“There is a big difference between dreaming and living your dreams.” We couldn’t agree anymore, so we dove deeper on this subject with our friend and six-time skydiving world champion, Dan Broadsky-Chenfeld, who told us how he accomplishes his own dreams by asking himself just 3 questions.
Pursue your dreams, follow your passion, aim for the stars. I love it…I strive for it. I want my kids to live that way – a life with excitement, challenge, mystery and fulfillment. There is a big difference between dreaming and living your dreams. If you truly want to live your dreams, you will need to shut up and get to work.
FANTASY VS. DREAM VS. GOAL
These are three words that are often interchanged as if they were synonymous. I see them each defined differently:
Fantasy is something we want to do, but believe is impossible. We think about it but don’t truly consider that we could, or would ever accomplish it. Dream is what we want to do and believe it is possible to achieve. It’s on our radar – we plan to do it someday when we have the time, money or courage. Goal is a dream we decide we must try to achieve and will do whatever is necessary. It is the specific target we aim for when we truly go after our dreams.
HOW TO LIVE YOUR DREAMS
Growing up my parents encouraged me to always go after my dreams (though they might have regretted that when my dream involved skydiving). Some of my dreams were huge and took years to accomplish, while others required less time. There are still dreams I have yet to achieve. Regardless of the size of dream, before deciding to go after it, I ask myself three questions:
1. IS IT POSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE?
This isn’t a question of, “Is it easy?” or “If I do the work, am I guaranteed to succeed?”. Rather, dive deeper and ask yourself, “Is it possible?” and “Could the circumstances possibly exist for me to achieve my goal?”.
It is important to be realistic yet optimistic. There are dreams that will only be fantasies. However, human beings are fairly rational characters and we typically dream about things we are capable of accomplishing.
Had my dream been to become a professional basketball player, it would have been quite the stretch for it to be possible. At 5’8″ (that’s if I stand up real straight), it would be difficult. Fortunately for me, I never dreamt of becoming a professional basketball player – I dreamt of becoming a world skydiving champion. That was no small challenge, but at least hight was not a factor.
2. WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?
What will the commitment require? What are the risks? What are the costs? What is my step-by-step plan? These are all questions that you should ask yourself. Don’t move forward blindly.
Research everything you possibly can so you can move forward with a well thought out, educated strategy. The truth is you will never know everything. To some degree or another, you’ll have to dive in and take a leap of faith. Learn all that you can and be smart about your plan.
3. DO YOU WANT IT BADLY ENOUGH TO DO WHAT IT TAKES?
This is the real question. A lot of people have the potential to succeed, yet few are actually willing to make the commitment and scarifies that are necessary.
When my goal was to make my first skydive, all I had to do was come up with the money, have the balls to get out of bed, and drive to the skydiving center to take the course. I was able to complete the tasks and obtain my goal by mid-afternoon. However, when my dream was to win the World Skydiving Championship, it took 12 years. Several years were spent living in my van, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for three meals a day, and putting every penny I could get my hands on towards intensive athletic training.
I have gone after many of my dreams by asking these three questions. Some I have accomplished, some I have lost, and some I am still chasing. However, win, lose or draw, I’ve never regretted going for it. The life you lead in the process of going after your dream will be more worthwhile than the victories themselves.
If you have a dream, ask yourself these questions.