How to Pick Up and Dust Off Your Broken Dreams

Broken dreams. Broken goals. We all have them. We desperately want to see change in our lives, yet we remain the same year after year.

What if I told you there is one contributing factor as to why you haven’t changed?

This factor is simple in concept, but difficult in practice.

You’ve probably heard it before, but never noticed the incredible power it holds in your life. It’s the reason you haven’t seen your breakthrough or inflection point.

The principle is simple. In fact, I invite you to write this next statement down on paper and carry it with you for the day.

“You cannot pit real pain against imagined gain and expect to win.”

I learned this principle from Rabbi Daniel Lapin in his latest book, Business Secrets from the Bible. It’s a book stocked full of timeless truths.

At the end of the day, if you have any hope for change, there must be something more than a dream or goal. You must make a deeper and more present commitment.

If you don’t believe this principle to be true, then why do so many people commit and recommit to losing weight never to see any results? Their “imagined gain” is that they want to lose 30-50 pounds this year. But when that goal is matched up against the real pain of saying no to extra dessert or yes to running a mile, imagined gain loses everytime.

“Imagined gain is not the best self-motivator when change is so painful and immediate.” Rabbi Daniel Lapin

What then is the answer?

The answer is to equalize the struggle.

You must make the imagined gains attractive enough and real enough to overcome the pain of taking action. The imagened gain must exist in the present moment.

While I don’t have all the answers, here are a few tips I’ve learned on how to pull imagined gain into the present moment.

1. Redefine what is a “win” for you. 

When I used to work as an Executive Recruiter, I would often become discourged when deals didn’t close often enough. The fees of closing a deal are in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, but it was unrealistic for me to show up every day thinking I was going to close a deal that day.

What revolutionized my business is when I redefined my “win.” If I placed a new networking call, I redefined a win as getting an email address, having a great conversation, learning something personal about the contact, and even actually getting someone on the phone.

2. Measure your activity not your results. 

I think many of us give up on our goals and dreams because we doubt the activity. When you doubt whether the activity will help you reach your goal, you won’t act. For some of us, it’s not the activity, we simply doubt ourselves. We don’t see ourselves as athletes, so how can we run three times a week.The way through this is to measure your activity not your results.

3. Break your big goals down into 90 day projects.

I’m all for setting yearly goals. But I only see yearly goals as the first step. I think you need to pull those yearly goals into the present moment to have any chance to getting them accomplished.

I do that by setting 90 day goals four times a year. It helps me hit the restart button when needed and pull my imagined gain into the present moment to equalize the struggle.

You can do this. You just need to equalize the struggle.

What’s one creative way you can equalize the struggle today? Comment below. 


    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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