“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.”
Dhirubhai Ambani, author of “Against All Odds: A Story Of Courage, Perseverance And Hope”
It must have been an exciting moment. The two mountain climbers, Edmund Hillary and his guide, Tenzing Norgay, were descending from the peak of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. Suddenly Hillary’s feet gave way and he fell downward into a crevasse.
“Tenzing! Tenzing!” he shouted. The guide saw his companion’s predicament and instantly went into action. He dug his ax into the ice and held the rope tight. He was able to stop Hillary’s fall fifteen feet below. Then, inch by inch, he pulled the fallen climber to safety.
When they arrived in camp, Hillary told the rest of the party how his guide had saved his life. But Tenzing refused any credit. He shrugged off the experience by saying, “Climbers always help each other.”
Not only did Hillary owe his life to Tenzing, but his success as well. It was these two men who, in May, 1953, conquered Mt. Everest for the first time in history. They alone stood on the “top of the world” and planted the flag of victory. But they could not have done it without the help of each other. Hillary, a New Zealander, was one of the leaders of the expedition. Intelligent and capable, he knew mountains. But little Tenzing, a Sherpa tribesman from Nepal, knew Mount Everest. He knew its crevasses, its best campsites, its peaks. Without him, Hillary would never have reached the top.
That’s the way it works with dreams. As I wrote last week, once you have a dream, chances are you won’t accomplish it all by yourself. You need to recruit the support of others … which involves four steps. I gave you steps one and two last week: First, you must communicate your dream logically, and second, you must provide a sound strategy people can believe in.
3. You must communicate your dream … emotionally.
Get people excited about the rewards they are about to experience. Instead of pushing and prodding, let them FEEL the dream. After all, people do things for THEIR reasons, not yours, and their reasons are almost always tied to their emotions.
It’s like the time philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson struggled to get a young calf into his barn. He was ready to give up when an Irish servant girl walked over to the calf, stuck her finger in its mouth, and the calf, associating the sensation with its mother, followed the girl into the barn.
As you share your dream, don’t be afraid to let people see your heart. People buy into the dreamer before they buy into the dream. And people will almost always be more convinced by the depth of your emotion than the height of your logic.
Of course, this may take a little while. You may be able to communicate your dream in a few minutes, but it may take a lot longer to convince people of where your heart is. Generally, people need to hear an idea seven times before they embrace it and call it their own.
And finally, in the pursuit of getting others to buy into your dream…
4. You must share your dream … visually.
Look at all the TV commercials for diets. People see before and after pictures, and they want the “after” look.
Likewise, when it comes to dreams, people want to SEE themselves as better off than before. Somehow your dream will help them grow personally or professionally, bring greater peace and satisfaction, increased self-esteem, and you have to help them SEE it before they get it.
You see … most people are in search of significance. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Author Studs Terkel observed: “Most of us are looking for a calling, not a job. Most of us… have jobs that are just too small for our spirit.” So you need to show people how your dream will make them bigger and better.
To have a life, a great life and a great career and a great family, having a dream will be a HUGE help. And getting other people on board with your dream will even be MORE helpful. Follow these four steps and you’ll know how to do exactly that.
Think of two ways you can communicate your dream emotionally and visually before you go out and just plain “wing it.” After all, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.