Nothing Comes to a Sleeper but a Dream

Nothing Comes to a Sleeper but a Dream  
Career Planning versus Career Planning

As a college student, I became acquainted with the Chief of the college’s fire department. I came to know Chief when several of my close friends joined the fire department as volunteer firemen. Over the years, Chief provided advice and guidance to many students as they encountered challenges and needed the perspective of someone who had seen life. In his folksy, but wise and insightful way, Chief shared thoughts that helped many students establish principles that would provide the foundation for their success. One of his sayings was:

Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream.

I did not realize how profound that statement was when Chief first shared it with me.  As I embarked on my journey through life after college, Chief’s saying became more clear and important as I sought success.

There are possibilities for success for everyone. Everyone has dreams and wishes.   Some of us speak of what we have done, while others speak of what we wish we had done. What was the difference between I have done and I wish I had?

Bookstores (brick and mortar and online) are full of books about people who have achieved great things. We tune into interviews of the stars or outstanding performers of the winning team of the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA Finals. The common characteristic of these achievers is that they set goals and took the actions required to accomplish their goals. 

Do you ever ask yourself?

  • Am I working toward something or am I just doing what the day or moment demands?
  • Am I controlling life or is life controlling me?
  • Am I content with where life is leading me or do I want to have a say in this?
  • Am I the captain or a mate on my ship?
  • Am I setting my agenda or am I a slot on the agenda of others?

Goals serve as our compass in life. The demands and events that we encounter can take us in several directions. Goals define the direction we want to go. They keep us heading North instead of being bounced between East, West, North, and South.

John Whitmore, a renowned performance coach, developed the GROW Model that provides a structure for making the migration from setting goals to achieving success.

  • G                                 Goals
  • R                                 Reality
  • O                                 Options
  • W                                What, When

Setting goals is a 3-step process.

  1. Record your dreams, wants, and possibilities.
  2. Transform your dreams, wants and possibilities into a vision (where you want to be at some point in the future).
  3. Establish your goals based on your vision. 

After your first pass at setting your goals, subject them to the reality test. Reality is the assessment or acknowledgement of where you are now versus where you want to be (your goals). This assessment helps you determine the size of the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. It helps you ensure that achievement of your goals is realistic. It helps you distinguish wishes from goals.

Options are the different paths that you can take to migrate from where you are now to where you want to be. You evaluate each option in terms of what is required, consequences and tradeoffs.

What and when are the things that you need to do to achieve your goals and when you will do them. (I call this making the rubber hit the road. It is from the Firestone Tires advertisement of the 1960’s and 70’s.) In the words of John Maxwell, author of several books on leadership, our daily actions are our priorities.

Success does not happen by chance.

We all live according to a plan…Our plan or someone else’s.

From the perspective of your career, are you asking?

  • Am I content with where career is heading?
  • Am I working toward something or am I just doing what the day or moment demands?
  • Am I controlling career or is it being controlled by developments, events, and others?

Would you like to determine North on your career compass and how to get there? Contact Fields of Success to schedule a discussion. Fields of Success offers complimentary coaching sessions.

Linwood Bailey is a career coach and the author of The Business of Me: Your Job … Your Career … Your Value. The Business of Me provides a career management and information resource designed for today’s business professional. Since 2008, Linwood has enabled business professionals to manage their most important economic asset—their careers. Linwood, the been there coach, provides innovative and practical career management solutions derived from his 34 years of experience managing functions and people in multiple industries, regions, and corporate cultures.