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July 10, 2012

News & Opinion: Dare, Dream, Do

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 8:36 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

There are many books about following your passion currently on the market, but few deeply address the idea of figuring out what one's passion might be. Even in my own conversations with people about what they want to do when they grow up, there's often uncertainty as to what that might be; even the direction it might be in.

Whitney Johnson's new book, Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream does address this idea. Consider Johnson herself, who graduated with a degree in music, and then became a double ranked Institutional Investor. For many of us, there is a complexity to life; the path might not have been rolled out when we were 8 years old which we could follow comfortably onward. This complexity can often make our dreams, our passion, or, let's be more specific - the actions that give our lives fulfillment - cloudiness as to what they are.

Which makes a book like this meaningful. Johnson's own story, combined with stories of other women who overcame personal challenges and adversity in order to even be able to begin to dream, let alone follow them, is inspiring, if not actionable. She states:
Finding your voice often comes through facing challenges. In the book The Maiden King, Robert Bly and Marion Woodman observe, "For thousands of years, a powerful voice was a mark of personhood. The longer the person stayed in the underworld (plunged to the depths of sorrow, for example) the more powerful the voice." There are myriad of examples of women who, after years of sorrow, loss, or other challenges, have emerged as powerful voices for change in the world.

This is an honest book with personal reflections about self-discovery, overcoming obstacles, and becoming successful. Yes, it's very touchy-feely, but starting the quest for personal direction requires this approach. It's real stuff. And it's not just for young people or lost causes. As we get older, our ability to imagine and dream continues to get clouded by new adversity, new obstacles, and new self-doubt. It's a continual process that writers like Johnson help us through, because these stories reflect our own challenges.

To wrap up this post, here's another quote from the book. If it resonates, you'll find the entire book worthwhile.
Our names, our identities, our figuring out "This is who I am" are a huge part of discovering our dreams. And haven't many of us said, "I'll start dreaming once I wrap up with X, Y, or Z project." At the same time, we are asking ourselves, "Why do I keep putting things off? There's much to do but I can't get anything done."

Perhaps we have it backwards. Perhaps having goals for ourselves is not something to do after we've wrapped up X, Y, and Z projects. Perhaps daring to dream is a goal we need to pursue now, because it's key to getting those X, Y, and Z projects done.