We all have dreams but many times we’re unsure about how exactly to achieve them. As Kelvin Ward says, “a dream without action is like an eagle without wings.” It, therefore, takes deliberate effort to move from the point of visualizing how different things could be to acting and working hard towards the desired outcome. Whether it’s at work, school or in society, achieving greatness is a sacrifice. Here are thoughts that could help you realize your DREAMS and become the great person you’ve always desired.

D – Decide

It all starts with knowing where you want to be. What’s your vision of a better future? A good way to help you define your goals is by exploring unique talents, skills, and abilities that you need to develop to bring out your uniqueness. You must be careful about the allure of copying and trying to be like others. Carve out your path that aligns with your values, personality, and ambitions.

Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be and not their current situation. So, your vision should be big enough that it inspires and pushes you to become better each day. However, you must be alive to the fact that you’ll not get there in a day, week, month or even a year. Think about the small steps when making progress.

R – Route

Having decided what your vision is, the next step is to plan the route towards achieving it. What path will you follow to get to where you want to be? This is important in planning for success as it enables you to critically visualize the possible paths to your goals, how you’ll move step by step from your current position, potential obstacles you may find along the way and what you could do to overcome them.

This will be your roadmap and you must write it down and make implementing it a habit. Success is a habit so be consistent in making small steps every day – even when it seems difficult, or you don’t feel like it. Remember that if you can’t handle stress, you can’t handle success.

E – Engage

You now have a plan, but who’s on your team? The journey towards your dreams shouldn’t be a solo trek. You need to find the right people that can help you to fulfil your dreams. Occasionally we need people to consult when in doubt, to sound-board our ideas or to just encourage us to move on. “Surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you and push you to be your best self,” said Bill Gates. So, build around you a team of mentors and supporters.

This will be a learning process, and you ought to be open-minded and ready to learn from yourself and others. Be genuine in the engagement and work hard to build and maintain the trust of your team as you’ll need them all through the journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

A – Act

Without action, a dream remains just that – a dream. You need to take positive actions that lead you to your ambitions. If you don’t execute your plan, you’ll never come close to realizing your dream. Just like Eprox said, “hard work puts you where good luck can find you.” It’s never by chance, you must put in the work.

This is often the difficult part, but it must be done anyway. It requires you to stay focused and be disciplined! Be brave, take calculated risks and believe in yourself, that when you look back at the end of it all, you’ll feel proud of yourself.

M – Measure

Another important step in the journey towards your dreams is the ability to assess progress at every stage of the route and adjust where necessary. Your roadmap provides milestones that can help you know how far or near you are to your goal. Be keen and honest with yourself on the progress made. Consult your team to get their opinion and guidance on what you need to change. If you didn’t do something you should have done, acknowledge it and commit to doing it. Don’t measure your progress using somebody else’s ruler – your circumstances are different even if the destination looks similar.

Where you’ve done well, you need to celebrate your achievements. Take a pat on the back and motivate yourself to keep improving. Learn from the challenges and find new ways to accelerate your progress.

S – Serve

In a highly competitive world, some people forget their humanity in pursuit of success. Achieving your dreams shouldn’t be at any cost. You can still get there without stepping on everyone’s toes.

Instead, make deliberate efforts to help others along your way to the top. It shows humility, strength, and maturity. Don’t be selfish, pull others along. This is an investment that will pay great dividends in the long term. How great will it be when someone testifies that it’s because of you that they succeeded?

Finally, remember that to attain success you must do what others don’t achieve what others won’t. The key is to start before you are ready – there’ll never be a perfect time. You must also be willing to make personal sacrifices. Be smarter than others if you can, but importantly be more disciplined, persistent, and consistent.

A version of this article was first published on page 42 of the Public Relations Society of Kenya‘s PR Digest Magazine Round-up Edition (Issue No 8, October – December 2021) under the title “Habits of Highly Successful People”; https://issuu.com/prskenya/docs/pr_digest_-_round-up_edition.

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