cars in one day than most of his rivals could build in one month. By 1914, he was building more cars in one day than most competitors could build in one year. Between 1908 and 1928, he made more than 17 million cars.

Aim as high as you can. Most people go through life just hoping to get on base. Whether it’s in their marriages, their relationships with their children, their businesses or their careers, they just want to avoid striking out. They never realize that they are capable of hitting home runs.

BABE RUTH’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:

Ruth never worried about striking out. He never tried to get a walk or just hit singles, doubles, or triples. His dream was to hit a home run every time he came up to bat. He didn’t achieve that. But Ruth came closer than anyone in history.

Set goals that are beyond your reach, instead of simply setting achievement goals that are easy to reach. Babe Ruth never lowered his sights. He never settled for what was easily attainable. He set his sights on the unattainable and dreamed how to reach it.

Nobody achieves all of his/her dreams. But when you dream impossible dreams, even if you do not achieve them, you wind up much closer than you would have if you had not dreamed.

Seek partners who can help you achieve your dreams. Movie director Steven Spielberg didn’t know how to create the model of a dinosaur. He didn’t know how to create a computerized special effect. If you put him in front of a computer and gave him a year, he still couldn’t create a special effect.

STEVEN SPIELBERG’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:

Even though he possessed none of the technical skills that such a project would involve, Spielberg wanted to make the most amazing movie ever about dinosaurs. He achieved his dream so completely that when Jurassic Park was finished, it was so realistic it scared everyone who saw it.

Spielberg turns all of his impossible dreams into reality by finding the best people to do what he can’t do. For Jurassic Park, he hired the best model maker in Hollywood to make dinosaur replicas. He recruited the leading special-effects company to create action and sounds.

Spielberg learned that he didn’t have to do everything himself to achieve his dreams. All he had to do was find the top experts who knew how to do it. His job is to recruit and motivate people to achieve the impossible – and to direct the movie.

Accept responsibility for staying determined. Imagine being both blind and deaf from childhood. Imagine never seeing your mother’s smile or hearing your father’s voice saying, “I love you.” How could anyone in such a situation dare to dream impossible dreams?

HELEN KELLER’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:

Even though Keller was left both blind and deaf in childhood, she dreamed of leading a complete, satisfying, positive life. Against all odds, she achieved that dream. Although Keller never regained her sight or hearing, she did learn to communicate. And through her spoken and written words, she inspired millions.

Keller never surrendered to bitterness or resentment. Whatever had been taken away from her, Keller wrote, she had been left her soul. “Possessing that, I still possess the whole.”

Put passion into everything you do. Passion fuels the engines that turn impossible dreams into reality. I have never known or read about any dream achiever who hasn’t been driven by a passion for his dreams. Passion is the secret weapon that is shared by people who make their dreams come true.

OPRAH WINFREY’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:

Oprah wanted to produce the most influential, most exciting, most captivating show on television. The engine that has driven her phenomenal success is her passion – her passion for life, work, people and excellence.

Even though she grew up poor, Oprah has said she discovered very early in life that there is no discrimination against excellence. The way she demonstrates her respect for excellence is through her passion. It doesn’t matter who her guest is or what subject the show is featuring, Oprah becomes passionate about it.

LESSON:

Most people think you either have passion or you don’t. My experience – based on the lives of those successful people I have studied – is that you can bring true passion into any important area of your life.

~contributed by Steven K. Scott

 Know Yourself                                                        Lessons From Thomas Alva Edison 

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