Medium 9781576752296

Dreamcrafting

Views: 1567
Ratings: (0)

Many people set out to achieve a dream-starting a business or learning to play the piano or publishing a book-but they don't succeed, and the dream fizzles away. In many cases, these people have lots of skills and expertise, such as deep knowledge of the business or career they are interested in, so why don't they succeed? Paul Levesque and Art McNeil have discovered that making a dream come true requires cultivating skills of a higher order-macroskills-that inevitably spell the difference between success and failure no matter what the specifics of a person's dreams are. These are the skills Dreamcrafting outlines in detail.

List price: $15.95

Your Price: $11.96

You Save: 25%

Remix
Remove
 

14 Chapters

Format Buy Remix

MACROSKILL ONE: AspirationIgniting a Sense of Mission

ePub

 

1: Life in Alignment

ePub

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

— WINSTON CHURCHILL

“Oh, I’d love to have a boat like that. I dream of sailing to the tropics on my own boat some day.”

“I’d give anything for a dream house like the one in that movie.”

“She really landed a dream job. Her new benefits package is a dream.”

“Oh well—I can always dream, can’t I?”

Dream on, brother. Sister, dream on.

We all yearn for things. The stuff of dreams. But interestingly, only very few of us actually set about trying to make our dreams come true in any serious, methodical way. Instead, we devote the bulk of our leisure time watching or reading about the real or fictional exploits of others as they pursue their respective big dreams.

So, while we’re on the subject of fictional exploits—read any good stories lately? See any good movies recently?

The reason for asking is that you can learn something important from every gripping story ever told. It doesn’t matter how far back you go, from today’s hit movies and novels, through old-time radio dramas and silent movies, to literary classics from another age, back even to ancient myths and legends. For any story to capture the interest and imagination of its audience, it must at the very least have a central character who is driven by a powerful personal sense of purpose. In every story, these central characters find themselves with an important job to do or a serious problem to solve—they are on a mission—and they are obsessed with getting the mission accomplished.

 

2: Defining Your Dream

ePub

If you can dream it, you can do it.

—WALT DISNEY

Even when some business organizations (and individuals too) discover the usefulness of defining a mission for themselves, they frequently make the mistake of assuming that the challenge before them is primarily one of wordsmithing. They strive with such diligence to draft a statement of their mission that sounds good, they forget that the primary objective should be to define a mission that feels good—that is, one that excites, that motivates, that inspires (compels) action. This is what we mean when we refer to the need for a “compelling” mission.

Rather than “wordcrafting,” the process of defining the mission in compelling terms is an exercise in basic dreamcrafting. Simply put, a mission—any mission—will qualify as compelling only if it meets three basic criteria:

It’s worth taking a few moments to briefly elaborate on these criteria.

The first mentions “change.” It’s a peculiar thing—most people are inclined to resist and dread change, and yet at the same time most are also inclined to feel dissatisfied with the status quo. Something of a paradox, it would seem.

 

MACROSKILL TWO: MotivationIntensifying and Maintaining Resolve

ePub

 

3: An End to Self-Sabotage

ePub

No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.

—DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

It’s time to answer an important question and settle the matter once and for all: The proverbial glass of water bearing precisely 50 percent of its total capacity: is the darn thing half full or half empty?

We need a nonequivocal answer, a conclusive answer that we can grasp and embrace from now on and forever more, because the answer to this simple question is at the very root of dreamcrafting.

Two people are sitting facing each other across a small table. A third person approaches and deposits a card between them. The card has something printed on it.

“How many words appear on this card?” the third person asks.

“Just one,” the first person says.

“Can you read it?”

“Yes.”

“Is what’s written on this card true?”

“Yes it is,” the first person answers.

The third person turns to the second. “How many words do you say appear on this card?”

“Only one.”

“Can you read it, without turning it or moving it in any way?”

“Yes.”

“Is what this card says true?”

 

4: The “No-Willpower” Myth

ePub

There are so many people who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams and, because they never gave up, achieved their goals against all odds.

—DR. JANE GOODALL

In a series of educational cartoons created by the U.S. Navy in the 1950s, the comic bunglings of an incompetent mechanic named Murphy were used to make various learning points. This is the fictitious Murphy after whom Murphy’s Law is named. Most people can recite at least the first part of Murphy’s Law without hesitation: “If something can go wrong, it will—and even if it can’t, it still might.” The principle is known as “Sod’s Law” in Britain and is also sometimes referred to as Spode’s Law. It appears to have been inspired by an earlier mythical fourth general law of physics: “The cussedness of the universe tends to a maximum.”

Something intriguing has happened to Murphy’s Law over the years. Whereas it began life as a joke, a make-believe law of nature to encourage people to avoid problems by anticipating all that might go wrong and taking appropriate preventive measures, it soon became a semivalid general principle to grumble about how the world as a whole sometimes seemed to operate. From there, it has gradually taken on the legitimacy of a “timeless truth” that describes how the world actually does operate. Murphy’s Law is the foundation of the pessimist’s entire worldview. For anyone seeking to make a big dream come true, this joke is no laughing matter.

 

5: Time-Release Motivators

ePub

It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane.

—CHARLES LINDBERGH

Dreamcrafting isn’t exactly rocket science, as we’ll be the first to admit. Ironically, though, when it comes to sustaining motivation, a little understanding of rocket science can actually help a great deal.

The Saturn 5 rocket (used to launch the Apollo lunar missions) stood 360 feet tall and weighed 3,000 tons when loaded with fuel. This forty-five-story cylindrical object was not one single hollow fuel tank, however. The rocket was divided into three separate “stages,” each with its own entirely separate propulsion system.

The first stage (the lowest part of the rocket assembly as it stood on the launch pad) contained 2,200 tons of fuel—nearly 75 percent of the total. Does this mean the first stage propelled the astronauts nearly 75 percent of the distance to the moon? Not quite; in fact, the first stage fell away from the assembly, its fuel supply entirely spent, at an altitude of no more than forty miles above the earth. This was the amount of fuel required to overcome the earth’s gravitational pull from ground level.

 

MACROSKILL THREE: ProjectionLinking Today with Tomorrow

ePub

 

6: Living with One Foot in Tomorrow

ePub

Courage is being afraid, but then doing what you have to do anyway.

—RUDY GIULIANI

“Where does the time go?” Wherever it goes, “tempus fugit”—that’s how it gets there. It flies, in a hurry. Also, “time is of the essence.” From a dreamcrafting point of view, this is especially true.

Aspirational fields do more than create alignment between the otherwise random elements of daily life—they also (and perhaps more importantly) bring past, present, and future into alignment. Out of a sense of purpose comes a clear connection between things being done now in order to achieve other things later.

It is easy to recognize the unaligned life: waking hours are divided between work that delivers little or no satisfaction, and leisure time largely spent watching other people pursue their life missions. What we broadly call entertainment, in all its forms, is the product of artists and technicians operating within their own aspirational fields; actors, for example, who crafted a dream career for themselves, and as a result are now well paid to portray characters pursuing a dream.Virtually everything we use, view, listen to, or in some way consume during our leisure time is the output of someone else’s dream, the product of someone else’s life-in-alignment. It’s disheartening to contemplate the millions of lives that completely lack any such alignment, that are not driven by any focused sense of purpose, and for which existence is largely reduced to a passive process of consumption rather than an active process of creation. In any discussion about the seeming “scarcity” of time, it’s disheartening to contemplate the amount of time an entire culture collectively wastes in its consumption of mass-produced simulations of experience and achievement. Invariably, those people who “catch fire” with a burning sense of mission soon find themselves investing much less of their time consuming the product of other people’s dreams, and more time in the pursuit of their own.

 

7: When Short-Term Needs Clash with Long-Term Goals

ePub

If you are willing to submit yourself, to align with whatever that … dream or vision is for yourself, then you can do great things in your life.

—OPRAH WINFREY

“It’s a trap. I’d love to focus more attention on my Big Dream, but I also have to keep food on the table. My job seems to swallow up every bit of my time and energy. At the end of the day I’ve barely got anything left over to give to my family, let alone my dream. How do I get around this?”

It’s a common dilemma. We have an exciting long-term goal, but there are pressing short-term needs that cannot be ignored. The two seem in conflict; meeting our short-term obligations and responsibilities is a full-time job that keeps the long-term dream forever “on hold.”

The way out of this dilemma begins with the realization that life is not only like a box of chocolates (in the Forrest-Gumpian sense of “never knowing what you’re going to get”). In many ways life is also like a glass of lemonade—sweetness is involved, and sourness is involved, and unless the two are in balance the whole thing’s going to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

 

MACROSKILL FOUR: Inclusion Getting Others Involved

ePub

 

8: Turning Resistance into Support

ePub

There will always be twenty bean-counters and twenty logicians standing around waiting to tell you why you can’t do something. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

—JAMES CAMERON

Despite the good work of census takers and social statisticians over the years, one vital demographic measurement remains sketchy. We have no reliable tally of the number of total jerks in the country. What we do know, however, is that by all estimates, the figure would appear to be quite high.

Imagine forty or fifty thousand people gathered in one public place at one time. How many out of this crowd, if asked for a show of hands, would admit that in their daily lives—perhaps even within their own extended families—they routinely come into contact with one or more total jerks? Make an estimate of the percentage you think would raise their hands. Now imagine they are asked a second question: “How many of you here today are total jerks yourselves?” What would the percentage of raised hands be this time?

(Assuming a wide gap exists between your projected percentages): How are we to account for this apparent mathematical impossibility? Why is it that as far as almost everyone is concerned, almost everyone else is “the problem”? (Ask the fifty thousand any number of similar pairs of questions, and observe how the gap remains constant: How many of you believe the roads are full of bad drivers?/How many of you are bad drivers? How many of you feel most young people today are cursed with ineffective parents?/How many of you are ineffective parents?)

 

9: Turning Support into Participation

ePub

You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That’s what makes you a winner.

—VENUS WILLIAMS

We come now to the dreamcrafting macroskill supreme, the heavy artillery, the pièce de résistance that moves master dreamcrafters from the realm of the enthusiastic amateur into that of the polished professional at the top of his or her game. This is where a “darn good chance” of achieving the mission is transformed into a “can hardly miss” kind of proposition.

This, in short, is where inclusion comes to mean “participation.” It’s where others do more than support the dreamcrafter’s mission in principle—they invest time and energy of their own to help the dreamcrafter actually achieve the mission, because they have come to see it in some way as their own mission as well. Where once there might have been resisters blocking the way, there is now a cheering section prepared to help carry the dreamcrafter forward.

The fans in a sports stadium during season playoffs are doing more than “agreeing in principle” with their team’s attempt to win first place. They physically show up to shout their encouragement at the tops of their lungs; they wave their arms and dance and wear team-based colors and carry banners and placards of encouragement, and do whatever else they can think of to help spur their team on to victory. Does all this hullabaloo from the sidelines really make any kind of difference? Just ask the players why they believe the team playing before the hometown crowd always has the advantage. And for the fans, if their team wins, it’s very much their win; the dancing in the streets and whooping with joy might easily lead an intelligent observer from another world to assume it is the revelers themselves who have achieved something difficult and exhilarating.

 

10: The Power of Little Things to Make a Big Difference

ePub

Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.

—VIKTOR FRANKL

A fragment from a large cardboard box lies in the middle of one of two eastbound lanes on the interstate highway. One after another, advancing cars swerve to avoid it. A car comes to a stop on the shoulder, and the driver waits for a safe break in the flow of traffic to approach the piece of cardboard and drag it off the roadway. The driver then returns to the stopped car, and drives off.

Why would this person take the time to stop and do something that no one would ever even know about?

All of the five dreamcrafting macroskills are equally critical to success; none can be neglected without placing the mission in serious jeopardy. But in closing, we come to the one most likely among all five to be neglected—and not because it is particularly difficult, but rather because it is particularly easy. In a rare inversion of the law of diminishing returns, this fifth macroskill represents a case of augmenting returns. If the four preceding macroskills have been applied with any success, then the hardest part of the job is done; what remains is to apply some of the same principles and techniques on a smaller scale, in a simpler context, and reap benefits that are often proportionately much greater. Many will fail to do so, primarily on the (incorrect) assumption that anything this simple can’t possibly be too important.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Chapters

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
B000000023381
Isbn
9781609943394
File size
923 KB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata