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Happy Talk, Dreams and Goals

by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D,

In the movie musical "South Pacific" the character Bloody Mary sings a song, "Happy Talk." The song advises that "You gotta have a dream. If you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?"

The song was actually a romantic little ditty for Bloody Mary's daughter and the daughter's soon-to-be lover. But the words have always struck me a great practical advice. It makes me think of the process of going from dream to achievement, as follows:

Happy talk and happy self-talk.

Thinking and talking in a positive way about the things you would like to do. Having conversations with friends and family about ideas and possibilities. Writing and doodling about things you would like to do if you had the time, ability or resources. That is how you find and build your dreams, hopes and desires. You might start with idle thoughts -- random images, fragments of interesting ideas. You might then go on to form them into more concrete thoughts or statements. "I'd like to go back to college" "I'd like to be able to program." "I'd like to dance well."


When you reach the dreaming stage, you tap into your success orientation and and your motivation. As you start to conceive the big picture of the things you'd like to do -- the broad strokes, you find the emotional associations or attachments to those more concrete ideas. You assign them various levels of importance, of value. You feel the drive to take some action to make them real.


Your goals are your practical plans to make dreams into reality. You develop you goals by describing your dream in clear detail. You envision the end result and the practical steps you need to take to get there. You set priorities for the steps. You find a way to make the goal and the actions to achieve the goal fit into your daily life.

Having dreams and making dreams come true is a step by step process. Taking action is the next step after clarifying and setting your goals. The critical step to make your dreams come true.

People who have achieved great things invariably speak about having had a dream to pursue. There are many quotes from many achievers. Here's one I like:

"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true." (Woodrow Wilson)

So now what? What are you doing about your dreams? Have you gone from idle daydreaming to building your concepts, clarifying your visions, setting your goals?

It's not a complicated process. Everyone does at least part of the process every day. It's as simple and natural as it sounds in the description above. Stop merely daydreaming and dare to make a worthy dream come true.


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