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Dream vs. Goal

Dream vs. Goal


We all have those waking dreams; times when our minds wander into “what if”and “I wish.” What are your dreams? I’ve had and have many. I dream of writing a book. I dreamt of being an astronaut. I dreamt of having an elephant for a pet.

Some of our dreams, like the elephant one of mine, are fun but impractical or just not meant to be. Some, like my book writing, are doable but difficult. Some seem impossible but we might never know until we try (maybe I could have been an astronaut!).

For those dreams that we really want to achieve, let me suggest a thought: A dream must become a goal before it can become reality. What’s the difference between a dream and a goal? Let me suggest at least three differences:

  1. Resources–A goal is a dream with resources lined up behind it. Goals have costs. Dreams are free.
  2. Road Map–A goal is a dream with a plan. A goal demands that you ask and answer questions like: Where am I right now?  Where do I want to be? What are the meaningful, measurable steps to get from the former to the latter?
  3. Resolve–A dream can be fleeting. Goals require tenacity and willpower to martial the resources and stick to the map.

A dream is–I want a million dollars. A goal is–I want a million dollars; I need to put 100 dollars in the bank each month; I will save no matter what. Desiring a million dollars is great. Working toward the goal of saving a million is tough; but, it’s doable with the alignment of resources, the creation of a road map, and the mettle of resolution.

Why do our dreams, the important, attainable ones, remain dreams?  Thomas Edison said, Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Perhaps we could substitute “A dream” for “Opportunity.” Frankly, dreaming is easy. Attaining goals is not.

What are the dreams in your life that need to become goals? What will it take to move them from the shadow of thought to the light of reality? Pick a dream. Give it the right resources. Develop a road map with mile markers. Resolve to stick with it. You’ll be amazed. Heck, who knows? If I would have saved my money and hung in there, I could have bought a zoo and had my elephant!

2 thoughts on “Dream vs. Goal

  1. Eric

    It is interesting that you posted this today. Not only is July 20th my birthday but I have also been thinking a lot about my goals, or lack of them lately.

    I have always been the type of person that likes to set goals I want to accomplish. It gives me something to strive towards. Earlier this year I set a goal for myself that had been a dream of mine for a while. Not a big dream, like an elephant, but one which would help me in my professional career. I knew it would require a lot of studying and passing a very difficult test.

    I carefully planned what I needed to do and worked hard at studying the materials for 6 months. The day of the test my stomached ached from the nerves but knew I had done everything I could to prepare. Three hours after answering the first question I was relieved to find out I had passed. It was a huge feeling of accomplishment. One that I almost could not believe.

    It has been just over a month since the test and I have this feeling of what do I do now. I know it is goofy but my birthday always brings me to reflect on my life. Anyway, thank you for these words of wisdom. They were exactly what I needed and have given me the encouragement to stop dreaming and write some goals.

    1. barryrocksblog

      Thanks for writing back. I never know what’s going to come from my musings…usually I’m just writing for myself. I am glad someone else wrestles with putting things down and seeing them through. Blessings on your pursuit of your goals.

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