“You will never advance faster than your dreams, so adjust your dreams accordingly.“
|Can you think of a person you know who has no “Dream”!?In the past weeks, I met many farmers who could speak for hours about their problems and who stated before me, “We were born to work hard!” But those same people were unable to answer a simple question – “What is your Dream?”It looked to me as if they were drifting through time and life.For me, there is nothing that connects a person stronger to reality than a dream. No one should live without a DREAM!Dreams are the initial inspiration to whatever we do in life; first, we dream it, then we do it. With the absence of DREAMS, there is far less chance we will progress, not to mention fast progress, as expected in the 21st Century.I dedicate this column to the “Drifting Farmers” and anyone who has No Dream. I hope the following will help you reconsider your attitude towards DREAMS. A LIFE DREAMIt was 1994 when I started working on fulfilling my DREAM. At the time, I didn’t know that this dream will consume100% of my time and will run and energize my life even 28 years later.But this is how it is about DREAMS; they have a life of their own. What began as my own DREAM is now the vision and mission of the company I founded.
|For 28 years, I work hard days and nights, weekends, and holidays. I sacrificing my personal life, income, and financial security, sometimes even my health and family life, putting on the line my reputation, and all this for one purpose – getting my DREAM to come true.Every day I see my DREAM making one small step on the way to become a living reality.The state of Israel is a good example and a constant reminder of the power of DREAMS. Israel, a state of holocaust survivors, refugees, and immigrants, became prosperous and successful thanks to a common DREAM and the life drive to fulfill it and build a safe and prosperous house for the Jewish people. Today, Israel is a prosperous country with advanced technology and a worldwide recognized, advanced, and innovative agro-industry. HOW DO YOU GET A DREAM TO COME TRUE?Martine Luther King had a DREAM that one day all people will be judged by their character and not by the color of their skin, for “all men are created equal.” Luther King has expressed and shared his DREAM, and today his dream has become a living reality.J.F. Kennedy had a DREAM that the US will put people on the Moon. His DREAM motivated the whole state and came true. This opened the doors for many more DREAMS – now Americans and others are reaching to land on Mars.Nelson Mandela had a DREAM, which has come true and is improving with every passing day.
What about you, do you have a DREAM? Very important] If not, stop now and write it down. Any DREAM!
WHAT IS “A DREAM”?
Most people wake up in the morning with a long “To-Do List.” Part of the “To-Do List” is easy, simple, and quickly achieved, and part of it will take longer, e.g., grocery shopping, teaching your child to ride a bicycle, improving your professional activity and results, or having a vacation in a beautiful place.
However, A DREAM is not to be confused with the “To-Do List.” A DREAM is not measured by the time, money, or effort it takes to achieve it.
The highest level of A DREAM is not what you do, achieve, and get in your life, but what you leave behind you as your Legacy for the coming generations.
Think of Martin Luther King, J.F., Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, they all had dreams, which they never lived to see and enjoy, but those DREAMS are their LEGACY.
What is Your DREAM?
What would you like to leave behind you?
What will be your Legacy?
Please share it with me.
Would you like your Legacy to be of a person with a big bank account, memories of a selfish person, someone who is self-focused? Or maybe you wish your Legacy will be happiness, kindness, improving people’s health and lives, saving the environment, etc.?
THINK, of the Legacy, left behind those who were self-focused all through their lives. This versus the Legacy of those focused on giving and benefiting others.
WHY YOU MUST HAVE A DREAM
When you have no DREAM, you are simply drifting, letting the wind takes you to wherever it blows. Your ability to have a significant life achievement is meager, not to mention leaving a Legacy behind you. You will be like passing dust.
However, when you are energized and motivated by a DREAM, every second of the day, week, month, year, and even years, is focused on fulfilling and reaching it.
A DREAM increases your “resilience-muscles” to protect you against the unfortunate that will surely meet you on your way to fulfilling your DREAM and in the ordinary course of life.
When you run your life in the light of a DREAM that is greater than yourself, you know that you will leave your mark and help to make the lives of your loved ones and others somewhat better. With a DREAM in your heart, you will know that you didn’t consume your life for nothing.
HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A DREAM COME TRUE?
My kids wake up in the morning, and from that time until they go to sleep, every 5 minutes, they say – “I WANT…”.They can emphasize their request/demand by adding “I dream of…” or “This is my dream.”
It seems that four criteria make the difference between Wishful Thinking (“I want”) and a high-level DREAM. Check the list below; if your answers regarding the following criteria are YES, you must have a fantastic DREAM.
SHARING – State your DREAM out loud.
SPECIFICITY – Be as specific as possible about your DREAM and what you want to achieve.
COMMITMENT – Be fully committed to the fulfillment of your dream.
LEGACY – Will the activity you are involved in, when successful, creates and marks the Legacy you have in mind?
When my kids say “I want…”, they Share their wish, and they are very Specific about it, but they are not Committed to its fulfillment, and surely they do not think in terms of ‘Legacy.’
Example – Sivan, my youngest daughter (11), says, “I want a dog.” My wife says, “No,” and that is the end of the story. Sivan, I love you, but for now, daddy is also saying “No.”
Important – A DREAM has no size or measure. Anyone can choose anything to be his or her DREAM.
Again, what is your DREAM?
Share it and share it continuously; share it now with me.
THE DRIFTING PEOPLE
The only way to change and improve the lives of people, nations and even change the world is by carrying a DREAM in your heart and continuously pursue it.
Without a DREAM, you will struggle to improve your own life and to feel true happiness. Think of it, how can you help others to achieve a greater level of happiness if you don’t live a life of joy, happiness, and fulfillment?
This is why my heart breaks when I speak to poor farmers who have no DREAMS.
I ask myself, could it be that the lack of DREAMS contributes to their inability to improve their lives, keeping them in their misery and poverty?
In the past weeks, I met numerous mango growers in Senegal. This is part of the routine selection process before deciding where to start a Green Valley National Export project (Green Valley).
Most of those farmers earn less than 1.9$ per day; hence they are defined as “living in poverty.”
Here is a short description of what such a meeting looks like.
Every meeting starts with a mutual introduction. After the introduction, I start asking questions. The question I found to be the most powerful in Africa is “What is your DREAM?”
To my surprise, I see them, the farmers, staring at me with no clue of what I mean or what to say! I make another effort, trying to encourage them to share any DREAM.
After a few minutes of silence, they would start sharing their thoughts. Here is a randomly short list of typical answers I received:
“We were born to work hard.”
“To have fences to protect from roaming animals.”
“To have an irrigation system.”
“To get a better price per kg.”
“To have an effective solution for fruit flies.”
“To get more professional training.”
“To have a higher yield.”
“To get rid of the Red Ants.
“Not to need to chase after the fruit
After a while, I stop them to clarify, “I was asking for your DREAMS, and you are sharing the PROBLEMS that bothers you. Can you please share your DREAMS with me?”
Once again, silence.
Then they say, “A sick man can’t cure himself. We need your help.”
I try to help by asking, “Why do you work so hard? Why do you need fences, why irrigation, why getting rid of fruit flies, why increasing the yield?”
They look at me smiling. Now the answer is easy, “To have more income.”
“And why do you need more income?” I ask.
They smile again. This time the farmers provide a long list of Wishful Thinking. I notice that unlike when they were sharing their PROBLEMS, now their faces are lightened.
They continue throwing at me their wishes for many long minutes –
“I want a car.”
“I want a house.”
“I want to travel.”
“I want food to feed my family.”
“I want roads to and in the village.”
“I want electricity.”
“I want running water.”
“I want a medical clinic.”
“I want better healthcare.”
“I want money to send my kids to university.”
Their “I want list” goes on and on.
I note that this time the list has nothing to do with their work, agriculture, and little to do about themselves. This list is focused on the life quality of their loved ones.
Why do I call this list “Wishful thinking” and not DREAMS?
Because, while I note that they Share and are very Specific about their wishes, they lack the Commitment and the view of Legacy-oriented activity to turn it into a high-level DREAM.
Now it is my tusk and duty to help them turn the “I want list” into a clear DREAM.
I share my mother’s history, which is, therefore, mine, with them.
I say, “My mother was born in Hungary, Europe, to a family of farmers like you. During World War II, the Nazis killed her parents and most of her family. As a young teenager, only 15 years old, she was left alone in this world, escaping the Nazis’ killing machine.
She managed to make her way to Israel, where she arrived without money, friends, family, or knowing the language. A few years later, Israel’s Independence war broke out. Once again, she lost many friends.
After the war, at the age of 20, together with few friends, she climbed a rocky mountain, where there were no trees, no water, no electricity, and founded the Kibbutz where I was born.
A few months ago, she passed away at the age of 92. The Kibbutz she helped building is now well established, wealthy, with thriving agriculture, all her children went to university, and two are holding a Ph.D. degree.
A short while before she died (from cancer), we sat on the lawn outside my parents’ house. It was a sunny day, and I asked her for her feelings regarding her life coming to an end. She looked around her, and while smiling, said, “Look around you. We never DREAMED it would be so beautiful and successful.” Indeed, what a grand Legacy.”
I paused for a moment, then concluded: “If my mother could build a beautiful future from scratches, I am confident that so can you do!
I explain, “I am here not as a philanthropist, to give donations, or charity, not as a representative of an NGO, World Bank, Ministry of Agriculture, etc.”
Looking unhappy, they interrupt me, “Good! We had and have all those organizations here, and look where it got us! Everything today is as it was ten and even twenty years ago. No change! In fact, in the past, before the fruit fly invaded our country, our income was twice as it is now.”
I continue, speaking directly to them, “First, you laid out your professional problems before me, the problems that stop you from increasing your income. Then you said WHY you want and need that additional income.”
I see a few young farmers in the group and ask them, “Do you want to be like your fathers?”
They nod with their heads – “NO!”
I now address all farmers, “Are you happy with your current situation and state?”
They give me this kind of smile that says, “No,” and nod with their heads, “No.”
“Now, if you want your families to have electricity, running water, roads, better healthcare, transportation, improved education, etc. (Legacy), you will need to work hard together with me (Commitment).
You are proud people, and you deserve to build your future based on your hard work (as you said before) and not on charities.
I am here not to help you fight fruit flies, although we do it better than anyone else. Not to help you increase the quality of your fruits and the yield per hectare, although we do it wonderfully. And also not to export your fruits to the premium markets of Europe, although we facilitate that as well.
I came all the way from Israel to here to assist you in improving your life and future. I am here to open the doors and to introduce you to the opportunities life presents before you.
Green Valley, which I represent here, is a business-based activity. Green Valley will help and support you to increase your income. Together we will do it by improving your professional business results.
The first step will be to improve the QUALITY of your fruits, and we will do it by improving the control of fruit flies.
We are ready to support your advancements for the years to come, always based on a business-oriented approach.
We are ready to work hard, together with you, for many years, if this pilot will work well for both sides.
Now, as we start, you pay nothing; you take no risk! I invest in you, and I put my trust in you! My question to you is, therefore, are YOU ready to commit and work hard together too? Will you do all that it takes, as long as it is?”
Unanimously, they answer, “YES!”
I look at their faces, and I see them happy. I am glad too. Finally, they have a DREAM to inspire, with its all four parts; SHARING, SPECIFIC, COMMITMENT, LEGACY.
Days will tell how much they will stand up to their Commitment and the promise they have made to me, but mainly to themselves and the future of their families.
The meeting is practically over. One of the farmers says to me, “No one ever asked us for our DREAMS!”
I swallow my saliva, trying not to choke. I am glad I was there to change that horrible statistic. I hope it was enough to light the fire of DREAMS.
We say goodbye, with huge smiles on the faces of all. Deep inside, I know that without DREAMS, they will remain in poverty. If all I will ever give them is self-security and the comfort of knowing that DREAMING is excellent, not to mention necessary and positive, then I did my share.
Thanks to the farmers’ goodwill, trust, and openness, I observed the enormous problems caused by the absence of DREAMS. I, therefore, wish to thank every one of those wonderful people that open their hearts to me. I wish them, and all other farmers, to DREAM BIG, for the world needs you.
|>>> Watch now the Green Valley short video series, where I share, from the mango orchards of Africa, precisely what I do, why, and how. Please Subscribe and Follow on LinkedIn and YouTube for the coming updates.
|TAKEAWAYS» A DREAM is not about what you achieve now, but the Legacy you leave for future generations when you are no longer here.
» FOSTERING a DREAM is the best way to ensure a meaningful and prosperous life.
» A DREAM has no size or measure. It is all up to you.
» A DREAM involves; Sharing, Specificity, Commitment, Legacy.
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