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Dreams Move Us Forward: Put Yours to the Test

What is your dream? Will you achieve it in your lifetime? I’m certain that you desire to. I’m sure you hope you will. But will you actually do it?

What odds would you give yourself? One in five? One in a hundred? One in a million? How can you tell whether your chances are good or whether your dream will always remain exactly that—a dream?

And are you willing to put it to the test?

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The Right and Wrong Picture of a Dream 

I’ve studied successful people for almost forty years. I’ve known hundreds of high-profile people who achieved big dreams. And I’ve achieved a few dreams of my own. What I’ve discovered is that a lot of people have misconceptions about dreams.

Take a look at many of the things that people pursue and call dreams in their lives:

  • Daydreams—Distractions from Current Work
  • Pie-in-the-Sky Dreams—Wild Ideas with No Strategy or Basis in Reality
  • Bad Dreams—Worries that Breed Fear and Paralysis
  • Idealistic Dreams—The Way the World Would Be If You Were in Charge
  • Vicarious Dreams—Dreams Lived Through Others
  • Romantic Dreams—Belief that Some Person Will Make You Happy
  • Career Dreams—Belief that Career Success Will Make You Happy
  • Destination Dreams—Belief that a Position, Title, or Award Will Make You Happy
  • Material Dreams—Belief that Wealth or Possessions Will Make You Happy

If these aren’t good dreams—valid ones worthy of a person’s life— then what are?

What is a Valid Dream?

Here is my definition of a dream that can be put to the test and pass: a dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.

A dream worth pursuing is a picture and blueprint of a person’s purpose and potential.

What Do You Have in Mind?

Dreams are valuable commodities. They propel us forward. They give us energy. They make us enthusiastic.

Everyone ought to have a dream.

But what if you’re not sure whether you have a dream you want to pursue?

Let’s face it. Many people were not encouraged to dream. Others have dreams but lose hope and set them aside.

I want you to know that there’s good news.

You can find or recapture your dreams.

And they can be big dreams, not that all dreams have to be huge to be worth pursuing. They just need to be bigger than you are.

Are You Ready to Put Your Dream to the Test?

Okay, you may be saying to yourself, I’ve got a dream. I think it’s worth pursuing. Now what? How can I know that my odds are good for achieving it?

Speechwriter and comedy author Robert Orben asserted, “Always remember there are only two kinds of people in this world—the realists and the dreamers. The realists know where they’re going. The dreamers have already been there.”

If you’re a dreamer who has already been there in your mind, then the next step is to put your dream to the test.

Excerpted with permission from Put Your Dream to the Test by John Maxwell, copyright John Maxwell.

What Do You Think?

We’ve all been people of all words, no action, especially when it comes to pursuing our dreams. Dreams don’t always start with big paychecks if they start with any at all, so they can seem impractical to follow in the beginning. What keeps you from taking tangible steps toward making your dream a reality? We want to hear from you! Come share your thoughts in the comments below. ~ Gabrielle Reed, Leadership Essentials

John Maxwell

John C. Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 33 million books in fifty languages. He has been identified as the #1 leader in business and the most influential leadership expert in the world. His organizations - the John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, EQUIP, and the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation - have translated his teachings into seventy languages and used them to train millions of leaders from every country of the world. A recipient of the Horatio Alger Award, as well as the Mother Teresa Prize for Global Peace and Leadership from the Luminary Leadership Network, Dr. Maxwell influences Fortune 500 CEOs, the presidents of nations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. For more information about him visit

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