Norton: We all have dreams — let’s lift each other to fulfill them (column) | VailDaily.com

Norton: We all have dreams — let’s lift each other to fulfill them (column)

Michael Norton

"I'm working on a dream, though it can feel so far away, I'm working on a dream, our love will make it real someday, I'm working on a dream though it can feel so far away, I'm working on a dream, and our love will make it real someday." — Bruce Springsteen, "Working on a Dream."

Sometimes our dreams can feel so far away can't they? Sometimes they feel so far away we almost feel like giving up. Almost. But we don't quit, we don't walk away, and we don't give up. And one of the reasons we persist and pursue our dreams with vigor and conviction is because we are surrounded by the hope and encouragement of others whose love will help us make them come true someday.

"The doors of hope swing widest on the hinges of encouragement." — Zig Ziglar

It is so true, isn't it? And whether or not we have others in our life who lift us up, and fuel our hope with encouragement, we can still pick ourselves up, look ourselves in the mirror, review our plan, course correct if necessary, and get back in the dream game. The hope and encouragement of others is awesome, it is fantastic, it is enormous — and when it is coupled with the hope and encouragement we find within our own hearts, there really is no stopping us.

We have all probably heard at some point in our lives that "Hope is not a strategy." I always love to debate that statement, as I think hope is a major strategic element of any successful endeavor. I get the fact that we cannot "hope" our way out of challenging situations or trouble spots. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't remain hopeful in those situations and keep hope alive so we can come up with an alternate plan or solution. When I am building business plans and models, I absolutely include "hope" in my strategic thinking because as Dr. Alfred Adler shared, "Hope is the foundational quality of all successful change; no hope; no change."

And when building a business or a strategic plan, encouragement is a key element of my anticipated success. I look for family, friends, business partners, clients, co-workers and associates at all levels to live and work in such a way that we are constantly encouraging one another. It is just too easy to go negative on a someone or something. It is too easy to find the faults in a project or program. It's only easy to go negative if we don't live with and work with the full armor of hope and encouragement.

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How's this for a question to ask your family, your company or your organization; Are we living and working with the spirit of hope and encouragement? Now be truthful in your own response here as well: Is my family, my business, or my organization living with the spirit of hope and encouragement? How would you answer this question? How would others answer the question about you, your family or your company? Would they see people who are life-lifters and encouragers, or would they see and feel a vibe of negativity?

As Bruce Springsteen wrote in his song above, "Working on a Dream," the way we achieve our goals and realize our dreams is when our love makes it real someday. We all have dreams, our family members have dreams, our friends have dreams, our associates and co-workers have dreams. Our job, our responsibility to one another is to lift each other up, and open those doors of hope with positive encouragement and love. Anyone can go negative, that's easy. But it is the difference makers in life who fill their families, their communities, and this world with hope and encouragement.

We all know someone very close to us who is working on a dream, don't we? A dream to be cancer free, a dream to beat addiction or have a loved one find sobriety, a dream to find a new job, a dream to start a new business, a dream for happy and healthy children, a dream of a loving and flourishing relationship, a dream of peace and so many other dreams and goals. Let's help them, let's lift them up, let's let our hope, encouragement and love make it all real someday.

So how about you? Are you working on a dream? Do you know someone who is? Are you filling them with hope, encouragement and love? I would really love to hear your sources of motivation and inspiration at gotonorton@gmail.com. And when we let the doors of hope swing open wide on the hinges of encouragement and love, it really will be a better-than-good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.