I have a dream that one day I will be an established blogger. I have a dream that one day I will have my dream bike, and I will canoe down the Soca river.
Although my dreams are far from extraordinary in nature, they were only dreams to me until recently…
In this post, I want to show you how to act on your dreams with a simple approach proposed by Tim Ferriss in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek. I would call this a 3-on-3 approach to living your dreams. Here’s how you do it.
Tim proposed that you write a list you dream of
- Having (material wants)
- And doing
I think it’s the most elegant way of articulating your dreams and goals. It’s only human nature that we want to own material things, we want to be superheroes, and we want to do crazy things―and they come in that order. What you mean under superhero or crazy is your own decision.
Be honest with yourself and list items that you want from the bottom of your heart―after all, it’s your life. This first step is really about getting things out of your head and heart.
Let’s see some flesh-and-bone examples:
- Having a dream car, dream bike, dream computer, dream phone
- Being fluent in English, being a great blogger, being a data scientist, being a chef, being a leader
- Rafting, taking a sabbatical, running a marathon, participating in a competition, visiting a country, taking a class
Some of them have their associated costs, some not. Tim has a solution in place for those who want to address the financial side. What I want to focus on, though, isn’t finances: it’s your dreams.
The next step is that you choose the most relevant dreams: maybe one or two from each domain. The point is that you should focus on a few dreams over the next few months to stay on track.
List three things (to-dos) you can do to move forward each of your selected dreams. Then make a priority to act on them every single day, preferably in the morning hours. This is kind of a to-do list: put the items in your task manager, calendar, or journal.
Let’s take a simple dream―canoeing down the Soca river. Your list might look like this:
- Search for professional service
- Keep a friend on board
Note that the last two tasks both increase your commitment: once you invited a friend and registered, you have set yourself up for success. Don’t rush away, there’s one more thing you should know…
Before you go
The key, as always, is that you take action on a consistent basis and keep track of your results. So make sure that you review your dreams on a daily basis but at least during your weekly review. Put your list in a place that ensures you see it every single day―you might put it on your fridge, on a whiteboard, or if you like digital tools, get your list displayed in Evernote, as I do.
One more thing: choose dreams that come from the bottom of your heart, otherwise you’ll easily fall off the wagon.
I think the power of this 3-on-3 approach lies in its elegant simplicity. All you need to do is to get a half-hour block from your calendar, sit down, and get your dreams on paper. Then choose the few you want to accomplish in the next quarter or year and list three actions per dream that will move things forward.
Although I created my Life Plan and articulated my goals that flow out from my plan, I found that this simple 3-on-3 approach is a nice alternative and a perfect complement to the more sophisticated goal setting tools. So, if you’re new to this field, maybe this simple approach is best to begin with. Later, you can hammer out the details and get a more holistic approach.
What’s your opinion? What type of system do you have that helps you achieve your dreams and goals? Share it in the comments below.
Your one takeaway: Block half an hour in your calendar now to get your dreams on paper.
Ferriss, Timothy. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Harmony, 2009.