Dreams or Goals?

January 7, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Life as I See It | 5 Comments
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What exactly is the difference between dreams and goals? And is one really one better than the other?Undoubtedly, goals make you put things in perspective. Goal-setting usually increases the chances of your achieving your objective. Goal setting requires you to limit yourself to your strengths and try your potential. You’ve got to recognise your own strengths and weaknesses if you want to have goals.

But dreams? They recognise no strengths and weaknesses. A dream always has a sense of profound hope attached with it. In the case of goals, they too have this attribute – but here it’s hope present in a forced sense. Not really hope, but a strained, put on feeling that has an uneasy edge to it. What if you don’t make it? What if you fail? It’s not the hope of winning, then, that pushes you forward towards pursuing your goal but the fear of failure disguised in the form of hope.

But then the question is, are you really able to acieve anything with dreams? Do they only remain in your head, or leap beyond that and assume the form of action and realisation too? I think that depends not on the dream, but the person themself. It’s the person that will doubt their dreams and will not pluck up the courage to chase after them. Every one can imagine the end, but very few are able to make a beginning in actuality. It’s true that people with dreams know no impossibilty – the very fact that they have dreams at all proves this. But it’s like deciding to climb up a mountain and getting scared by it before the climb has even begun. Why doubt your dreams without even making a try first? Dreams are there to be chased and realised.

If dreams really weren’t at all possible to accomplish, we wouldn’t have had aeroplanes or robots or surgery today. Each one of them started out as a dream. Not a goal. Wilbur and Orville Wright didn’t wake up one fine morning and say, ‘Well, I plan to make a machine that can make humans fly in the air within the next few months.’ They didn’t care if they failed. The best experts had ruled out the possibility of an aerosplane saying that it was thoroughly impractical to even concieve of such an idea. But that dream came true, didn’t it? What if it was a goal – they’d have tried it just the same, but after ten, fifteen, twenty tries given up; because apparently it seemed ‘impractical’.

So a dream is always possible, isn’t it? It’s upto us to take the initiative and make our dreams see the light of the day. So I’ve also come to realise that:

A goal is a dream with limits put on it.

Goals have limits, dreams are limitless.

Goals are short-term. Dreams are full-time.

The impossible becomes the possible, when it becomes a dream.


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  1. When I was in graduated from high school, my valadiction was on this very same topic. I encouraged my class to turn their dreams in goals, because well most people views goals as acheviable and not dreams. I told them that dreams are doable and real and that if they worked hard they would see them come to past. Good post.


  2. Haha, someone else who thinks the same way! And thanks! :]

  3. You’re right (imo) that dreams are full of hope and that hope alone won’t necessarily get you anywhere. One of my favorite quotes is from Goethe: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

    It requires a bit of faith too, to chase and realize dreams. No fear.

    Good post.

  4. Hmm. I think you’ve made a very good distinction here. Goals dominate our future planning frequently because of the realism we attach to them. However, dreams we tend to dismiss at times as whimsical and folly. The real satisfaction though, comes in reconciling the two and making your dream into a realistic goal. But like the person said before me, it requires courage to do such.

  5. @heretoliveoutloud: Thanks! And I love that love quote too! Glad we share viewpoints ;)
    @ Chris: Thank you! You’re so right about the ‘reconcilation of the two’, I need to consider that aspect too!

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