Friday, April 15, 2011
Believing Is Achieving
At a recent community awards night in my town, retired pro football player Perry Williams gave a stirring talk about making a difference. His theme was: "If you're believing, you're achieving."
He illustrated it with his own story. As a young pup growing up in a broken home in Hamlet, North Carolina, he would watch pro football games on TV and say "Someday, mama, I'll be in the Super Bowl." Then, when he made it to the big time and played in the Super Bowl on the NY Giants team, he phoned home to tell his mama he loved her.
Believing is achieving, he said. Make sure you have a dream. Hold on to it. And pursue it no matter what.
Perry Williams' philosophy is badly needed in today's world, especially on the part of job hunters. Reading the business stories each week about the so-called "jobless recovery" is a sad tale. Many Boomers have given up and checked out. And many young college graduates are looking in vain for their first jobs.
So what is the answer? Here are six tips for following your dreams.
Don't go it alone: Get together with others. Connect. Join forces. As the great anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world." This is the genius at the heart of job search support groups. Join one. Better yet, join a few. Be an active member. The more you put in, the more you'll get out.
Review your life: Think back in time, even to your childhood. Review your journey, the roads taken, and the roads not. The choices you made. The dreams you had. Somewhere in your past may lie the keys to your future. What did you want to be when you grew up? What did you end up doing? The great career coach Richard Nelson Bolles once wrote: "...so many people end up doing, consciously or not, what others expect of them, or they settle for less because they think achieving their dream is too hard." Remember what the writer Carl Sandburg once said: "Nothing happens unless first a dream."
Expand your horizons: When we expand our horizons, the world becomes a much wider place. New possibilities appear. How do you expand your horizons? Read. Travel. Meet new people. Listen. Explore the unfamiliar. Study a topic outside your field. Do something you have never done before. Expose your mind to some radically new ideas.
Attempt the impossible: A couple years ago, a friend of mine said, "I'm impressed by your accomplishments, but you have to go further, much further." We all have our limits, some of which are self-imposed. Where, in our lives, have we put up a fence saying "Go No Further." What if we were to knock that fence down and go further than we have ever gone before? What possibilities lie beyond our limits? Nelson Mandela once said, "It always seems impossible until it is done." Visualize the dream, and take the plunge.
Make it happen: There's a saying that "Some people make things happen. Some watch what happens. And some ask 'What just happened?'" How many of us fall into the second and third categories? What does it take to be a "Make Things Happen" person? In a nutshell, you must do it. Do what it is you want to do. Don't let doubts drown your dreams. Walt Disney once said: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Support and serve others: There's a saying "Get over yourself" that says, Our biggest obstacle may be our selves. The solution? Forget your self by focusing on the needs of others. Take your Self out of the spotlight and replace it with someone else that you could help. This is where volunteering comes in. One great way to do this for job hunters is to support and serve other job hunters. Ask yourself every day, Who can I help today? You may find that you are the answer to someone's prayers.
Walt Disney once said this about the importance of dreams: "If you can dream it, you can do it. This whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”
Lastly, St. Francis gave this formula for achieving the impossible: "First do what is necessary. Then do what is possible and the impossible will happen."
Posted by Terrence Seamon on April 15, 2011. For more ideas on job search and following your dream, contact Terry and invite him to speak to your group.