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Friday, 17 August 2012

when dreams come true

over the past few weeks i have been pondering what happens when your dreams come true. 

this thought process was triggered by watching the olympic coverage. mo farrah won gold in the 10,000 meters and the following day, listening to presenters reliving the moment, john inverdale asked denise lewis of winning a gold medal "how long does it take to sink in?" to which she replied "seven weeks". not six weeks or two months but seven weeks. that was obviously her experience and very specific it was too. as team gb became more and more successful, more and more peoples dreams were coming true. i found myself wondering how do these people feel at achieving all they set out to? 

as jane wrote we found out what it took to get them there. the dedication, commitment and determination. long hours training, honing their skills. preparation required both physically and mentally. they did what they believed would give them the best chance to win. in the case of mo farrah he moved his family to america to train with a new coach. but what happens when your dreams come true by luck? the uk has it's second euro millions winner this year. a couple from suffolk scooped the £148 million jackpot last week. they didn't work or train for their dreams to come true, they bought a ticket and entered a draw. i am sure that you like i had conversations with friends and colleagues about what you would buy first if you had that kind of money. 

i can't help but think that having your dreams come true either makes or breaks you. that may sound strange. after all you could have been working all your life to achieve it. i wonder if the key to having your dreams come true is in the journey. the life journey. if you won £148 million on the lottery would you still go to work the next day? would you give money to family, friends, charities or would you keep it all for yourself? i would think that each athlete however young they are in their career will have an idea of what they would do after they achieved their goal. would they continue or retire, would they give back and coach or would they retrain to become presenters of the sports they excelled in? 

i think the person you are shapes how you live. your parents instill values from a young age, as you mature you take those on board and add and subtract your own ideals or beliefs. you either work hard to get where you want or you sit back and expect life to come to you. you can choose to be positive or negative. choose to embrace life with it's richness of troubles and rewards. i work in an industry that traditionally is one of the first to go in a recession and is one of the last to come back. over the last four years i have worked closely alongside a core team of people to ensure our companys survival. it has not always been easy. in fact, some days it has been downright hard but i have learnt more about myself and my values in the struggles these past few years than i have during any period of flying high. the journey is not over as we are still in the grip of the longest and hardest worldwide recession seen to date. but for us there is light at the end of the tunnel. there is a goal and it is approaching. never again will we work the same way, never again will laurels be rested on as they were and never again will business dictate life the way it did. 

i have learnt that what you spend your daily life doing does not define you. you have to work hard at what you do outside of that daily grind. you can't expect your life to be full and rounded unless you try and make it so. there needs to be a life balance. an embracing of the emotional as well as the mental and physical. they feed into each other. look at mo farrah again, he is at the pinnacle of his career becoming a double gold medal winner this month but his wife tania is due to give birth to twin girls any day now. he has not just worked at his career goal he has worked at his family goal too. it is not one sided, it is rounded. i wonder if in the face of this life change it will take mo seven weeks for his sporting achievement to sink in or if it might take a little longer. 

when pondering what i would do if i won £148 million i realised i would still go to work the next day. would i continue working for the same company? maybe not. but with the comfort of millions in the bank i could choose what format that working would take. i would give to family and friends; giving them the chance to make life choices free from immediate financial worry. success in whatever form gives you options.  but perhaps the most successful option is remembering what got you there in the first place.


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