Winning at Working: Wishing and Hoping
by Nan Russell
Years after Disneyland was built, after the completion of Walt Disney World, the story goes that someone went up to Mike Vance, Creative Director for Walt Disney Studios and said, "Isnít it too bad Walt Disney didnít live to see this?" Without pausing, he replied, "But he did see it, thatís why itís here."
If any outside figure influenced my life early on, it was Walt Disney. Maybe because when I was five, my favorite uncle took me to a wondrous new place called Disneyland. Maybe because I grew up in Southern California, visiting it every year or two, watching a manís vision come to life and grow. Or maybe because I learned that "when you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are." Growing up on the Wonderful World of Disney, I learned how to dream.
But as I got older I realized it wasnít just the dreaming and wishing that made the dreams possible. It was the doing. Like a Dusty Springfield song counsels, "Wishin' and hopin' -- And thinkin' and prayin' -- Plannin' and dreamin' -- Each night of his charms -- That won't get you into his arms."
In my experience wishing and hoping are poor strategies for making dreams come true, yet thatís how many people approach work, often surprised at their results. They wish they could make more money. They hope theyíll get promoted or offered a more interesting job. They wish someone will notice how hard they work. They hope the work environment improves, their boss comes to her senses, the problem goes away or someone else solves it.
Their chance of winning at working is right up there with becoming a millionaire on Vegas slots or holding the winning lottery ticket. And while itís not true the ostrich hides in the sand, many of us do, wondering why we never land our dreams. Olympic athletics donít get that way by wishing and hoping. Nor do great musicians, actors, chefs, architects, teachers, lawyers, parents, or business people. And I know Iíll never get my first book published by wishing it so.
Dreams can come true, but there is a secret. Theyíre realized through the magic of persistence, determination, commitment, passion, practice, focus and hard work. They happen a step at a time, manifested over years, not weeks. While wishing and hoping makes you a dreamer, acting and doing makes you someone who can turn dreams into reality. Want your work dreams to come true? Make them.
(c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Author of Hitting Your Stride: Your Work, Your Way (Capital Books; January 2008). Host of "Work Matters with Nan Russell" weekly on webtalkradio.net. Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. Sign up to receive Nan's "Winning at Working" tips and insights at http://www.nanrussell.com
Nan Russell may be contacted at http://www.winningatworking.com or firstname.lastname@example.org