Put Your Dream to the Test

In his 2006 book “Put Your Dream to the Test” John Maxwell asks you to deeply consider  your particular big life dream and put it to the test.

He then poses 6 key questions you should ask about your dream.

The Ownership Question: Is your Big Life Dream really your dream?

  When someone else owns your Dream When you own your dream
It will not have the right fit It will feel right to you
It will be a weight on your shoulders It will provide wings to your spirit
It will drain your energy It will fire you up
It will put you to sleep It will keep you up at night
It will take you out of your strength zone It will take you out of your  comfort zone
It will be fulfilling to others It will be fulfilling to you
It will require others to make you do it You will feel you were made to do it

 The Clarity Question: Can you clearly define your Dream?

“Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for”.. Peter Marshall

You must be able to clearly define and feel your dream because it:

  1. Makes a general idea into a very specific action
  2. Affirms your purpose
  3. Determines your priorities
  4. Gives you direction and motivation.

The Reality Question:  Are you relying on factors outside your control?

To build your dream, there are most likely many new disciplines you will need to form, and many habits will need to be broken or adjusted. This is a good thing. However, there will be pain associated with change. This is why your dream has to be owned by you, be clear and feel real.

The Passion Question: Does your Dream compel you to follow It?

Passion is really what allows you to own your dream. It is the feeling that wakes you up, that fires you up, that drives you towards achieving your dream. Passion pulls you up, enabling you to overcome adversity. Passion pushes you out, giving you initiative. Passion makes you unreasonable and prompts you to leave your comfort zone. Passion positions you well, giving you the greatest odds for success.

Chart on how to determine if your dream is a fantasy or real:

Fantasisers Dream Builders
Rely on luck Rely on discipline
Focus on the destination Focus on the journey
Cultivate unhealthy expectations Cultivate healthy discontent
Minimise the value of work Maximise the work they do
Look for excuses Generate momentum
Lead to action Create inertia
Wait Initiate
Breed isolation Promote teamwork
Avoid personal risks Embrace risk as necessary
Make others responsible Make themselves responsible

The People Question: Have you included the people you need to realise your dream?

There is some profound historical advice in the following four observations:

  • Some people have a dream but no team – their dream is impossible.
  • Some people have a dream but a bad team – their dream is a nightmare.
  • Some people have a dream and are building a team – their dream has potential.
  • Some people have a dream and a great team – their dream is inevitable.

“A dream is a compelling vision you see in your heart that is too big to accomplish without the help of others”

Chris Hodges

The Fulfilment Question: Does working towards your dream bring satisfaction?

Achieving a dream is about more than just what you accomplish. It’s about who you become in the process. Even if the destination of the dream is not achieved, the journey must be fulfilling. There is always a gap between the birth of a dream and the achievement of a dream. There will it be a fulfilment a frustration gaps. If you don’t have a strong sense of fulfilment that brings you satisfaction along the way, you are going to be in trouble.

The Significance Question: Does your dream benefit others?

The great men and women of history were not great because of what they earned and owned. They were great because they gave themselves to people and causes that lived beyond them and benefited others. This is significance.

“You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand” Woodrow Wilson

“You aren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced – you aren’t an assembly line product. You were deliberately planned. Specifically gifted and lovingly positioned on the Earth by the Master Craftsman” .. Lucado (2006)