You can’t achieve what you don’t believe.

That might sound silly, sassy, or down-right stupid.  But it’s reality.

It’s the reason why quotas don’t work with your sales people, why you struggle to get your managers to hit deadlines, and why you find it difficult to improve inefficiencies throughout your company.

You don’t believe in what you are doing.

And since you can’t dream that it might actually happen, you don’t do what’s required to make it happen. You just hope that magically the world send you a little extra luck.

And it doesn’t.  And you then find someone to blame for your lack of success.  Been there?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

But you have to allow yourself to dream.  You have to take time to believe in you.  That doesn’t happen auto-magically.  It’s part of a plan that you execute.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Capture your dreams (and big ideas) when you have them.  Use a tool like Evernote, Do.com, or Wunderlist to record your grand ambition right at the moment of inspiration.
  2. Spend time each week reviewing through your dreams.  Perhaps every Sunday afternoon you look through your notes and create priorities for dreams you can start working on.
  3. Talk about your dreams with people who can help you.  There is nothing more personally empowering than sharing big dreams with people who are excited to see you win.
  4. Schedule activity and anticipate milestones.  Write it on a calendar.  Set goals and create projects and organize teams to help execute the the plan.
  5. Bask in the pursuit of your mission. Take time (often) to think through the results you want to achieve.  Remind yourself (and those involved) why this dream is so important.
  6. Stay with it.  Dreams take longer to achieve than the ordinary day-to-day grind. Days can turn into week and months and decades.  Keep pursuing.

If you can dream it, you can do it.

And once you do it once, you can do twice.  And again. And again. And again.

Or you can decide that dreams are for those without an MBA, a S.W.O.T analysis, and a stack of spreadsheets.

Maybe your plans aren’t big enough because you aren’t dreaming enough.  You can change that today.

If you could achieve anything, what would it be?