Prisoners of Comfort and Dreams

Ping ping…A notification from Instagram, your friend Lachlan posts a picture of his new house he bought with cryptocurrency earnings  “damn I wish I read into cryptocurrencies more”.

Ping ping….Reality comes rushing back to see a Snapchat notification from Stacey and Chris videoing their holiday in Bali. Envy sets in, you look around at your surroundings and deem them as miserable and boring and set off into your imagination again visualising what you would be doing in Bali right now if you had a heap of cash from your innovative idea that rocketed to success.

When we stick our heads in the cloud we obscure the view of reality below us, unable to draw the connection between reality’s position and the position of our dreams. This blind spot leads to emotional instability as our current values and emotions are not aligned with the dreams we escape to. It manipulates our understanding so that our mind tricks us into believing ambitious goals are easy, hampering our true selves and throwing us back into the cycle of comfort and dreaming.

Turning these dreams into actionable items is the problem we all face, we dismiss dreams at face value, fear the unknown or believe a dream has already been done without checking.

Nature may be a perfect symbiotic ecosystem but man-made products, systems and structures are not so there is always room for improving or fixing what we have built. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction or If you don’t have a dream yet check out Ask Nature for inspiration on how you can change this world through biomimicry.

So how do we turn dreams into reality?

Firstly, you need to tweak your mindset, motivations and habits to be proactive. As Tony Robbins says “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”. Small tweaks can have profound, lasting change over the course of our lives. It is why we fail so easily because long term benefits are hard to fathom and it is what we focus on when trying to achieve goals.

Secondly, a dream is your vision of an end product and to make that product you can’t tackle it all at once. We need to break down this dream into relevant work streams so the mind can be focused on short sharp wins. This could involve product design, financials, technology, people and marketing. Once you have an idea of your workstreams, use a looping framework of:

  1. Building
  2. Testing
  3. Learning/Observing
  4. Adjusting

Start by doing what you know, whether an expert in a field or not. Gradually by redesigning a workstream through closing the loop over and over again you will end up at a point of success. The dream will eventually come together as all points meet the expectation you set.

Failure will no doubt become your friend in this process and you need to accept it. Sara Blakely founder of the billion dollar hosiery and apparel company Spanx says “Failure for me became about not trying, instead of the outcome”. In her childhood Sarah grew up being asked by her dad at the dinner table what she had failed at that week? So why don’t you ask yourself that every now and again to tweak your mindset a little more and see failure as a learning block.

I’d like to leave you with one final quote by Viktor Frankl, the psychiatrist who survived a Nazi death camp and went on to write Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor said that “Between stimulus and response there is a space, in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

So next time your friend has a dream with no clear path, nudge them to act on these useful tips, they may end up living a dream for real.

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