Larry Walters was a truck driver, but his life-long dream was to fly. He tried to join the air force, but his poor eyesight had disqualified him. So, one day he took matters into his own hands. Larry went down to the local Army-Navy surplus store and bought forty-five large weather balloons and a tank of helium. He blew up the balloons, attached them to a lawn chair (which he temporarily anchored to his jeep), packed a BB gun and some sandwiches and cut the anchoring chords.
Larry’s launch climbed faster and higher than he had expected and in a matter of minutes, he rose to an elevation of 11,000 feet! Now scared about shooting out any of the balloons at such a high altitude, Larry stayed up there, sailing around for fourteen hours.
Eventually, he drifted into the approach corridor for the Los Angeles International Airport. A Pan Am pilot radioed the tower about a passing guy in a lawn chair who had a gun in his lap. Finally, the Navy dispatched a helicopter and performed a successful rescue. As Larry was being led away by the authorities, a reporter called out and asked, “Mr. Walters, why did you do it?” Larry replied, “Hey, if you want to turn your dreams into a reality, you can’t just sit around.”
Isn’t that the truth? What do you dream about? What do you spend your days fantasizing about, wishing was your reality?
No matter what your dreams are, you can use this New Year to position yourself to accomplish it. You do not have to watch as another year goes by with you being no closer to your goal than you were last year. You can move from where you are to where you want to go, and I will teach you how.
Burn your boats
Back in the 1500s when Hernan Cortez led his army of men in a conquest of Mexico, he ordered that the boats they arrived in be burned. He did this to prevent anyone from turning back and abandoning the mission.
If your goal is to travel to China, go ahead and book your ticket. If you have been longing to run a half or a full marathon, sign yourself up for that race. Do something concrete that guarantees you move forward by preventing all opportunity to turn back.
Plan, plan, plan
Harvey Mackay put it best when he said, “A dream is just a dream, a goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” Build a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to go. Your plan will help to keep you on track in a world where things change rapidly. Come to grips with the reality that what may work in the first quarter of this New Year may not work in the second quarter or the third.
No man is an island
In an interview for Goalcast, Rocky Balboa star, Sylvester Stallone shared his experience of standing after life’s blows and how he could not have done it without the right people in his life. “I had like $106 in the bank. I had to sell my dog. Things were not looking particularly good. My $40 car had just blown up, so I was taking a bus to work. I had no film history, no real film knowledge, I was just working from, I guess, instinct. I know this was like the moment of truth. They said, ‘Sylvester, are you ready?’ I said, ‘No, but Rocky is.’
Stallone continued in the interview, “So often, I had gone to fight films or sporting films. Yes, we are going to go out there, I told myself. ‘We are going to knock them out. You are going to win!’ I said. ‘No, I’m not going to win. I am going to get destroyed. But if I can just be lucid, If I can still be standing on my feet, you know what? Then life isn’t so bad.’ I think, again, symbolically, at the very end of our lives, if we can still say you know, we were never humbled. We were knocked down, but we got up and I can say I lived with integrity and I took all the blows, as the song says, and I still prevailed, I think that is a good epitaph for anyone. You cannot be alone to really succeed. No man is an island. When you find the right components in your life, the right people that gel with you, then you feel as though you’re invincible.”
If you want to turn your dreams into reality you cannot just sit around. Do something concrete that guarantees you make progress and prevents all opportunity to abort your mission. You have got to do the work. If it is hard, do it hard. I have found the best way to learn how to do something right, is to do it wrong. You must take personal responsibility to make it happen.
Plan your work and work your plan. Develop your relationship power base. As you work to make your dreams come true, consider letting those in your mastermind know regularly what is going on with you. Some benefits of forming these alliances are not limited to encouragement, support, and accountability.
It takes time to make your dreams a reality. Your dreams do not have to stay just dreams. By implementing these steps, you will look back a year from now (maybe sooner) at all you have accomplished, and smile. You will know that dreams do come true because you showed up.
• Eliot Kelly is recognized as a serial entrepreneur and has been featured on CNN, BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss and an extensive list of magazines and articles. His four books have been translated in over seven languages and are sold in 29 countries, recently being shortlisted for Best Self-Help and Best Advice Books 2019 by The Author Academy. He is regarded as a top sales, business and leadership management coach who creates opportunities for his success partner’s through financial literacy and life skills training. He is also a professional speaker and continues to inspire present and future entrepreneurs around the world. “You Know More Than You Think You Do” releases this Spring! Pre-order today. Email: email@example.com; LinkedIn: Eliot Kelly; Facebook: facebook.com/eplatinumkelly.