Permission to Dream

There are days where you want to be someone entirely different, or at least pretend to be that someone.

For me when I think about the jump into my own “Imagination Station” I think of some of my favorite Superheroes, like Iron Man, Wolverine, Spiderman, and Batman – I could probably spend a few hours sharing with you the reasons why but that would bore most of you and many of you would most likely unsubscribe so I’ll spare you that bit.

But I’ll admit that I still would very much like to be one of those if I could – and I’d definitely wouldn’t mind the Bruce’ or Stark’ wealth…!

I can dream, can’t I?

Yet it’s precisely that which many people are unable to do: Dream. They have disabled themselves (or allowed other to disable them) so that they can no longer dream big dreams for themselves, their organizations, their families, and more. They are married to the present reality and do not give their brains (or their hearts) the ability to believe in something different.

Is there any wonder why so many people are “stuck” in their current roles in their current jobs? They are talented and gifted individuals but who aren’t being leveraged completely or fully – there’s no joy in the work either. Whatever the circumstance their ability to dream has been beaten out of them.

I’ve coached many people who did not know how to dream and the result wasn’t as much about their organizations, their teams, or moving one step closer to their goals but rather giving them permission to dream again – giving them the opportunity to think a bit differently about their present reality and see something altogether better.

Good coaches, mentors, and leaders help their teams and those they lead dream – dream for themselves a bit, even if it’s a collective dream. They help curate, grow, and bolster these dreams, guard them closely, and with loving care guide the execution toward them.

Sadly, I know of very few leaders who can do this well. They either force their own dream’s upon their followers or deny their follower’s the opportunity to ever follow their own hearts.

I hope you’re not one of those leaders – and I promise never to be one myself.

Give yourself and others the permission to dream. You’ll find greater loyalty, greater productivity, and greater effectiveness to be the bottom-line results.

Thanks to The Dainty Squid for the images and (random) inspiration!

  • Daniel Berman

    There is a classic question, what would you do if money was no object?

    I have tried to answer it at so many different times, in a number of different ways. I even wrote out a bucket list of over 75 things I want to accomplish before I die. Inevitably reality crashes in a little to soon.

    I am one of those incredibly gifted people that my employer has come to depend on. The blessing and what feels like a curse is that I have so many interests in so many different places that **focus** and settling in on one direction for a lifetime vocation is a huge challenge.

    How do you avoid the “squirell!” and the fear in the pit of your stomach, what if I get bored out my mind when I actually pull this venture off? Or what if I fail, and blow whatever savings we already had?

    • John Saddington

      is it your employer’s fault or your fault that the dependence is so necessary?

  • Brendon Wilson

    Hands down the best system I see right now that my peers, those above me and others are using is “Becoming a Coaching Leader System” by Daniel Harkavy and then Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan … which I asume you maybe use since he rocks your standard theme …. I was just in a meeting yeterday that had a large part of the conversation dedicated to coaching and even continued coaching environments.

    Thanks for the great thoughts ….

    • John Saddington

      i have seen life plan by hyatt but have not used it.

  • Marie Wiere

    This is a great post that so many leaders could learn from.

    I think the economy has damaged many people’s ability to dream. They work in dead end jobs that don’t utilize their skills, yet when they try and look for a better job they encounter the ‘hyper competitive job lottery’ and the media’s out cry of ‘people who have any job are lucky to have them.’

    That being said career dreams can still come true and shouldn’t be given up on, they just may need a lot more patience than in years past.

    • John Saddington

      this is true. i coach people well into their 50′s that are finding their stride for the first time. they’ve been necessarily patient.

  • Heather Christian

    It would be a dream come true if I had a leader who lead in the way you are suggesting, or a mentor. I’ve yet to find one though. I think that your comment that people often disable themselves, is an apt one. Pursuing dreams means taking action and there are always set back along the way when creating change. These set back can be disheartening. I imagine that a leader who can protect and nurture the dreams of others is someone who was able to protect and nurture their own.

    • John Saddington

      finding mentors is incredibly difficult… and at the same time, easy if you know what you’re looking for and are intentional. there’s no science to it though, for sure.

  • Teryn

    This is a great article. I really enjoyed reading it. Giving yourself and others the permission to dream it the ultimate goal.

    • John Saddington

      is it the ultimate goal? or is it something that will enable you to get to the really good goals?

  • Jesse Orndorff

    It is so important to dream and part of my job is getting people to dream again. It is hard work to take the chance and go after your dreams. But it is well worth it.

    Great words of encouragement.

    Also, for some reason those photos creep me out. :)

    • John Saddington

      you’re probably not the only one….

  • Jonny Solari

    This is so great! I have spoken to people who think that dreams are for those who have not yet accepted reality yet. This is such a sad point of view. With some hard work we can achieve our dreams, if i didn’t believe this i wouldn’t bother getting up in the morning.

    • John Saddington

      force of habit is what moves most people. this is sustainable, but not enjoyable!

  • Jonathan Thompson

    The only fault I have with this post is that it did not open with “Daydream Believer” playing in the background.

    RIP Davy Jones 1945 – 2012

    Former lead singer of the Monkees.

    I’m not that old, but I do remember watching a rerun or two back in the ’70s as a kid.

    • John Saddington

      i’m sorry… i have no idea who those people are… … …