Dream Torture Article by: Denis Waitley

Perhaps the greatest torture that could be devised would be for us to be forced, in our later years, to watch a continuously repeating movie of the lives we could have led had we dared to believe in and pursue the dreams and goals that were available and attainable in our lifetimes.

While we all say we don’t have enough time to do justice to our goals and dreams, each of us has all the time there is. None of us really has a time-management problem. We really have a dream- and goal-focus problem. We spend too much energy worrying about the things we want to do but can’t, instead of concentrating on doing the things we can do but don’t It is the regret for something we did or didn’t do yesterday and the apprehension of what we can’t do tomorrow that is the biggest energy drain on our lives.

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. It is what you would like your life to become. A goal is what, specifically, you intend to make happen. However, many individuals become spectators, resigned to experience success vicariously through others’ accomplishments. They can see success for others, but they can’t imagine it for themselves. Dreams and goals are previews of coming attractions in your life. You can be either the script writer, the star, and the producer of an Oscar-winning epic life or an extra in a “B” movie that someone else wrote and directed for you. Which is it to be?

Make certain that your goals are not measured in comparison with others’. Avoid the tendency to measure your own progress by looking over the fence at greener pastures. There are many others who have started a little earlier than you, and you may become discouraged if you see them harvesting success when some of your seeds are barely in the ground. Comparison rarely benefits anyone. You’ll always be able to find someone smarter, younger, older, wiser, richer, more clever, better looking, or working harder or more effectively than you are.

When you make comparisons in which you place yourself beneath others, you’re in for a discouragement that will keep you procrastinating and perhaps even from seriously pursuing your life goals. You can also find others who don’t measure up to what you have become or are aspiring to be. Avoid the tendency to compare yourself with them as well. You will lower your goals and settle for average when you could have excellence. You may come to think that you deserve more success than others or that success lies ahead for you no matter what you do. Both are false assumptions.

Success isn’t a pie with a limited number of pieces. The success of others has very little bearing on your own success. You and everyone you know can become successful without anyone suffering setbacks, harm, or downturns. Neither is your success measured by what others say or accomplish. Only you can truly define your success, and only you can measure it.

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