by Apr 8, 2020

What have dreams got to do with success?

A question that I was recently asked after talking to a group of teenagers was, “What have dreams got to do with success?”

This got me thinking, my first port of call was to look in a dictionary to find the meaning of dreams. So, let’s see what the dictionary says about dreams: “A train of thought and fantasies during sleep, a sleep vision. Something only imaginary – a distant hope or idea that is probably unobtainable”. That to me is (and I hope you agree) hardly inspiring. In a reference book, I found: “an idea, aspiration or ambition – and these words define these words aspiration”. So, what I took from this is, a dream is a strong desire to achieve an ambition.

I certainly don’t like telling my self-something is unobtainable. So for me, (and again I hope you agree) I look at dreams in relation with being successful and my interpretation of the above is “A dream is often far beyond the bounds of realistic expectations.”

Let’s change the emphasis on imaginary and turn it into possibility. This suggests the possibility that a dream can go beyond the boundaries of realistic expectations, which means that it is not totally out of your reach.

People often speak about goals to motivate them – I will be talking about that a little a later.

The goal to some is the Top of The Mountain, metaphorically speaking, and you have a way of picturing it in your mind. A dream is blowing the boundaries on what is expected. You can stand at the top, and now this is all your imagination. People who have great dreams can be made powerful, and it all depends on how great the determination is to achieve the dream.

In 1963 Martin Luther King had a dream with his speech:

“I had a dream.”

“I had a dream one day the nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it’s creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal… I had a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of the skin but by the content of character.”

These were some of the most powerful words I believe were spoken in history.

After the speech, to his tribe, again powerful words were said:

“Well I don’t know what will happen now we’ve been to the mountain top. I won’t mind like anybody; I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place, but I’m not convinced about that now. I just want to do Gods will, and he’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as people will get to the promised land. So, I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes has seen the coming of the Lord.”

Martin Luther King had that dream, and he reached out his hand to touch his dream and made it a reality. Without the motivation, he probably would not have got even halfway up the mountain.

Although some people have powerful and great ideas that change the world there is a flip side to this. Others like Adolf Hitler had a dream that changed the character of a nation and put most of the world into a fearsome war.

A lesson I believe can be learnt from both people -both powerful men- one for good and positive, the other for negative and for bad.

You and I may not set the world on fire or change the world, however we can change ourselves and our world. It is worth remembering that none of us lives in a vacuum. It’s worth remembering if we do change us, we do have an impact on the people around us, and chain reactions will begin.

So, in more ways than one, dreaming is easy, however, if it becomes too easy it has not been thought through.

When people ask do you dream, the vast majority are materialistic: –


  • “I would love to own my own house with 10 Bedrooms, all of which are en-suite rooms.”
  • “I would love to own a Limousine with a driver.”
  • “I would love to own my own holiday home in Rhodes.”
  • “These could become reality if my finances allowed.”

If you can identify with this, I can help you believe and achieve them using all kinds of techniques. Here is a quick idea, however! Make a vision board of your dreams – what do you want to achieve this year? Not all dreams have to be ambitious!

It’s interesting, if you live at the bottom of a valley and you are climbing to the mountain top, all the hard work needed in climbing up often gives you a different viewpoint. Just like I remember my late aunt who lived in Malvern living in a bungalow and having no stairs to climb, and we lived in a house, and you could see more upstairs than you could on the ground floor. My Grandmother lived in a flat on the 6th floor and again you had a different view and you could see life from a different viewpoint. This I believe to be the same in business, or life. Someone who is a success in business, or life, is able to get the business going in the direction they want, once they have built the staircase to a higher level than yourself at the ground.

So if you want to start dreaming, ask yourself:

  • What do you want your life to be?
  • What Job or business would you really want to do?
  • Where would you love to live?

Whatever profession you are in, or if you are currently living your life in your “Bungalow”, which might have a few rooms – you can always find a room to dream in and dream of what you would like your life to be.

Take some time in a quiet place and take a blank piece of paper and write 1-12.

I. wish ___________________________________

II. I wish____________________________________

III. I wish____________________________________

IV. I wish____________________________________

V. I wish___________________________________

Carry on like the above. Leave enough space so you can complete the sentences. The wishes could be, what you want, want to you need to do, see, have or happen.

The purpose of doing this list will make you realise what you could have now. The things that are most important to you underline them.

By doing this exercise, it gives you the power to achieve.

Other things on your list become the basis for the dream building. So, it takes you from your bungalow to the upstairs of success. If you tell me you don’t dream you are settling for second best; is that how you want to live your life?

Remember don’t be afraid to Dream

  • Take your dream list and let your imagination run wild.
  • Never be ashamed of your dream.
  • Never let anyone steal your dream.
  • Remember if you find your dream too hard you may be playing second fiddle to someone else’s dream.

Remember never go to the grave with the music inside you.

About Karen Baughan

Karen Baughan is an NLP Master Practitioner based in Bromsgrove, UK. Having used NLP to affect her own personal transformation, she now helps clients, from around the world, to transform their lives and achieve their dreams.

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