Principles of living your Dream

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Kojo Addae-Mensah, Group Chief Executive of Databank Group shared some principles of living your dream at the Tamale edition of this year’s Springboard 2016 Roadshow. The Jobberman Ghana team, which was present at the Radach Lodge and Conference Centre brings you excerpts from his presentation.

Principle 1: Don’t underestimate your potential because you are Ghanaian

The fact that you are Ghanaian or coming from a disadvantaged background, does not mean that you cannot put in actions and contributions which can revolutionise the world. Your background should not be used as excuse to explain the reason why you think you cannot make it.

You have what it takes to be competitive anywhere in the world. All you need to do is to take the opportunities presented to you and create a personality which can compete on any global platform.

Principle 2: Write down your dream

The first step to realising your dream is to commit you dreams to paper. Write them down and place them where you can see them every day.  When dreams are written down, it helps to more easily see the larger picture and create manageable smaller steps and take concise actions towards their attainment.

Furthermore, it also shows commitment to yourself, that you intend to achieve your goals and makes you accountable for the dream. The written word provides an anchor for you. For example, having a mission statement helps you get back to the basics if you ever feel lost or unfocused.

Principle 3: Start small and scale up

Dare to dream and think big but don’t forget to start small. The trick is to implement your dream or goals in phases and scale up when it matters. Life is all about living your dreams. But, are you waiting for the perfect time to start your journey? Most of the people do the same, they keep waiting for the perfect time to start big. Always dream Big, but that doesn’t mean you have to start big or your dream will take off in a bigger style.

To live your dreams, you must be a true dreamer, start working on it, and get into the game.  No great achievers have ever started their journey from a big step, but all of them started with something small and on the journey they live their greatness. Don’t worry about the conditions and circumstances. Be ready for your beginning. If you can’t start big, start small, there is nothing wrong with starting small.

Principle 4: Don’t be corrupt 

In seeking to live your dream, you have to be willing to shun all acts of corruption. We live in a society where corruption is tearing down the social fabric.Integrity is a rare value and attribute and those who value it will make a headway with the realisation of their dreams.

The fact is that a lot of dreams have been shattered because the bearers of those dream dabbled in acts of corruption or let their guard down along the line. For instance, the way you handle someone’s money could be a real test of your integrity. Thus in daring to make a difference, you should ensure that you are looking out for situation which might cause you to compromise on your values and avoid them.

Principle 5: Don’t make excuses

Excuses are dream killers and often, there are many reasons why people make excuses. In fact everyone has different reasons for making them. However, when it boils down to it, we only make excuses for the following main reasons such as Fear of Failure, Fear of Embarrassment, Fear of Success, Fear of Change, Fear of Uncertainty, Fear of Responsibility, among others.

Living a life of excuses can have very serious and lasting consequences. Not only will excuses prevent you from reaching your full potential, but they will also hold you back from recognizing opportunities, talents and skills you might have, to help you overcome your problems. As much as you can, avoid making excuses about why you can’t do it and why it can’t be done.

To a degree, your environment affects your success but stop looking for excuses to not be awesome or live your dreams. In a world where connection is free, you can affect your context. You can change your surroundings. Now more than ever, we have the opportunity to change our lives.

Principle 6: Be willing to put in your 10,000 hours

In the book Outliers: The story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice (over a decade) to achieve mastery in a field. Mr. Gladwell says that if you examine the greatest athletes, entrepreneurs, musicians and scientists you will notice that they only emerged after spending at least three hours a day for ten years practicing.

There is no substitute for hard work. To be able to live your dream, you must be willing to put in a lot of work and go the extra mile when it matters,  to be the best in your field of endeavour.

Principle 7: Stay focused

The reason why a lot of people fail is due to broken focus.  Staying focus is thus necessary toward the attainment of your dreams. Bu the truth is that every time you try to live your dream or do something extraordinary, you might end up bumping into the status quo. You will get resisted by a gatekeeper, telling you why “this will never work.” because it never worked for them.

Also you will run into some hard-working Joe who’s embittered by the success of others or the leaps and bounds you are making. He or she is going to shoot down your innovative idea or criticize your success. The truth remains that your success will threaten the worldview of others but you must be focused on the dream. Ensure that your actions or the objections and manipulations of others does not cause it to wither away.

Principle 8: Get the right advice

In order to be able to achieve your dream it is essential that you get the right advice. Obtaining the right advice at the outset can potentially save you a lot of trouble and even money. Getting the right advice from say, mentors and those who have excelled in an area you find yourself is crucial in ensuring that you avoid some pitfalls and mistakes.

Principle 9: Invest in your dreams

According to Bill Gates, if you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it’s your mistake.”

We all need to invest in our dreams. Investing in dreams  is a tried and true step to encourage your own success and achieving a better state of mind. Investing in your dreams means investing time into the things which matter to you.

Often, we  spend so much time helping other people build their dreams and totally forget about ours. We spend so much time trying to get people to like us and tend to know other people more than  we know ourselves. We study them and want to be just like them; when we can be more than them. So in the end, we invest so much time into being like them and don’t know who we are.

In seeking to live your dreams, the challenge for you, is not to be like others but to present the best of us and who we are to the world.

Principle 10: Invest in your future

One important thing you should do is to also invest in your future. Investing in your future means making some sacrifices in the present to reap rewards later on in life. It means investing your time and money into something which might not give you immediate returns, but which could give you tremendous value later on in life. It also means preparing for the uncertainties of the future because life is fully of uncertainties.

Sadly, some people do not invest in their future. They only think about the present. Therefore, when something unexpected happens, they are not ready and get into a difficult financial situation.  The truth is that investing is different from saving and so inasmuch as we save, we must also make it a point to invest for better returns.

Jide Otoki