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Postcard from Dallas - Dave Larue

We had a great hybrid session in Dallas with nearly as many people attending over Zoom as were present in the room. It was a great session with a lot of energy. What a fantastic group!

I was working away in the hotel lobby, watching a server go from table to table, with such evident passion and purpose. She seemed to always have a smile on her face. I could see it in her eyes, above her mask. When I went in for lunch, lo and behold, I was seated at one of her tables. She seemed to have something going on, some insight or purpose, she’d either figured something out or committed to finding something out. When I asked to see her smile, I wasn’t surprised that she shared it without hesitation. And, just as I suspected, it was a beautiful smile indeed. I asked her for an inspirational thought and she said “make your dreams come true!”

It was a wonderful encounter. The restaurant was very busy, so we didn’t have much time to go much deeper with our conversation, but it stimulated me to think about making our dreams come true. There are so many ways to make our dreams come true. It looks different for everyone. I am passionately and perennially curious, and I keep finding more examples of how there really are nearly as many ways to succeed as there are dreams.

For my server, her smile, her attitude, and the job she was working were all a part of how she was making her dreams come true. Maybe she was studying for the bar or working to save money to start a business or pay for school or training for herself or her kids. Maybe she was pursuing a dream related to an interest she is passionate about. Perhaps she was helping to meet a savings goal or support her family while her spouse or partner starts a business, recovers from illness, or goes back to school. Maybe her dream is far from coming true and she’s working the small steps required for today. Maybe she’s very close to realizing her dream and the hardest effort is behind her.

I’d been having many discussions about professional relationships with Comma Clubbers that week, so maybe, I thought, the connections and relationships she needs to make to bring her dreams into reality will be made right there in that hotel restaurant, and that brings us to our topic for this article. I've written about how precious and meaningful personal relationships are, but I will focus mostly on business and professional relationships in this article.

I am at a point in my business life that it’s all about the relationships involved. When you’re younger, you work on yourself. And once you achieve a certain level of competence, judgment, and awareness of how the world works, you figure out that making things happen in the world is all about working with others; finding the people who complement your skills and know-how, the people who complete your vision, or whose vision would benefit from your contribution in a mutually rewarding way.

So when I think about making dreams come true, I think about relationships. I’ve written in the past about my favorite thought from Jim Rohn. He says that you will be the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so it’s important to carefully consider not only how you spend your time, but who you spend it with.

When I thought about the relationships we need to accomplish our dreams, I thought about some key questions to ask:

Do you have the right people in your life to help you make your dreams come true?

Inspire you?
Encourage you?
Motivate you?
Help you build habits for success and curtail ones that are bringing you down or holding you back?
Do you know how to start the relationships you need?
How do you find them?
How do you grow them?
Are you giving people what they need?
Are you clear about what you need?
Do you have next-level stoppers that are activating?
Do you need to fire or replace some people? Or do you need to shift your expectations around them?

Lots of questions, but to make your dreams come true and develop a happy spirit, these are so important. Here are some more:

How can you differentiate yourself?
Do you have adult conversations? Are you receptive to feedback from others?
Do you share your knowledge?
Do you know how to ask for others to share theirs?
Do you help others achieve their dreams?
Have you ever shared “Success Story” or “What Do You Want” thinking?”
Are the relationships effortless?
Do you have some relationships missing the batteries? Is only one of you giving energy?

You need many more than 5 relationships in your life, but Jim Rohn’s point is good: the people you’re around will be a major determinant of what you expect out of yourself. The opinions you’re around will be, to a stunning degree, what you think the world is about—whether you are agreeing or reacting against them. The attitudes that are normal to you will be a baseline you orient against and compare to, whether you want to or not. The opportunities that you know about, can contribute to, and realize are all a direct product of the relationships in your life, and determine how and whether the value you have to offer will be used to its full, rewarding potential.

Understanding these stakes—the potential, the power, and the consequences—of our relationships means waking up to the need to be present and intentional and much more strategic about the purpose and the goals related to our professional relationships—and the relationships we don’t quite understand the purpose of.

Here we may set relationship goals. But goals in a relationship are often more of a general intention than a specific goal in the sense we usually mean. This is because we must act with purpose and intention, even when we are still open to new ideas, learning about others and exploring a relationship, and giving others room to be who they are, want what they want, and need what they need.

So, we may aim for a certain type of relationship, a certain level of trust, a certain mode of interacting and collaborating, a certain set of boundaries and outcomes. We are intentional, but we allow the relationship to show us to what extent our goals for it are possible and to what extent the nature of the relationship will inspire us with the need to improvise, compromise, or learn how to move on.

But back to my server and her inspiration. I really related to her sincere connection to the simple but powerful thought about the inspiration of our dreams. I think dreaming and daydreaming are so important. These are how our spirits become open to and filled with the energy of new possibilities. They stimulate our imagination and our zest for life and plant the seeds for us to set goals and create action steps toward accomplishing them, which will lead to making your dreams come true! And, as we consider how we can connect and collaborate to make things happen in the world, we can use the clear thinking here to navigate our needs for more and better relationships.




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