For many years, the topic of dreams versus goals is a common debate all around the world. This debate is had even more during the latter part of the year when many of us start to self-reflect on the year. When we’re planing our goals and dreams for the new year it is important that we know the difference between a dream and goal.
First let’s define what a dream actually is according to dictionary.com a dream is defined as “a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.” A goal is defined as “a projected state of affairs that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve – a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development.
What Separates Goals From Dreams?
For many of us when we set a goal we have a timeline when we would like to have achieved said goal. According to the definitions of a dream it only exists in your mind while a goal starts in your mind, but is planned and has a defined deadline.
One of the most popular ways to set a goal is to follow the S.M.A.R.T system.
- Specific = Define exactly what your goal is? Ex. A house, a car, weight lost, obtain a new job, etc.
- Measurable = How will you be able to measure if you reach your goal?
- Attainable = Is this an attainable goal for the period of time you set? Do you have the resources it takes to achieve your goal?
- Realistic = Is your goal something you can realistically achieve?
- Timed = When will you reach your goal? Determine a deadline or completion date.
Perception of Dreams Compared to Goals
Many of us desire something in life whether we consider that a dream or goal. In many cases this is tied to our own individual upbringings. Whether we were raised in a household where we were taught to set goals and those goals were directed by our families ideology of what they believed was achievable. Such as going to a 4-year college and attaining a degree. While other families may have a different approach while letting their kids know they can achieve anything even their wildest “dreams.” This difference in upbringing can heavily influence anyone’s perception of what exactly a goal and dream are.
For many of us who were taught to believe that things like being a professional athlete, entrepreneur, musician, actor or entertainer were mainly dreams and not practical career choices. Innately making us believe that having those type of aspirations were dreams and weren’t to be taken as something that could realistically achieved. Therefore, creating a level of disbelief and self-doubt in anything that was seemingly only for the lucky or “great” people among us. Many times painting the ideology in our minds that we would have a better chance at wining the lottery than achieve those “dreams.”
What are your thoughts? What impact does your upbringing have on your perception of success?
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