What are the dreams you have that make a difference in your life, that you feel would enhance your life, would bring the victory and satisfaction that you have MADE A LASTING DIFFERENCE in the world?
I pretty much figure that you desire to have abundance and financial security.
What I’m talking about, including with that, are those dreams for enhancement in your life, for changes in your work, in your world, that would LAUNCH YOU into YOUR ULTIMATE LIFE, YOUR ULTIMATE JOURNEY, YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE, YOUR GREATEST JOY.
Now, for fun, my idea with this post was that it would have a SOUNDTRACK. So if you’d like, pull up the YouTubes for these songs and listen with them in the background… I hope they will INSPIRE you.
MY THEME SONG today and for the last few days is BUDAPEST by George Ezra. Budapest song here
The key line for me in this song is, “give me one good reason why I should never make a change”.
I think that we go through our lives pursuing a dream, expressed as a recurring thought, or feeling; we respond to and act on that which matters most to us. Sometimes this is our secret, or unconscious motivations, and sometimes we are fully cognizant of or our stated, conscious motivations.
What I’ve found, looking back, is that my basic dream, my basic motivation, remains the same. However, sometimes I’ve gotten lost and it’s taken awhile to find the path back. And sometimes, the path has turned in directions I’d never have expected and it took awhile for my feeling or my thinking to adjust to that.
But, sometimes a pretty big change is needed to adjust course to get you there, to get you headed back in the direction of your dream.
I’ve been holding a dream in my heart since childhood of who I am and that dream was always a secret, because I thought and I felt that my dreams would always just be dreams.
Wow, right now I’m thinking that you’re thinking… that’s kind of sad!
But, you see, my dreams were of a world that didn’t exist around me and I didn’t know how I could make things the way that the world worked in my dreams… how could I change the world I knew into the world I dreamed of.
My childhood dreams were of a world where people lived peacefully and took care of each other, had a true democracy and used advanced technologies. My dreams had other planets in them and I traveled between the stars. (I was a Trekkie at a young age!!)
So, no, I didn’t think those dreams were going to come true.
But, maybe I could change the world. How could I help the world get closer to this way cool design that lived in my visions?
You see, I grew up during the Cold War when we were told that the Soviet Union – remember them? – could bomb our town at anytime, as we were at a communications hub for the eastern United States. So, yes, the world seemed messed up … I remember going to bed wondering what it would be like to die if we were A-bombed that night. Nice, right? ….Not.
AS a kid, at first, I wanted to be a teacher. Maybe I was planning to teach people about how I saw the world. It’s funny because actually I’ve always done that in my life, taught, helped, guided or inspired others. So I guess I did make my first dream come true!
In high school I tried out science because I thought that’s how I could change the world. But… basically it took stuff in petri dishes too long to grow and I was a little too impatient for that.
SO instead, I wanted to be an astronaut. But when I told people, they seemed somewhat surprised, like that was A PRETTY BIG DREAM, like that was a pretty RARE DREAM, and they said “Oh, wow!” with laughter in their voices, and a feeling like that was just too much bandwith for this girl.
But, I felt, it was as close as I could get to other planets, and traveling between the stars.
I think that I gave up on being an astronaut because I thought I’d have to be a fighter pilot first, and I had found out that fighter pilots had to have perfect vision, and I already wore glasses…. Hmmmmm. What to do?
Be the President of the United States of course! That way, when it came to the decision about whether to send out the nukes, I would have the suitcase, and I WOULD NEVER PUSH THE BUTTON, thereby SAVING THE WORLD. And that would change things for the better. So I decided to go to Georgetown, and I did all sorts of student government programs and seminars, and I was a political girl on fire.
But, as luck would have it, before I could get to Georgetown, my parents transferred to California and ix-nayed my staying on the East Coast for college. Hmmmmm….. What to do?
Well I had a college experience that I am grateful for, and the friendships and our times together are fondly held in my heart. But I was more than a little lost, and felt a little drifting at sea. And I was afraid, also. When it comes right down to it, I think I was afraid because I couldn’t see how I was going to change the world, and I was having trouble connecting with this dream.
So I decided I was going to MAKE MONEY and get very GOOD at it. I set my mind to it, figured it out, had persistence, and I GOT LUCKY. Yes, I worked, hard.
Luckily I had a lot of inner motivation. I made the grade, went to a good school, got a good job, and I rocked it.
…Or CRUSHED IT! as Fat Amy says after ROCKING the song “Since You’ve BEEN GONE” in the movie Pitch Perfect (link to song – movie here) after singing Since You’ve Been Gone in her AMAZING voice (link to sing, here).
I LOVE THIS SONG! And I love Fat Amy’s Pebbles Flintstone hairdo – I love to wear my hair in a crazy pony tail like that on Saturdays.
I loved traveling, interviewing people who ran all sorts of AWESOME companies, I loved analyzing businesses. And I changed my dream to doing my work, to building memories, spending my free time hanging out with my best friend.
And my originals dreams seemed… gone.
And I did not save the world.
MY NEXT FAVORITE SONG right now is,
HEROES (we could be) by Alesso featuring Tove Lo Heroes song here
And the line I love in this song is,
“everyday people do everyday things but I can’t be one of them…. We could be HEROES”
I don’t think pursuing dreams is every day for most people. It’s pretty easy to get caught in get up, get dressed, grab coffee, work all day, get home, pick up dinner, spend a little time together, repeat, with limited sleep.
I know because I spent years working 12-14 hours a day, and traveling at a hectic pace, and I loved it a lot of times and it was crushingly stressful a lot of times and it was my dream – my dream of travel, my dream of career success, and at the same time always I held that other dream in my heart that was SECRET and, special.
The one that I didn’t think was going to come true.
The dream that the world could be different. That it could be a better place. If the world was different, there would be a special job for me in it. A job that reflected my special qualities, that was part of how much I care.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE DOING WHAT YOU LOVE?
Because it’s something you have always done, as a hobby. It’s something that you always think about, that you spend free time day dreaming about, that it’s what you want to do “someday” or “in another life”. It’s the unstated reason for where you are, why you are acting, for what you do.
I spent a lot of time honing my ability to KNOW, and to SENSE, people’s unstated dreams.
That’s because, after interviewing CEO after CEO, after assessing the operations, the strategy, the execution, the market, and so on, of dozens of businesses, and perusing hundreds of others, modeling all the financial statements, calculating the ROI, I came to realize that one simple thing mattered.
By the time I was a Managing Director in Investment Banking, after more than a decade of doing company analysis, I changed the way I interviewed CEOs. I started to talk with them, personally.
Because I figured out that if I could determine what their values were, what their personal dreams were, what they thought was okay to do and not to do in their own life, if I could determine, get a feel for, their 5 year goals for themselves, personally… for their secret dream…. then I had the best insight that I needed to know about their business model.
The values, motivations, goals, attitudes, of the person running things would tell me a lot about what customer service was going to be like, how loose or tight the accounting practices might be, whether this was going to be a long growt, h track or a quick run and a sale.
I have significant experience with a range of types of management teams, and with companies whose public stock ran the gamut from knocking it out of the park in performance to tanking miserably 6 months after IPO.
Yes, there are external market dynamics, there are country or world wide events, there is disruptive technology that can come and create huge secondary effects on the business model.
But, the biggest thing that I’ve come to conclude is that when the person “at the top” is aligned with their own inner dreams and goals, and when those match with the stated goals of the business, whatever industry that business is in, then performance of the company as a whole is better.
Problems are more easily identified, solutions come more readily, and there’s less likely to be a “wobble” that puts the future of the company in jeopardy, because the operations are smoother, relationships with customers are better, products are more authentically aligned with their stated use and with customer requirements.
I have a friend who does divorce accounting… as a hobby in her free time. She attends conferences on it, takes on clients on the side to do it for them, has friends up to her place on the weekend to do it, calls and pesters them about it in her “spare time”.
I have another friend who reads business “how to” books for fun, and figured everyone does that… don’t they? And, yes she is a business advisor.
These are people who are DOING WHAT THEY LOVE for their work.
PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING WHAT THEY LOVE are going to add more value, be more productive, they are going to benefit the world around them and they are going to give you UNSURPASSED VALUE for what you pay them. They give you MORE, and it’s BETTER.
They are HEROES by the simple virtue and fact that they are aligned with their dreams and aspirations for themselves, and they make the world a better place for those around them through the doing of work that they LOVE.
Here’s another GREAT SONG, “I Lived” by One Republic I Lived song here
I love this line: “I hope if everybody runs, you choose to STAY”.
For me, STAYING means staying the course, for yourself. Not going with the crowd because it’s the thing to do, because you have to. And I love this part too:
“I owned every second that this world could give, I saw so many places, the things that I did”.
I have been to 38 states and 17 countries. I have lived a pretty neat life with amazing ups and downs.
I have analyzed dozens upon dozens of business, interviewed hundreds of CEOs and senior management about their business and dozens of entrepreneurs.
What do I do in my spare time?
I analyze people’s businesses, for fun. It doesn’t take much for me to create a basic understanding of how a business works, what are it’s key drivers, how it is positioned and why the investment themes make sense, because of my experience over the years.
And I dream about the STARS.
You know what I haven’t done yet? Start my own business. That’s the new frontier, that’s the cliff edge for me.
My current dream is Founder.
And I AM changing the world.
How about you? What is motivating and inspiring you, RIGHT NOW?
What’s your BEST SONG?
What’s your guiding star, that gift that fuels your inner motivation each day?
Let me know, in the comments below …