Leaders Are All Dreamers!

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of United States of America, endorsed dreamers in such eloquent words: “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.”

Ref. http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/woodrowwilson

Nelson Mandela, the modern day Mahatma Gandhi who made service-to-his-people his crusade, spent the better part of his life in jail, fighting against apartheid. His dedication to the cause was nothing short of a dream. He put his people before himself and gave his all, without asking for anything in return from those he served. The other example that comes to my mind is that of Mahatma Gandhi himself.

Gandhi laid down his life in the service of his country and set an example for the whole world. His non-violence movement shook the foundations of the British Empire in India and forced them to leave the country in the hands of its people.

He gave voice to the masses while sacrificing his practice as a barrister in South Africa. His devotion and dedication to the cause forced the naysayers to believe in his cause and ultimately taste victory.

Independence for India from the oppressive British regime was Mahatma Gandhi’s dream. Gandhi dared to dream, and so did Nelson Mandela against apartheid. Both of them set clear examples that dreams can become a reality as long as you have an unwavering commitment to the cause, and you do not take your eyes off the Goal. ​

"Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true." Unknown

Planning efficiently and then acting upon the plan is what makes dreams achievable. It takes a lot of courage to get off the beaten track and try something different. The fear of rejection and ridicule by those around us remains one of the most important causes for us to stay confined within our little box.

There is a little-known Chinese Proverb:

"A wise man makes his own decisions whereas an ignorant man follows public opinion."

So long as you keep following public opinion, you will stay confined to the same circle day in and day out. Your indecisiveness concerning change, a change for the better, and the resulting lack of willpower to break the barriers of social acceptance will only help in pushing you further down into the quicksand of relative obscurity.

Almost all the top inventors of their time stood out as lunatics, but they did not abandon their dreams. Instead, they went about experimenting with whatever they believed in and ultimately succeeded in leaving behind a legacy that is beyond any monetary value in today’s practical society.

One of the most practical dreamers of the last century was the 35th President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy. He set the course for the successful landing of the Apollo 11 mission with three astronauts on the surface of the moon on 20th July 1969.

Nine years earlier, he had proclaimed that by the end of the decade his country was going to land a man on the moon and then safely bring him back as well. His dream did come true, for all to wonder. Alas, he was not there himself, to see it materialize! However, his untimely demise does not diminish the power of his dream and its actual realization within a predetermined schedule.

“A dream does not become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” Colin Powell, the distinguished Statesman, and the retired four-star general in the U.S. Army laid bare the basic facts about dreams becoming a reality.

Such clear words, coming from an exceptionally outstanding achiever go a long way in helping us understand the possibility of their realization and the hard-core recipe required of those determined enough.

Dream as big as you can, but make sure you have an active plan-of-action in place to turn it into reality. Follow your dream with a defined course of action. We already learned above that sweat, determination and hard work are the primary requisites for you to realize your dream.

Unless you select your goal, no matter how lofty, how can you dream about it? The higher it is, the closer it will be to a dream. Once you have made up your mind about what the ultimate success you want from your life, you can start to select the vehicle (or the strengths) needed to get there.

Without selecting a destination where you want to go, how can you choose a route? Route selection will give you the precise idea of the distance you need to cover.

Coming back to your dream, let us borrow from the previous scenario and find similarities. We all know no corner on this planet remains uncovered by man. We have gone to the moon and traversed the depths of the deep oceans. The man has always been a dreamer by nature and but for the dreams of our distinguished leaders, from time to time, human beings like you and me would never have been able to accomplish these feats.

T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, had this to say about dreams: “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it a vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they act their dreams with wide open eyes to make it possible.”

Dreaming is, in a way, quite similar to goal setting. However, the most significant difference lies in the waywardness of your imagination.

An ironworker is not constitutionally bound to carry on in the same trade forever. He has every liberty to change his vocation as and when he deems fit. A politician’s kids do not have to become politicians when they grow up and the time comes for them to choose a career. They can, and in most cases they do, select different vocations.

One of the most beautiful examples of perpetual dreamers turned achievers is none other than that of Thomas Alva Edison, the American inventor. He had over 1,000 patents to his credit within the U.S. alone. The best part of his dreams turning into reality is that he received very little formal education.

Edison was educated at home, by his mother. His keen interest in scientific and technical journals and books motivated him to learn the operations of telegraph machines, and that is what he mastered. From then on, it is all history as to how he developed the phonograph and created ripples.

Born as the last of seven siblings, Edison did not have any luxuries available to him. He resorted to selling newspapers and candy for the sake of supplementing the family income. Survive he did and went on to create one of the most respected, and still growing stronger, global conglomerates called General Electric. What would you call this if not the perfect success story of a dreamer?

Sir Henry Frederic Royce, one of the founding partners of Rolls Royce, already quoted earlier, was the youngest of five children his parents had. Having inherited a life of penury upon his father’s death in 1872, he could not afford formal education and had to go out selling newspapers to make ends meet.

After continuously changing hats and moving from one job to another, he ultimately succeeded in convincing one of his friends to start a partnership business with a minuscule investment (Twenty Pound Sterling) of his hard-earned savings. It was from here that he grew to build his dream car. Later on, he became partners with Charles Rolls in 1906 from where Rolls Royce was born. ​

Not all of them were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but one thing common among them all was a keen sense of success. All of the above high achievers dared to dream, and thus became leaders in their specific fields. They all knew what was involved in realizing their cherished dreams. They chalked out the route map and went about their business with absolute focus.

I could go on and on, giving you success story after success story but we need to see how far you, my dear reader, relate to any one of them. We all know that most high achievers come from a humble or under-privileged background.

We have also seen that all of these high achievers sacrificed a great deal to get where they are.

What we do not know, however, is the formula that each one of us can apply in our fields, with some relevant changes at best. That secret formula is to dream lofty dreams and set achievable targets that you can adjust per necessity. The primary condition is that you will never forget your DREAM!


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