How to keep your dreams alive during current circumstancesMike Bakertimeframe, prioritization, balanced success, don't quit To stay truly motivated on the journey toward your dream, you must see two things: progress and growth! It's easy to give up on a dream if progress and growth are nonexistent. This doesn't have to be big progress or growth. This can include very small progress or growth steps. This can be very motivating, and it's difficult to become discouraged if you're moving forward. Here are four steps you can take to build your dream during current circumstances. Step 1: Make sure you put some serious thought into your dream This means writing out what your dream looks like when you arrive. It also means putting a lot of thought into the hows. How will you achieve your dream? Many people have ideas and even dreams that don't mean anything because they haven't really put much thought into it. If you're serious about your dream, you'll pay the price and put some time and effort into your vision. If you're not sold on your own dream, nobody else will be, either. Step 2: Set a timeframe around the time you want to arrive at your dream Give yourself time to achieve it. Greatness does not happen overnight and never will. Once you answer number one above, you'll know what it will take to achieve and will be able to estimate how long each step or process will take. Put a timeframe around your dream that includes milestones along the way. So if you have a three-year plan, you can set milestone markers along the way every three months. This way, you will be able to witness your progress, which is very motivating! Step 3: Prioritization is key to balanced success Don't let any dream distract you from doing what is right. You may have a family to support, along with mortgage payments, car payments, rent, etc. No dream (even if you achieve it) is worth your health or the relationship that you have with your immediate family. So set the appropriate amount of time to work on your dream in the evenings and weekends outside of your normal job. Have patience and do the right thing. Any dream will start to show itself to you and to your loved ones if you pace yourself and have set priorities. Step 4: The only tragedy of not fulfilling a dream is if you quit before you arrive Keep in mind that dreams are not easy to achieve and most people give up well before any attempt. Don't let this be you! If you have a dream, go for it! Make sure you take your loved ones with you, to make it happen. You do this by communicating with them on a regular basis so that they feel included in what you're up to. If you've made the decision to write out and communicate a dream, then commit to it and have an ultimate resolve that you are going to do whatever it takes to achieve it (within moral, ethical and legal guidelines, of course). I've always said that the biggest sale you'll ever have to make is a sale called "you." You have to be sold on your own dream in order to defeat everything that you'll come up against in your journey toward it. When Walt Disney drove Art Linkletter through the orange orchards in Orange County, Calif., he held up an orange to Art and asked him, "Art, what do you see here?" Art Linkletter said, "That's an orange." Then Walt Disney replied, "Art, you see an orange, and I see the happiest place on earth." What do you see when you visualize your dreams? Don't give up. You can do it! Mike Baker is an author, speaker and mortgage-industry leader, and is the former CEO of Mortgage Coach. He may be reached at (800) 928-7110 or e-mail [email protected].