According to dictionary.com, the word hope means, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had, or events will turn out for the best.”
At the root of every journey is hope. We all have a starting point in our pursuit of success. This is naturally different for every person. For some, success is defined by position or power, for others it is a certain income or standard of living, and still for others it is simply having enough to not have to worry about the basics. Nonetheless, there is an idea or vision ascribed to that is based upon hope, or the belief that what is wanted can be had.
It is this belief that shapes our attitudes, determines our focus and as we progress towards the mark, fans the flames of enthusiasm as we get closer and closer.
It is critical as many famous leadership gurus have pointed out to dream and set goals. I’m certain you have even been taught or read somewhere that it is important to dream big! There is certainly an element of truth to this, but I will offer up a word of caution. I have found that if one dreams too big, too soon it can squash hope! Our march towards success should be incremental and as we enjoy success, we then can build upon previous milestones and reach even higher.
Here’s what I mean by dreaming too big too fast. I remember being a young man with very little in terms of material possession or accomplishment. I was fairly brand new to the quest for success. I was drawn to a certain marketing enterprise where the people who mentored me were much older and already pretty successful people. They had me hook, line and sinker on the idea of dreaming big. No dream was too big or off limits. So here I was a relative kid with nothing, dreaming of 6,000 square foot mansions, Ferraris and half-million dollar luxury yachts. Not bad I thought. After all, I do have good taste!
I’ll fast forward to the end of that particular story and tell you that I was a categorical failure in every sense of the word, at least as far as it was related to this particular business. Why? Was I not cut out for success? Was I genetically inferior and relegated to the lower rungs of society? No! I simply dreamed too big too fast and was blinded by it. I could clearly see the end goals, but couldn’t get past the present situation and make it happen.
Again, I’m not saying not to dream. We must, in fact dream and dream big, but be careful to do so progressively on the road toward success.
Once we have ourselves a big dream session and envision our ultimate end game, we then must work backwards to the point from which we start. Then, we need to forge a path with progressive attainable goals which, as we accomplish each one, we are propelled on to the next one.
We must always maintain a high level of hope, or belief that what we want that is just ahead of us can and will be had! Stoke the hope! We need to get so excited and full of enthusiasm over the goal around the next corner that our hope rises to the point that we are nearly exploding! In the back of our minds we understand that the achieving of this next goal is one more step on the path to the ultimate goals. It is this that I find keeps the flame of enthusiasm burning long term. You definitely don’t want to be a quick burn when it comes to chasing your dreams.
Now, go stoke the hope!