king-sigma-wasylko-nikon-72743Over the years, I have noticed that there is a fine line between having dreams and having a vision in life. While they are often used as interchangeables, there is a big real-world difference between creating a vision and having a dream that can decide over success and failure in your life: We plan for one and fantasize about the other.

Everyone has dreams in their life. Things that would be amazing to be, do, or have, but that we, if we are really honest, never actually plan on achieving. We just kind of wish that things will turn out and that we’ll wake up one beautiful morning to our fairy tale life without ever having to work for it. Dreams are the things that we like to fantasize about without even entertaining the possibility of actually making them happen.

A vision is different. Your vision is what you plan for, work for, and breath for. It´s the thing you consciously set out to do and then make happen. Whether it is one or 10 years into the future, a vision is the kind of dream that can actually become reality because you plan and work for it.

Dreaming happens automatically, while creating a vision requires deliberate thinking. It is the first step in making the invisible visible and impossible possible. Only by creating in your mind what doesn’t exist yet can you actually make it a reality. No progress can happen until you get crystal clear on what exactly it is you want and how to get there. That´s the true difference between a vision and a dream: Having a plan that will make your goals come true and then acting upon it.

Are you interested or are you committed?

If you want to predict your success in reaching your goals in life, simply answer this question: Are you interested in success, or are you committed? When you are interested, you do only what is convenient and easy. You pursue your goals as long as everything is going well, but as soon as adversity hits you, you quit. You start making excuses and come up with reasons of why it’s actually impossible or why you don’t really care about it anymore. When you are only interested in achieving your goals, you will give up anytime the going gets tough.

But when you are committed to succeeding in life, you do whatever is necessary. You go out, face rejection, face failure, and keep going until you win. You run the extra mile, make 5 more phone calls, and never stop until you get exactly what it is you want. No matter how many times you fail, you get up, brush yourself off, and get to work again. There is no better way to predict your future.

Climbing your Mount Everest

Chasing your vision is like climbing Mount Everest: You chose the biggest, scariest, and most rewarding mountain you can find on the map and then go for it as if your life depends on your mission. It requires total commitment and faith in the long and painful process that is necessary for success. Maybe, you can’t even start there. Maybe, you have to climb smaller mountains first to practice your skills, your endurance, and strength.

Creating your vision is like standing in the middle of  mountain range and having to decide which mountain you want to climb. Some mountains are harder to climb than others, but also give you a better view once you get to the top. It is up to you to choose how much effort you are willing to invest and how much you want to achieve in your life. The only way to live up to your full potential and see what you are truly capable of is by choosing the biggest mountain you can find and then climbing it with all your power. Set your sights on Mount Everest and go all out until you conquer it!

On your way to the top, there will be many distractions. There will snowstorms, dangerous cliffs, and people telling you how crazy you are for putting in all this effort when you could just relax at home. You will fall down many times as the strength in your legs abandons you under the constant workload. Every time that happens, you will ask yourself: Is this really for me? Am I really good enough? Smart enough? Brave enough?

When you are in the middle of all the pain and suffering, it is easy to get so frustrated and overwhelmed that all you want to do is give up. That’s why you need to decide in advance that giving up is not an option.

Even before starting the climb, you have to make a simple “do it or die” decision. Are you willing to commit your entire being to making your vision happen, no matter the odds, circumstances, or adversity? Are you willing to leave it all out there at the risk of failure and embarrassment? Are you willing to climb until you either reach the top or die trying?

Before you can answer this question with a resounding YES, don’t even bother trying. Success requires sacrifices and pain, and if you are not willing to go through that, you might as well stop trying until you find the thing you are willing to die for. Don’t just dream, but create a vision! Don’t just fantasize, but make plans! Don’t just hope, but act! That´s the only way to make your dreams come true.