“A recipe is a set of instructions that describes how to turn a dream into reality." - Frank Kitchen Do you have a recipe to turn your dreams into reality in 2016?
It’s been a long day and you’re hungry. You don’t want to leave your house, so you head to the kitchen to see what’s in your refrigerator. You open the door and scan the shelves to see what you have. You want something that will satisfy your hunger, tastes great and takes less than an hour to prepare. You notice you have an uncooked chicken breast, a variety of vegetables and some leftover rice from the night before. What do you do next? You look for a recipe! You pull out your phone, you search the internet and you find what you’re looking for…“Skillet Chicken and Vegetable Parmesan.” The recipe gives you the plan to prepare a meal that will only take 20 minutes! After celebrating your discovery, you gather the necessary ingredients, utensils and tools. You follow the instructions and 30 minutes later you’ve satisfied your hunger. Mission accomplished!
Did that story sound familiar? Have you ever dreamed about something you wanted to come true? Did you have a step-by-step plan make your dream a reality?
“A dream is just a dream.
A goal is dream with a plan and a deadline.”
- Harvey MacKay
You have dreams. Whether you truly live your dreams is up to you. You must recognize that a dream is not a goal. Dreaming is dreaming, but goaling is living. To live your dreams you must convert your dreams to a goal. Once you convert them to a goal, you must put a plan together. I like to call this plan…Your Recipe. Finally you need to take action by following the instructions of your recipe. When you do this, and you do it right, you experience success.
When a dream becomes a reality, that is success. Referring again to the story above, your dream was to satisfy your hunger. The goal was to experience a satisfying meal that you would prepare at home by yourself in less than one hour. The plan was to use the recipe you found online. The actions were to follow the instructions by using the necessary ingredients and cooking utensils. Finally, you knew you achieved your goal when you experienced the first bite of the meal you just prepared.
Why am I talking with you about cooking, recipes and dreams? I’m not just talking, that’s what dreamers do. I’m taking action by sharing the information you need to live your dreams. Every year people put together a list of dreams they want to achieve. They’re called “New Year’s Resolutions.” In 2011, time management company Franklin Covey conducted a study on New Year’s resolutions. Over 15,000 people were surveyed. The results of the survey said, 35% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken by the end of January. The same survey said that only 23% of resolutions made are kept. My good friend, professional speaker Rodger Campbell, taught me the following, “When you fail to take the actions to live your dreams, those dreams become nightmares.”
My dream is help people around the world live their personal and professional dreams by sharing my FRESH recipes on Life and Leadership. My plan is to share my knowledge with the world by writing articles, writing books, presenting workshops and giving speeches. I am achieving my dream right now because you are reading my words.
Dreaming is not living. People don’t live their dreams because they fail to convert their dreams into measurable goals. People fail to take the actions needed to produce the results they desire. I’ve had the honor of working with, knowing and meeting people who have lived and are currently living their dreams. The one thing all of them have in common is…they have a recipe. They are constantly saying, “I will” versus “I want to.” They always have a plan. They can tell you when and how they will make their dream into a reality. They know exactly what they need to live their dream. They can describe the entire experience in great detail.
I have two questions for you.
1. “Do you have the recipes to live your dreams?”
2. “Do you know how to write a recipe?”
What was your answer? Since you’re still reading, I’m guessing you want me to teach you how to write your recipe for success. A Recipe you want to produce FRESH results. Results that are new, great, exciting, wanted, needed and positive. Remember, success is living your personal and professionals dreams. Here are the five parts of your FRESH recipe.
#1 FOCUS - Your Recipe Name and Preparation Time (Your a Dream and Goal)
Every great recipe has a desired result that needs to be produced in a particular amount of time. A recipe is measurable. A recipe is focused.
What is your Focus? What dream do you want to live? When do you want to live your dream?
You need a dream you want to live before you can put together a plan. Pull out a sheet of paper, your phone, your tablet or computer. Start writing or typing all of the things you want to do or dream of doing. I like to call this your “Menu.” It’s a list of dreams. It’s a list of wants and needs. It shows you what you want to accomplish in life.
After you have put this list together, I want you to pick out one dream you really want to live this year. If you’re using paper I want you to circle it. If you’re savvy with technology, I want you bold it or do something special to make it stand out. This is your dream. I know you have other dishes (dreams) you want to create (live). Today I want you to focus on only one item on your menu. You have your focus, but you’ll need a little extra motivation. People are visually motivated. Every great recipe has a photo to show you the end result. I want you to find a picture or create of picture to visually display the dream you envision living.
Just like a recipe, every decision you make must have a positive effect on your dream. Knowing your focus makes your decision making process easy . The question you must ask yourself before every decision you make is, “How will this decision affect my dream?”
#2 RESOURCES - Ingredients and Equipment (What do you need to make your Dream a Reality)
Have you ever looked at the list of ingredients on the back of a food package? The number of ingredients needed to make certain foods can be dumbfounding. The list doesn’t include all of the equipment needed to produce the food item you are about to consume. It doesn’t tell you how long it took to prepare. All you know is there were a process to combining all of the ingredients to create the food item you are about to consume and hopefully enjoy.
Now that you have your focus, it's time for you to prepare a list of resources you will need to live your dream. “Do you have everything you need?” You will have some of the items on your list and others you will need to acquire. Are there any substitutions you can make? If you don’t have the proper ingredients and equipment, you won’t be able to create your masterpiece.
One of the most important resources you will need is an experienced cook (mentor). Seek out someone who has lived your dream or a dream similar to yours. They can assist you with creating and reviewing your list of resources. He or she can explain to you in detail what to expect during the process. A great mentor will share their successes and mistakes. They will educate, elevate and empower you to live your dream.
#3 ENTHUSIASM - Temperature (Energy required)
Preparing a recipe requires energy. You need to know the proper cooking temperature. The cooking temperature is the energy required to take a recipe from vision to reality.
How big is your dream? How much energy do you need to “cook” it? It's simple, when you're not enthusiastic about your dream, nothing happens.
Enthusiasm is the energy, desire and excitement you need to make your dream happen. When you're not enthusiastic about an endeavor, don't expect positive results. When you're enthusiastic about your endeavor, you really care about the results that can be produced. You are willing to do whatever it takes to see things through. You want and need the experience of your dream becoming a reality. When you are enthusiastic, you will have more than enough energy required to perform all of the work needed to achieve positive results. You’re not enthusiastic about all the work. You’re enthusiastic about the positive results you desire.
#4 STRENGTH - Instructions (Your Step-by-Step Plan)
When you tell your friends or family you are going to prepare your “World Famous Chicken Dish,” someone always asks about the recipe you are using. They want to know what you’re going to do achieve your “World Famous” title. Recipe instructions are put in a specific order to provide ideal results. Living your dream is the result of committing to a plan and executing the plan properly. The plan keeps you mentally strong and focused. You can try to take a shortcut, but shortcuts lead to unknown results.
What’s your plan? The next time you have a friend or family member talk about something they want to do ask them, “What’s your recipe?” Dreams don’t just happen; you have to work to make them happen. You need a recipe. You need mental strength and dedication.
A recipe can be something you create on your own, learn from someone else or it could be an existing recipe you personalized. A recipe keeps you focused by pointing you in the right direction. A recipe lets you know what to expect. The unexpected often kills an individual's mental and physical desire to produce their dream.
Things will never be perfect. You’ll have to make adjustments to your recipe to fit your wants and needs. You may want to make the recipe healthy. You may want to make it for more people. You may need to change it because of physical restrictions (i.e. allergies). No matter how the recipe was developed, it’s still a set of instructions and actions that you must execute in the proper order. Your dish won’t make itself or magically appear. Action and mental strength leads to reality!
#5 HONESTY - Time to eat ( Reality and Reflection Time)
After you dream, plan and execute, it’s finally time to experience your results. It’s time to savor the dish you worked so hard to prepare. It’s time to take a bite. Is it better than expected? Could it be better? Would you make it again? Honestly, how was it?
Every recipe has an area for notes. This reflection area allows you leave suggestions on how to serve and improve the dish you just prepared. There can be recommendations for foods and beverages that will compliment your dish and make it a complete meal. You can notate adjustments you made to the recipe. You can leave yourself a message of encouragement or write down the time and location for a cooking class.
Ultimately, we have to be honest with ourselves. What did we do well and what can we improve? Honesty will allow you to better prepare yourself to experience success when you start to prepare your next recipe. When you lie to others and to yourself, you're on the road to negative results. You must be honest about your focus. You must be honest about your resources, you must be honest about your enthusiasm. You must be honest on how strong you are.
The world isn't always honest with you...
“When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Your dreams come true”
"When You Wish Upon A Star" written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline
The lyrics above have inspired many people around the world. The song lets people believe that their dreams can come true. I truly believe your personal and professional dreams can come true this year and in the future, but I must be honest with you. You can’t just wish for your dreams to come true. Dreaming isn’t living. To live your dreams you must take action. Dreaming is the first step achieving your goals. A goal is a dream with a plan. The only way to live your dreams and experience success is to create a plan. A plan you must follow. A plan that honestly tells you step by step how to live your dream. This plan is your recipe…a recipe for success.
Honestly I want to see you live a dream in 2016. I hope this blog post educates, elevates and empowers you to do so. If I can assist in anyway, let me know.