540: The Motivation You Need to Pursue Your Dreams

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Pursue Your Dreams

I have a confession: in the last few years, I gave up on my dreams. 

Or more accurately, I stopped dreaming altogether. Somewhere in the midst of the chaos than began in 2020, the future started to feel more uncertain than ever. Maybe you can relate? 

Of course, these last few years haven’t given us much more certainty. 

However, life has always been unpredictable. While we can’t know what tomorrow holds, having dreams and goals gives us a reason to get out of bed every morning. 

Here’s my promise: despite life’s uncertainties, you can take control and build momentum toward your dreams. And in today’s show, I’m giving you three (3) simple steps you can take immediately following this episode to create the energy and motivation to achieve your goals.



  • Our future is shaped by our actions
  • Fulfillment comes from how you live, not what you accomplish
  • Commit to take one small step and motivation will follow
  • How persistent effort to achieve your dreams opens the door to boundless personal growth
  • Why commitment and accountability are key to personal development
  • The attempt to achieve a dream is often more significant than the outcome itself



“Fulfillment comes from how you live your life, not what you do or don't accomplish.”

If a person is working toward a predetermined goal and knows where to go, then that person is successful.”

“We generate motivation. We don't grab it out of the ether. We generate it through movement, through thinking, through focusing on things that inspire and motivate and energize us.”

“Who you become is your greatest asset. Not what you achieve, not what you accomplish, but who you become is your greatest asset.”



Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)


Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)





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Hal Elrod: Hello, friends. Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod. And today we are talking about your dreams and specifically the motivation that you need to pursue your dreams. I’m sharing a perspective that recently came across my consciousness. It was that I had stopped dreaming that I used to have these goals and dreams that I was working towards these big, bold, out-of-my-comfort-zone things that I didn’t know how I would accomplish them, and many of them I accomplished by simply allowing myself to put that dream in writing and then working backwards from this moment of wherever I was, even though it might have been so far away from that dream, and eventually, step-by-step, day-by-day, I was able to make it a reality.


And I realized a few weeks ago that I had stopped doing this that ever since 2020, life got uncertain and I had stopped dreaming. I had allowed fear and uncertainty to override my consciousness, and I was playing defense instead of offense toward the goals, the dreams, the things that I wanted for my future. And so, as I went through this process over the last few weeks of dreaming again, it got exciting, and I wanted to pay it forward and share it with you. So, today, I’m giving you the perspective that I believe that we all need, as well as the motivation to start dreaming again, to create a compelling vision for your future, and start working towards it even if you’re afraid, even if you’re uncertain, or even if you’re pessimistic about what the future may hold. It all starts with dreaming, creating an inspiring, compelling possibility for the future. And so, today, I’m going to give you three steps to do exactly that.


Before we dive into today’s podcast, I want to take just a couple of minutes to thank our sponsors for bringing you the show today. First and foremost is CURED Nutrition. Now, CURED Nutrition, they exist to help you feel your best. So, to increase your focus, mental clarity, cognition, and energy, to improve your stress, stress relief, gut health, immunity support and mood enhancement, and to improve sleep, muscle recovery, body aches, and relaxation. And I utilize CURED Nutrition supplements to help me do all of those things. And if you want to improve in those areas, your mental clarity, your stress relief, improve your sleep, muscle recovery, you name it, head over to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal. That is CURED, C-U-R-E-D, CUREDNutrition.com/Hal, and use the discount code ‘HAL’ for 20% off your entire order as a listener of the Achieve Your Goals podcast.


And then second, last but not least, Organifi, making the highest quality organic whole food supplements. I take so many Organifi supplements. I take their Turmeric Plus to reduce my inflammation. I take their Shilajit Gummies for improved energy, performance, and strength. I use their Happy Drops with saffron to improve my mood. I take their Red Juice before my workouts to improve my blood flow. I take their Protein Powder after my workouts in my smoothie to help build muscle. You name it. If you want to improve your health, your energy, and you want to do it in the fastest, easiest way possible, head over to Organifi.com/Hal. That is O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi.com/Hal and use the discount code ‘HAL.’ 20% off your entire order is what you shall get with that discount code as a listener of the podcast.


And that’s really my one-two punch, my two primary supplement companies that I use, the best of both. I use CURED Nutrition and Organifi and I encourage you to consider doing the same. Head over to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal, and then open another tab in your browser and go to Organifi.com/Hal and find the right supplement products and ritual and routine that is right for you. All right. Without further ado, let’s get into your dreams. It is time to start dreaming again, and I’m ready to share with you, help you inspire, and instill the motivation that you need to pursue your dreams. Here we go.




Hal Elrod: Hello, my friend. How are you today? I am recording this out of inspiration, personal inspiration that I want to share with you. And I want to start with a question for you, which is, are you working towards dreams right now? Like, do you have dreams in writing, a clear vision for the future, meaningful dreams that you are working towards every day? And I have a confession to make, which is that I don’t, or at least I didn’t until recently. I don’t know if you can relate to this, but I think it started for me in 2020. Like, life just became a little crazy and uncertain, and I felt less in control of my future. And I don’t think it happened, it wasn’t suddenly like one day. It was really gradually. It’s been gradually over the last few years.


And again, I think it probably started sometime in 2020 when things kind of like suddenly the world stopped and everything got crazy and the future felt a little bit uncertain more so than normal. It’s always uncertain, right? We can’t predict the future, but we can predict the future a bit with our actions but we don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know if something crazy is going to happen or we’re going to a car accident or things that are out of our control. That always exists, though. That’s not a good excuse for us not to have dreams that we’re working towards.


And so, the future is always uncertain. But here’s a way to think about it is fulfillment comes from how you live your life, not what you do or don’t accomplish. And we think it’s the opposite. We think it’s based on what we do or don’t accomplish. If I accomplish this, I’m successful. I can feel good. If I don’t accomplish it, I don’t feel good. But think about reality. Think about your reality, which is like if you work towards a goal and you accomplish it, yes, that’s fulfilling, but very quickly and I forgot, what do they call that, the hedonic treadmill? Am I saying that correctly? Which is essentially that once you achieve something, a level of success or a certain quality of life, it becomes your norm, and then it’s not as exciting and fulfilling anymore.


And then you need something else, right? And the reason for that something else, the reason for having goals and dreams, is what it makes of you, that it gives you a target. It gives you something to wake up every day and work towards. So, again, fulfillment comes from how you live your life like how are you living every day? So, if the goal is to lose 20 pounds, for example, and if you have a leg amputated and you lose 20 pounds, that’s not fulfilling. That’s not the best example because that’s depressing or it might be depressing.


But the point is like it’s the waking up every day and having that goal to work towards that gets you in the gym and gets you eating right and gets you exercising. Another way of putting it is that a goal, a future goal or a future dream informs your current behavior, right? It informs your current behavior. So, it’s like if you don’t have a goal, then it doesn’t inform how you live today. But if you’re like, “Oh, I got a goal of earning more money or losing weight or being a better father or mother, better parent, better spouse,” so what can I do today that will move me closer to that goal or to that dream?


Now, following today’s podcast, I’m going to ask you to do three things. Okay. So, at the end of the podcast, I’m going to ask you to do three things. I want to plant the seed for them now just so that you can be thinking about these. Right? And these are what I’ve done here in the last few weeks that have really reignited my fire to realize that, “Yeah, the future’s uncertain. I don’t know what’s going to happen in our country, with the economy, but I’m going to have goals and dreams that I’m working towards every day, things that inspire me, that excite me, that I’m working towards every day,” so that it informs my behavior in a way that I wake up with passion and with purpose and with focus and with actions that make me a better person, a better version of myself. And so, here are the three things that I’m going to ask you to do at the end of the podcast today.


Number one, start by making a list of everything, all of your past accomplishments. Sorry I didn’t say that succinctly. Make a list of your past accomplishments. Now, that can include things you’ve accomplished, you’ve achieved, like goals or dreams, but it can also include things you’ve overcome. Like, when I made this list, beating cancer was on that list, right, of my past accomplishments. Learning to walk again. So, there were like difficult times in my life and the things that I overcame that were part of that list, also things that you’ve accomplished. So, I had goals in the past that I’ve accomplished, dreams of being a DJ when I was 15, and breaking the Cutco fast-start record, running an ultramarathon.


I had a long list of things I’ve accomplished. It was like a reverse bucket list where it’s like things that I’ve done that would have been on my bucket list as the younger me. Taking my family on a Disney cruise like that could have been a bucket list item. But it’s things we take for granted because it’s just what we did, and we often don’t reflect nearly enough. In fact, this exercise, this first step I’m going to ask you to do at the end of the podcast, which I’m planning to see now, was really enjoyable because it was like, “Wow, I’ve overcome these things. I’ve already done that.” And a younger me would have dreamt of overcoming it.


Maybe when I was in the face of a challenge like, “Oh, my God, I don’t know if I can overcome this cancer,” or for you it might be different. It’s get through the divorce or whatever challenge. Or maybe as a child, you had really difficult circumstances and you’re like, “I’d give anything to be able to just turn 18 and move out and be on my own and be out of this difficult situation.” Maybe that was your overcoming that you accomplished when you were younger. And then also things that you’ve experienced. So, maybe you didn’t have to overcome it or accomplish it, but you want to just go to a concert, go see your favorite band in concert. And that was a dream when you were younger and you did it, right?


So, step one, number one of what I’m going to ask you is to make a list of your past accomplishments. And there are three things that can include: things you’ve overcome, things you’ve achieved, and things you’ve experienced, right, like bucket list items. Number two. I’m going to invite you to make a bucket list. And again, I just finally did this. I haven’t done this in years. I finally got back to dreaming, and it feels good. Now, do I know if I can accomplish these dreams? Absolutely not. I don’t know, right? I don’t know if I can accomplish them. But I know that I can try. I know that I can give it my all. I know that I can work towards these goals and dreams, and in doing so, I will wake up every day with a sense of direction, a sense of purpose, something to be passionate about. And I will be able to experience more fulfillment as a result of that. Sorry. I’m looking for something in my journal. Why is it? I wanted to make sure I shared something with you. There it is. Goals and dreams. Okay. Bucket list. There we go.


All right. So, see, I’ll share with you my examples once we get to the end here. And then number three is I’m going to invite you to choose one item on your bucket list. And again, the bucket list can be things you want to overcome, accomplish, or experience, right? So, it can be any of those three or all of those three. And then I’m going to ask you to choose one item on your bucket list to start pursuing and schedule time to pursue it. And again, I’ll share with you what I am doing in my own life. All right. So, starting to dream again. There’s a great Jim Rohn quote that I think sums up what we’re talking about in terms of the idea that fulfillment comes from how you live your life, not what you accomplish, not whether or not you achieve your goal, but it’s working towards it.


Jim Rohn said, “If a person is working toward a predetermined goal and knows where to go, then that person is successful.” And that’s an interesting paradigm around success because success is usually thought of as, well, if I achieve the goal, then I’m successful but if I don’t achieve the goal, I’m not successful. And you probably heard me talk a lot about this. And this really comes from a Jim Rohn philosophy, that the purpose of a goal is not to achieve the goal, it’s to become the type of person who can achieve goals. And you can always use the word ‘goal’ interchangeably with the word ‘dream,’ right?


Like Jim Rohn said, “If a person is working toward a predetermined goal,” but I would say a predetermined dream. A dream is typically just a bigger goal and goals are usually the short-term accomplishments on the way to the bigger dream. But that person is then successful if you are working toward a predetermined goal so you can become successful the moment that you start investing some time in doing what we’re going to do today, making that list. Now, I want to give you some categories to create your bucket list and to start dreaming again. And then I’m going to share with you why we often put off our list, why we don’t set the goals, we don’t dream.


I talked a little bit about feeling uncertain about the future that can paralyze us, right? Just, “I don’t know. The future feels uncertain. I can’t make plans. I don’t know where my income is going to be or if I can afford it. Or at this current state, I’m not in a place where I could achieve any of these dreams. So, what’s the point in even dreaming?” So, that uncertainty is one of the reasons. In fact, let’s start there and then we’ll get into the different categories. So, number one, we often assume that we need to feel inspired or motivated. You’ve heard me talk about this one before. This originated for me in the book Failing Forward by John Maxwell, which I read when I was in my probably early to mid-20s.


So, it’s been over two decades ago that I read that book, but it impacted me to this day. In fact, it’s what I teach my kids. Like, you have to act your way into feeling and that’s the way that he talked about it, act your way into feeling, which is where most of us are using the fact that we’re not motivated as an internal excuse as to why we’re not pursuing our dreams or our goals as, “I just don’t have the energy, I just don’t have the motivation.” But it’s our responsibility to generate the energy and generate the motivation. So, we have to act our way into feeling.


And my favorite example of that is if you don’t feel like exercising, you can’t wait for motivation or inspiration to come along and get you off the couch. You have to actually get up, pack your gym bag, get in the car, and drive to the gym. And it’s through that action that you generate motivation and you generate inspiration, right? So, when you’re sitting on the couch, you’re like, “I don’t have the energy to work out.” Follow along here, y’all. “I don’t have the energy to work out. I wish I was motivated. I wish I had more energy.” It’s like, can you muster up the energy to go grab workout clothes or get dressed in your workout clothes and then get in the car? Like, that doesn’t take nearly as much energy to work out, as working out does, right?


Running on the treadmill for 20 or 30 minutes or lifting weights for an hour like that takes some energy, some motivation, but getting dressed in exercise clothes and grabbing your car keys takes minimal effort and motivation and inspiration, right? Anyone could muster up the energy to do that. But once you do that, once you take that first step, you act your way into feeling. Well, now once you get in the car, it’s like, “All right. I’m in the car. I’m dressed in my gym clothes. Where should I go?” I guess I can go to the gym. Driving doesn’t take a lot of motivation or inspiration. I could do that, right? And then you start the car, turn on some music that fires you up.


And by the way, music does change our state. Absolutely. When you play a song that is energizing, you feel energized. I do that all the time. When I’m in the car if I’m tired, I’m lethargic, I’m whatever, I will turn on some music to like, okay, and I’ll literally start dancing. Yeah, I’ll start dancing carefully, but I’ll start dancing. And then once again, my energy goes up, I’m acting my way into feeling. So, the point is you’re in the car now and you start driving to the gym. And now you’re let’s say your level of motivation when you were sitting on the couch was at a one. Once you put on your workout clothes, now it’s at a two. Once you get in the car and start moving toward the gym, now it’s at a 3. Maybe you turn on some pumped-up workout music, now you’re at a 4 or 5, right?


And then you get to the gym and you’re like, “All right, I’m at a five now. I’m still not super motivated to work out. Not inspired but definitely I’m five times more inspired than I was when I was sitting on the couch thinking that I should work out.” That’s 500% more inspired and motivated than when you’re sitting on your butt at home. And now you’re like, “All right, I guess, that’s enough. I can muster the motivation to walk into the gym and see what’s going on.” All right. You walk into the gym and what’s happening? The music’s pumping, people are exercising, and that energy, that motivation that other people are generating, right, we generate energy. We don’t just grab it out of the ether.


We generate motivation. We don’t grab it out of the ether. We generate it through movement, through thinking, through focusing on things that inspire and motivate and energize us. And you can apply this across the board. I’m using the example of going to the gym. You can apply this to your marriage, right? I’m not motivated to change my marriage. I’m discouraged. I feel like, “Okay. You got to generate the motivation.” Read a book on being a better spouse or improving your marriage. All of a sudden, that book gives you an idea. Focusing on that idea generates more energy, motivation, and inspiration to improving your marriage.


Then you start journaling. Why is that important to you? Now, you’re even more motivated, right? Then you commit to take one small action that will add value to your spouse’s life. And you do that one little baby step and now they reciprocate. They feel good. You feel good, right? And the energy it’s generated by you one step at a time. So, again, you can apply this example of going to the gym that I’m unpacking here and giving you some detail on and apply it to any goal or dream you have in your life.


All right. So, now you walked into the gym at a five when you – actually, you were to five when you got to the gym but by walking in, you’re probably to six now. You’re standing up, you’re upright, you’re moving. You walk into the gym. And again, that energy, the collective energy that’s being generated by all of the other people in the gym, working out, maintaining discipline, it is contagious. And now your inspiration, your motivation, your drive, it goes from a six to a seven or an eight. Now, you walk over, you start lifting those weights. You fire up that treadmill.


And so, I want you to think about this. Now, you work out and now let’s say you’re done. Okay. And now your inspiration to work out is at a ten because you’re done. You did it. And you feel inspired because you did it. You took the action. You got yourself to the gym even though you didn’t feel like it. You’ve been there before where you did something you didn’t feel like doing, that you were talking yourself out of doing, and maybe you had talked about doing it for a long time, and then you finally mustered up the energy, the motivation, the drive to do the thing. And then you did it. And then you felt really proud of yourself.


You’re like, “I did it. Wow. I thought I was lazy. I thought I was incapable. But I took one step at a time and then I did it. And now I feel really empowered.” That’s how you feel at the end of that first workout. You feel empowered. You feel inspired. You feel energized. You feel more confident that you can do the thing that you need to do when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not. And by doing so, you then feel like doing it more. You feel like doing it again. And so, I like to wrap this example up with saying if you really want to get in the best shape of your life, like physically, right, you want to get stronger, you want to get fitter, you want to lose some weight, whatever it is for you, you don’t have to think about all the hours and hours and days and weeks and months of working out.


In fact, that is overwhelming for most of us. That can be overwhelming thinking about all that’s going to have to go into you getting to your end goal, achieving that dream of getting physically fit, right? That can be overwhelming. And then you think yourself out of taking the first step because you’re thinking about the next hundred steps, which are overwhelming. But to get in the best shape of your life, all you gotta do is put on your gym clothes and get in the car, and set your GPS to the gym. That’s it. And you can do that when you’re at a level one out of ten on the motivation scale. You don’t need more than a one to get dressed in gym clothes and set your GPS to the gym and get in the car. That takes very little energy or motivation or inspiration, but that simple act, that first baby step is what gets you there.


And what I’m asking you to do today, the actions that I went over earlier that we’re going to revisit, right, those three actions, that’s that first baby step. And I just experienced it, y’all. I realized it was a few weeks ago. I’m like I haven’t been dreaming. And the way it happened is I found this bucket list that I made in 2012. It was my ten-year vision. And I went down that bucket list and some of the things I had accomplished, and I was like, “Oh, this is awesome.” I had to go buy a home for my family with a pool. And we did it, right, like amazing. I had a goal to run a marathon and that seemed so impossible when I wrote it down. But I was like, “Man, who would I have to become to run a marathon?” And I did it, right?


And so, I accomplished them. And then some of them I didn’t accomplish. Some were depressing, by the way, because I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I did not focus on that.” And like, I had a goal. I was 33 when I wrote that, and I had a goal to retire by the time that I’m 43, set myself up to retire by the time I’m 43. What would I have to do? And I had all these things written down and I didn’t look at that list again. You know, occasionally I run across it, but I was supposed to look at it every day. And this is just an example. I’m just like you. We’re all human. None of us are perfect. And we all have good intentions, and sometimes we don’t follow through and sometimes we do, right? And it’s about getting better.


And so, I had to take a deep breath and apply what I often share with you all about accepting reality exactly as it is and being at peace with the things you can’t change because I was like, “Oh, why didn’t I do better? I could have done it. I forgot that I wanted to put myself in a position to retire young. I didn’t do it. All right. Can’t change it.” And then it’s like, “But I can recommit for the next ten years. Maybe even at 50.” Right? I just turned 45. How about at 50? That’d be amazing. In the next five years, could I set myself up to retire? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know, but I could try. That is a dream. I now have a new dream that I do not know if I can accomplish. You have to realize that.


And that is the second thing that often stops us from pursuing our dreams is that we don’t know if we can get there. Or even maybe more so. We don’t believe it. We’re like, “There’s no way. I can’t see how that’s possible.” I can’t see how that’s possible. One of my dreams that I wrote down as well, and by the way, again, we’re going over a different category. So, it’s not just material dreams like buying something, right? You have dreams for your family, for your physical health. For you, it might be travel, and adventure might be a category. You might have creative dreams, professional dreams, financial dreams, intellectual dreams, mental health dreams, dreams about relationships, dreams about giving back.


We’ll go over all those in more detail here, in a few minutes. But what often stops us is not believing that it’s possible. So, two of my big material dreams are, one, is retiring by the time I’m 50 because it was 43 and I’m two years past that and not there yet. So, now maybe when I’m 50 and when I get to 50, I might not do it. Here’s the thing, though. Remember, the purpose of a dream is to inform your daily actions. And I did not follow through. When I set that dream in over 12 years ago, the daily action that I needed, number one, was to revisit that dream, and I failed to do so. I failed to do so. So, now I’m going to set the goal for when I’m 45.


And again, I don’t know if it’s possible, right? It’s a huge goal to be able to retire. And when I say retire, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working. It means I only want to work when I want to work, and I only want to do what I want to do. And I don’t want to have to work because I necessarily need money. I want to work because I want to help other people. Like, that’s my definition of retirement. It’s not like I’m going to just live on a beach somewhere. Hopefully, I can go to beach more often. But anyway, the point is and I want you to really check in with yourself when you think about your dreams.


And if you haven’t thought about it yet, I actually want to invite you to consider what is one dream that you have that if you could wave a magic wand in the next 5 or 10 years and it could be a shorter time frame, it could be a dream for the next year, usually dreams are 5 or 10 years out and then you set goals like, “What do I need to do in the next 12 months? What are my annual goals that will get me toward that dream in five years?” It’s one way to think about it. So, what’s a dream that you have? I want you to think about that. And then I want you to check in and it should be a dream, should be something that inspires you. It should be something that’s big, right? And it could be for you, personally. It could be for your family. Could be in those categories that I just rattled off.


Dreams about relationships, material dreams, the things you want to buy or own, dreams about your health. Dreams about your relationships, your professional dreams, your creative dreams. Your financial dreams, right? So, what’s a dream for you? I want you to think about it, and then I want you to check in and see if there’s any bit of hesitation or resistance or fear that you would fail, that if you set that dream, that you don’t know if you would get there. Or maybe it seems it’s next to impossible based on your current trajectory.


For example, if you’re unemployed right now, if you don’t have a source of income and finances are really a struggle, then imagining that you could earn $100,000 a year or become a millionaire or retire or become financially free or whatever, that might seem like the mental and emotional state that you’re in now, that might seem impossible. And that’s part of dreaming is a dream turns the impossible into the possible. A dream in and of itself creates a new possibility for your life, where one may not exist because you’re living from your fears, you are living from your current reality, which that’s the purpose of a dream. It’s a new reality. It’s a better reality. It’s the next level or beyond that.


And so, if you can recognize that, I’m afraid that I couldn’t make it real. Well, if you don’t have a dream that you’re working towards, then you definitely won’t make it real. But if you have a dream, you might work towards it. It informs your daily behavior. Like Jim Rohn says, “If a person is working towards a predetermined goal or dream, then that person is successful,” right? You have a direction that you have to go. So, that benefit is what you’re after. And if you fast forward, if the dream is one year out or five years out or ten years out, you fast forward and you’re not there, but you actually focused on it consistently daily, weekly, over an extended period of time, you will be in a different place as a result of that dream.


It will put you in a different place. You will learn things about yourself. You’ll learn things about achieving goals and pursuing dreams and improving yourself and your life. That, my friends, is invaluable, that benefit, that growth. Right? When you achieve a goal, it’s kind of short-lived and you move on to the next goal, but only the growth you experience lasts forever. Who you become is your greatest asset. Not what you achieve, not what you accomplish, but who you become is your greatest asset.

So, that second reason that prevents us from achieving our goals and our dreams or pursuing them or even considering them, I’m inviting you and giving you permission to dream anyway, right? We don’t know what the future holds, but the dreamers are the ones who create a better future for themselves. And those that don’t dream, and I’ve been guilty of being that person that wasn’t dreaming, life is not nearly as exciting. Life is not nearly as exciting, it’s not as inspiring, it’s not as purposeful. So, I’m inviting you to dream.


And the third reason that people don’t create dreams or we put off our list is there’s no accountability. There’s no deadline, I should say. No deadline, right? So, it’s like you have these ideas of things you would want to do at some point in your life in the future, but you have no timeline, no deadline. And so, you’re not working towards them because you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, someday.” And very often or more often than not, someday never comes because someday is a perpetual mindset.


I’m going to say that again. I want you to consider that. Someday, when you have a goal, oh, someday I’ll get to that. Someday I’ll do that. Someday I’ll work towards that dream. Someday is never today. It’s a perpetual mindset. And tomorrow, you’ll be living in a someday land. And next week and next month and next year, you’ll be living in someday land. Something I hammered home in the Miracle Morning book is that what makes you think that tomorrow or next week or next month or next year, you’ll be any different than you decide to be today. You got to decide that not that your dream is going to happen today, but that you’re going to get clear on a dream. You’re going to set a deadline. It may or may not happen in that time frame, but that gives you a focal point. It gives you a date in the future that you are now working towards and progressing towards.


And so, not having a deadline gives you nothing to work towards and no time frame to work towards that nothing or something. And the solution is to create accountability. And you create accountability in many forms. I won’t go too deep into this, but I will touch on some of the areas of accountability or ways to create it. Number one is the deadline. That’s the first way to create accountability. It’s the lowest hanging fruit. It’s giving yourself a deadline to work towards. Now, you are accountable to that deadline. Of course, beyond that, you can find an accountability partner. Someone else, hey, you got a goal or dream? Hey, listen to this podcast episode that Hal recorded and let’s dream together. Let’s set some goals together. Let’s make our bucket list. Let’s work towards these together.


Now, you got an accountability partner. Now, you’re checking in. And then have a time frame, hey, let’s talk once a month or once a week, or text each other once a week or date, whatever. You can structure it how you want. I find that having a call is effective because you get to talk through it. Hey, how are you doing towards your dream this week? Like, having a weekly 30-minute call where you each talk for 15 minutes, where you just talk back and forth. I like to do it, where 15 minutes, you focus on one person, 15 minutes focus on the other person. And you say, “Hey, how’s your dream going? How did you do this week?” “Oh, man, I did okay, but I fell short in this area.” “Okay. Hey, no, let’s recommit. Can you recommit?” And you’re coaching each other. You’re encouraging each other.


Of course, speaking of coaching, you can also hire a coach. That’s one of the higher, if not highest forms of accountability is hiring a coach because now you’re putting your money where your mouth is, right? Now, you’re investing literal money into getting coaching. And in that way, you also have a professional, someone who is trained on how to hold someone accountable. I was a coach, I don’t know, from 2008 to 2016. So, for eight years, I was a one-on-one coach and I had a group coaching program. But I went to various coaching schools and I learned the psychology of holding someone accountable.


How do you effectively hold somebody accountable? And again, this isn’t the episode to go in depth on that. But in simple terms, it’s just hold somebody accountable is to say, “Hey, are you committed to doing this? Great, I’m going to talk to you next week and I’m going to make sure you follow through with your commitment.” That’s the simplest way to hold somebody accountable because now, that’s in the back of their mind. Like, when they think to themselves, I don’t feel like going to the gym. I don’t feel like working out. I don’t feel like– I really want to eat that ice cream.


Well, if there’s nobody holding them accountable, knowing they’re checking in with, it’s really easy. We all let ourselves down and let ourselves off the hook. We’re like, look around and nobody sees me, nobody knows I’m doing it. I can get off the hook, right? Nobody’s going to see this. Nobody. I’m not accountable to anybody. But when we know, oh, I’m going to have to talk to Sherry next week and tell her what I did or didn’t do, I committed.


And I remember having a coach, I would be like, I’d wake up in the morning and go, “I don’t feel like making my sales calls today.” And I’d be like, “Oh, I gave Jeff my word. I committed that I’d make 20 phone calls five days a week, Monday through Friday. And I’m going to talk to him next Tuesday. I have to.” That accountability is such a powerful leverage to do the things that we need to do.


All right, let’s get into action, y’all. Let’s get into those three actions. So, number one, and I encourage you to do this. If you are driving right now, maybe pause this unless you can commit to going back and listening to it. But this is, like, write these things down. If all you do is listen to a podcast to feel better, it’s just entertainment. But if you listen to this podcast to improve your life, you’ve got to write things down. You’ve got to schedule things. You’ve got to take some action.


All right. So, number one, again, so pause this if you’re not going to come back and listen to it. Pause this and finish listening to it as soon as you get home from your drive, okay? Or listen to it now and rewind it, whatever you’re more committed to doing. Number one, the number one action following today’s podcast, do it now or do it ASAP. Make a list of your past accomplishments. I wrote that wrong, by the way, I said make a list of everything, your past accomplishments. All right, make a list of your past accomplishments. Again, that can include things you’ve overcome, like challenges that you had as a kid or throughout your life that you’ve overcome. You should acknowledge yourself for those. That’s why you’re making this list of past accomplishments to reminisce, to remember, to celebrate, to acknowledge yourself, and to gain confidence in your future based on, oh, yeah, look at all these things I’ve overcome, accomplished, and experienced in my past.


All right. So, list of accomplishments can include things you’ve overcome. For me, it was cancer. It was a car accident. It was the 2008 financial crisis. It was the six months of chronic, extreme sleep deprivation after my cancer in 2020, where I was literally suicidal. I overcame that, right? So, that was all of those things, acknowledging myself for them, celebrating them, and reminding myself, oh, wow, look at what I’ve overcome in the past. Look at what I could overcome in the future. I could overcome anything. If I’ve overcome that, I can overcome anything. That’s why I’m encouraging you to make a list of your past accomplishments that include what you’ve overcome, the difficult times in your life.


Number two, things you’ve achieved. So, this is still part of number one, by the way. This is the list of things you’ve accomplished. Things you’ve achieved should be on that list. Goals you’ve achieved. For me, it was starting my DJ business when I was 15 and getting a radio show. Like, those were dreams I had when I was really young, and I made those happen, so I wrote that down. What else did I write down? I wrote down achieving my Cutco goals to break the company past record. That was a huge goal for me.


What else did I achieve that I wrote? Oh, writing a book. That was a huge goal for me. Writing a book, publishing a book, that was a huge goal. Then the goals got bigger, right? It was like, changing one million lives. And actually, the goals got bigger and bigger and bigger as I achieved one, right? That’s kind of a way of acting your way into feeling is you act your way into feeling to take the action, to move in the direction of the goals and the dreams. And the first action, of course, is making this list, setting the goals, writing down the dreams, creating new possibilities for your future that you don’t even know how you’re going to accomplish them. Okay?


And that takes us to number two, your bucket list. Make a bucket list of everything you want to accomplish, overcome, or experience. And I left it off, number one, so that list of things you’ve accomplished can also include experiences, right? Like, me and my wife went and saw Dave Matthews Band in concert. I wrote that one down. I wrote down every concert we’ve been to, everywhere that we travel to. That goes on the list. Have you taken your family on a vacation? That should go on the list, or gone on a vacation yourself or traveled somewhere. Your list should include, it should be as long as you can make it. Everything. Everything you’ve overcome, everything you’ve accomplished, everything you’ve experienced.


So, I’m back on number one. Sorry, I went to number two and realized I forgot to include your experiences on that list. Make a list of your past accomplishments, everything you’ve achieved, overcome, experienced, and keep that list running. Like, for me, I’ve got that list on my Notes app on my Mac computer. So, it’s ongoing. I can keep adding to it and I keep adding to it over time. And it’s fun. I’ll remember something, I’ll see a picture of something that’ll pop up in my phone. I go, “Oh, yeah, I forgot we did that.” And I’ll put that in my list, right? Again, taking my family on a Disney cruise, that was in there. Going to the beach with my family when we lived in San Diego. I mean, just anything and everything. Doesn’t have to be huge, big, once-in-a-lifetime experience or accomplishment. Like, write down everything that brought joy to your life, that made you smile, that made your family smile, things you’ve done.


Number two, all right, we’re on make a bucket list, and you’re going to take those same three categories that you wrote down for your past accomplishments, but now you’re going to start dreaming about the future. Make a list of everything that you want to accomplish, everything you want to experience, or everything you want to overcome. And let me go through those categories again.


So, here’s some thought joggers. So, things that you want to accomplish or experience. Number one, travel and adventure. You might write these down so that you have some thought joggers. By the way, I want to give credit where credit is due. I am referencing The Bucket List Journal by Ben Nemtin, N-E-M-T-I-N, Ben Nemtin. I had him on the podcast Episode 449. It was a while back. And he wrote the book The Bucket List Journal. And it’s more of a journal than it is a book. But if you don’t know who Ben is, I mean, he has his own TV show. I think it was called The Buried Life. But basically, he is famous. He’s been on Oprah Winfrey.


He made a crazy bucket list to meet the President of the United States and open up a baseball game, throw the first pitch, and meet the Queen of England and have a beer with Prince Harry, and help somebody build a house and kiss the Stanley Cup, and grow a mustache and scuba dive. So, he has 100 items on this list. It’s a crazy list. And he’s achieved all of them now. And he has a new list that he’s made. He’s made his new list. And these are the categories in that journal.


And here’s the thing. I have a confession to make. I started that journal, and then I put it down. Again, I’m guilty of it as you are, right? We have good intentions. We start something and we fall off. We get distracted. We don’t finish. So, now, I’m really recommitting to complete The Bucket List Journal, and I’m doing it with my daughter this summer. And these are the 10 categories that he lists in the journal. So, number one is travel and adventure. So, thought joggers are walk the Great Wall of China, see my favorite band live, learn to fly a biplane, climb a 14,000-foot mountain, visit the Picasso Museum in Paris, go skydiving. So, these are items on his thought jogging list, right?


So, number one, travel and adventure. Number two, physical health, run a marathon, stop drinking alcohol. So, it could be something you want to stop doing, right? These are dreams you have that improve your life, improve your health, your finances, your relationship, whatever category you’re setting these in. Work out five days a week, run a marathon, all these things. Material – buy a sailboat, save up for new skis, become a homeowner, surprise my kids with a new car. Creative – take a painting class, write my book, learn to play a musical instrument. So, these are creative items on your bucket list. Just examples. Professional – start a business, become a more effective leader, hit a specific sales goal, ask for a promotion, no work after 5 p.m. Financial – become debt free, donate money to charity, earn X amount of dollars per year.


Number seven, intellectual – read one book a month or read for 10 minutes before bed each night or during the Miracle Morning, learn a new skill, learn a new language. These are intellectual bucket list items. Mental health – meditate every day, read a book to improve my mental health, start each day with a walk without my phone, join a men’s or women’s group. Number nine, relationships – prioritize finding romantic love, be the spouse that my spouse deserves, deepen a relationship that brings me joy, date night twice per week. Twice per week, that’s what they wrote. Actually, once per week.


And then the last one is giving, right? Contribution. Help someone I love pursue their dream, that’s what I’m doing right now with my daughter. Her dream is to be an actress. And I resisted it for a long time, like, no, I don’t want you– I don’t know, that’s a tough world. And I don’t want her to move to Hollywood and on and on and on. She’s 14 years old. And now, I am– in fact, I text her this morning saying, “Hey, sweetie, I started looking up acting agents in Austin, Texas. I’m not in a rush to get you on. I want to be really thoughtful about it, but I want you to know I’m 100% supportive of your dream to be an actress.” We’ve got her in theater right now and doing a theater camp, and so, we’re doing everything we can to support her, right? So, giving could also be taking a mission trip with my kids, help underprivileged youth, do something nice for someone else that can do nothing for me.


So, those are 10 categories for you to play with and choose from. So, make a bucket list of everything that you want to. Again, three areas on your bucket list. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to experience? What do you want to overcome? And I mentioned that I would share some of my examples. So, for me, mine are really mostly around family. Now, I’ve got some of these different areas, but family, I really want to get a lake house to create memories. And this is something that I can’t afford a lake house right now. And I’m kicking myself because when I read that list that I wrote at age 43, that was on my list. And I realized, why did I not work towards it? And then, in hindsight, I go, man, if I would have made some different financial moves and allocated my money differently, I could have done that. I could have given my kids that life experience. But again, no point living in regret, accept it, move forward.


I want to ask my family, where do they want to travel as a family? Like, somewhere international. I’ve never taken them, other than my wife, I took somewhere. She went to Paris to be on my book tour, and my kids had gone to Cabo. But other than that, we’ve never gone anywhere, actually, as an entire family other than Cabo. So, I want to ask them, is there anywhere they would love to go and start setting aside a percentage of my income and save for that?


Taking my wife on a date night once per week. I started this whole list a few weeks ago. We’ve been doing that. I think we’re on week 3 or 4 in a row, so that is positive. Help my daughter achieve her dream becoming an actress, support my son in playing sport, sticking with it and becoming excellent, that’s something that we started doing a few weeks ago. He’s in basketball league and he’s thriving. And also, help my 11-year-old son figure out what his dreams are and help him achieve them. So, those are just a few of the things on my future bucket list.


And last but not least, the third action, after you’ve, number one, made a list of your past accomplishments. Number two, make a bucket list of everything you want to accomplish in the future. And number three, choose one item on your bucket list to start pursuing and schedule time to pursue it. I’ll say it one more time. Number one, make a list of your past accomplishments that can include things you’ve overcome, things you’ve achieved, and things you’ve experienced. Make a bucket list of everything you want to accomplish, overcome, or experience. And number three, choose one item on your bucket list to start pursuing. Pick one and then schedule time to pursue it. It could be an hour a week, an hour a day, 30 minutes a day. Start pursuing it. And that’s it.


Life is better when we’re dreaming, and whether or not you achieve the dream is less consequential than whether or not you attempt it. Whether or not you write it down, you make a plan, you schedule time, and you start working towards it. Remember, like Jim Rohn said, “If a person is working towards a predetermined goal or dream, then that person is successful.” That’s where fulfillment comes. It’s not about the end goal. It’s about doing everything you can to get to the end goal. And sometimes you achieve it. Sometimes you make the dream come true. Sometimes you give everything you have and you fail and you don’t achieve it, but you learn, grow, evolve, and become a better version of yourself. And remember, the growth is what lasts forever.


So, this is the Achieve Your Goals podcast. Today, it’s the Achieve Your Dreams podcast. Let’s make it happen. Let’s start dreaming again. We deserve it. You deserve it. And if you are a parent, your kids and your spouse deserve it. And if you’re not a parent, your people in your life, they deserve to see you living a life where you’re pursuing your dreams, and then you’re going to inspire them through your example to do the same. So, let’s do it for ourselves and let’s do it for those we love and those we lead. I love you, and we’ll talk to you next week.

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