Dreams without action lead nowhere

“To dream alone is fantasy if it doesn’t move the heart to act.” Dan Allender (Sabbath)

So what are you doing with your dreams?  Did the dreams you had two years ago change the life you have today?

5-yr-olds know how to dream.  We allow them to have all the fantasies they want.  They become the fireman, astronaut, ship captain, artist or rock star they dream about.  But then  “life happens.”  Some of these kids are told their dreams are unrealistic. They are taught to be “realistic,” to stay inside the lines and recognize they need to show up at 8:00 and go home to a dreary existence at 5:00.

Have you allowed your dreams to be washed away by the big wave called Life?  Is it really too late to create a plan of action to bring your dreams to reality?

What can you do today to ACT on a dream that’s been languishing in those precious child-like recesses of your mind?

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  • Dan, listening to your podcast is giving me the confidence to “color outside the lines” and think outside the box. I used to think that my dreams were just pipe-dreams and would never become realities. You and the 48days.net community are helping me to put a plan with those dreams, and I know that they will become realities! Thanks for all you do!

    • Wes – I’d delighted you’re seeing that dreams can become realities. Keep believing!

  • I have been fighting that “wave” all week long! It knocked me down a couple times but today I am standing upright. Thanks for your words.


    • Kyle — plant your feet on well-thought out plans and the little waves of “life happening” won’t deter you.

  • So true about 5 year olds. I was interviewing Rudy (of Notre Dame Fame) at the Zig Ziglar studios about dreams and he said that at about fifth grade is when their dreams are squashed and replaced with “get a good education”.

    • Howard — oh how painful is that? To think that “getting a good education” is the point at which our dreams are squashed… We need to rethink our definition of education.

  • Jim Lusk

    Dan, I’ve been saying a variation of this for a long time. I have a short list of dreams that I pursue a tdifferent times. I have the curse and blessing of a fairly decent “day job”, but it is a job that affords me the time to formulate ideas while driving between jobs and sometimes while waiting for a piece of equipment to fail.

    We live in a time where it is easy to self-publish, start an on-line business, be creative in many ways. And Rudy is right that creativity is squashed by the “get an education so you can get a good job” crowd. If I have any suggestion for those just starting to formulate ideas is to get a small digital audio recorder so that you can immediately get the idea down. I’ve had ideas that I forgot, only to remember again.

    I am pursuing two different ideas that can co-exist in my life if I see success at both.

    • Jim – absolutely collect and capture those ongoing ideas. The Voice Memo feature of my iPhone allows me to instantly save any momentary thought.

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  • Arthur

    Ive been spending Fridays kid sitting my niece and nephew, ages 6 and 10. I can tell you that kids dream and they dream big. 24 hours a day. No limits. I use to be that kid…. and I use to have big dreams… I need to find them again. At 46 mine seemed to have vanished…

    • Thank goodness for the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of children. Watch them and mimic the ways they dream and create. At 46 you can still recapture those dreams you used to have – you just have to peel back the scales.

  • bob

    I have had many dreams over the years and what I have found is that the longer the dreams go unfullfilled the less interest I have in them. In short I have had a lot of dreams die finding my self dreaming less. The big wave of life has relagated me to dream less and put out fires. Dosen’t sound to good does it, I have decided the dreams I used to have are for the one’s that can aford them, I dare not share them with amyone. I did share a few ideas and dreams with people only to find my self on the outside looking in, I have alsdo learned never to share good ideas and dreams with people that have money. I know this is probably a negative testimony but it is what it is.

  • Excellent Dan! I was just describing in a phone call this very thing within the hour. I came acoss some goals written FIVE years ago and realized those things I wrote five years ago had yet to be acted on. I allow life to choke out dreams and do not keep my dreams infront of myself nearly often enough. Another great reminder Dan, thank you!

    • Tom – yes, we know how easily we can get caught up in just keeping up. But writing down our goals is the first step to taking action. Just keep those goals in front of you. During my toughest times – and still today – I post my goals on the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator and the sun visor in my car. I have found that with that I have constant reminders of what i thought was important – and the gentle nudging to take actions that lead to their fulfillment.

  • Cathy

    I always had the dream of being an artist, and took classes while attending a Community College, but that was 30 years ago! While raising my kids and working, I dreamed of having a little studio and creating art. A few years ago, when all the kids were grown and out of the house, I realised I had done nothing at all to take steps toward my dream. I made the year 2011 my year of action. I am taking an on-line art class, have started accumulating supplies, and am in the process of making a spare bedroom into a studio. Small steps, but I am going to keep moving forward. Thanks for your encouragement.

  • Bryan

    I have had a dream for many years now..In fact since 1989, but have never acted on it..Always one excuse or another, mainly where to get the funds??? You see, I was (am) a Pastry Chef, a quite good one…And I studied w/ a Master Pastry Chef, a Master Baker & another Pastry Chef who should & may be by now A Master himself…And I LOVE coffee…so..you see where this is going right?? You are correct…I want my own Coffee Haus w/ FRESH baked from scratch desserts….I know, you’re thinking Bryan are you crazy almost every city has 3-4 coffee houses…Do we REALLY need another one?? And the answer is yes…A real one, one nobody else around can compete w. ( can you say monopoly?)..You see, most coffee houses buy local made or worse yet frozen mass produced desserts…Yuck!!!!!! My stuff is homemade, from scratch, oozing w/ Love…And is to die for…Literally…I must confess upon initially tasting my wares for the first time women have thrown themselves @ me, offering sex or marriage & everything in between…So I KNOW it will work..I would make money..I would be happy…Maybe even score a wife!! But where does the money come from??? I guess nI don’t know how to market myself, even though I fully believe in myself & certainly in my skills…I’ve just not ever been good @ following through w/ my dreams…I come up w/ good ideas, think outside the box well am capable of unconventional thinking that, as you know puts me ahead of prbably 95% of the population, but always seem to have some excuse to not follow through…What’s wrong w/ me?????????????????? Oh, & also I’ve been in restaurant mgmt for going on 5 years now & my specialty is developing people, which has helped breed success @ what I do..Why can’t I “develop” myself?????? HELP……

    • Bryan – here’s a piece from the 48 Days workbook:

      Fredrico and Sallie Consuego were newcomers to the United States. Fredrico had been making a successful living as a sales representative but was frustrated by the lack of fulfillment in just doing a job well. In clarifying long term direction and goals, it became clear that his passion was to someday have a coffee house, full of the aromas, sights and sounds of his native Italy. While considering this to be a long range, future goal, he and Sallie sought career counseling and were challenged to pursue their dream now, being encouraged to believe that a clear plan and passion precede money and fulfillment. Although concerned about the lack of business experience and financial strength, Fredrico and Sallie eagerly began exploring possibilities.

      Established franchises for coffee houses estimated that between $180,000 and $220,000 was required to successfully begin this type of business. Fredrico and Sallie were told to refine their ideas, the look, the menu, the hours, and the name. As their excitement grew, their belief grew as well.

      Ninety days later, Caffe Italiano opened. The tables and chairs were purchased from a salvage company and had been splash painted with a contemporary design. The carpet had been pulled up and another unique paint treatment had been applied to the floor. One of Fredrico’s friends had built the serving counter for $550.00. The neon sign in the window proudly displayed Caffe Italiano. The espresso machine was in place and an initial inventory of coffee beans was available. The total cost leading to opening day was less than $8,000. A few well-placed news items were picked up by the major newspapers and led to immediate standing-room only evening performances.

      Three years later, Caffe Italiano has moved to a new $1,000,000 prime location, featuring 8 shows weekly. Their success and ambiance attracted several major investors, allowing Fredrico to grow beyond his wildest dreams and entertain requests for new locations in cities all across the nation.

      Although Italian by birth, Fredrico and Sallie prove once again that they are AmeriCANS, not AmeriCANTS.