What is the difference between a dream and a goal?
Quite literally, a dream is the sensation you feel when you are asleep. But when we use it in everyday conversations, it means a perception or hope for the future, your future, what you would like to happen, or what you would like for your everyday life or reality to become.
Is there a connection between the sleeping-based dream and a dream for the future? After all, why would there be a connection in the word itself if not? .
A goal is a set and established landmark you want to reach in your life. A goal is thought of as something to work towards , a step to take.
Now, to the question, how do they differ. Well, you could think of a goal as small, but you don’t normally do that with a dream. For example, you could say, my goal for this week is to finish writing this article, or you could say My life goal is to be rich. You could only replace goal with dream in the latter of these examples.
So a dream is, relatively big, or spanning a long period of time. I mean, you could say my dream is to own a little house in the woods. It isn’t necessarily extravagant, but it’s significant. A goal is therefore a collection of goals, but a dream is also a collection of goals, and a dream isn’t a collection of dreams.
When you are young you dream big because you aren’t quite sure about what goals you should set. You aren’t sure about the process that goes into achieving goals and dreams. So in essence, your dreams are from where your goals derive, and each small goal that you think of puts you closer to that dream.
But that is in a more creative sense, as a child. But when you are a part of an institution, for example a company or a school, you can’t really normally stray off from the direction of the institution and make a monumental change in it, so you stuck with making small goals to inch your way through improving it or yourself in the institution. In a school or institution, you, even if you think in terms of dreams, are goal orientated. You have a big dream, like being the best student , but there are goals that are forced onto you, that you can’t actually control, and although your performance in achieving those goals controls how well you reach your dream, you have no power over the goals themselves. In that sense, in all cases, your dream is just an output of your goals.
In school, you might want to be a great student, but you can’t choose the means by which you do that. At the essence of being a good student is doing well on tests and doing your homework, and you can’t really control that, those are the standards on which you base your dream.
So a dream outside of an institution, for example, in starting your own business, is more free and is more based on the dream than the goals. Because in many ways, you get to decide how to get there.
Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. His own Board of Directors fired him, and although this might seem crazy and terrible, he says:
” I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
So in being in an institution, even as the head of it, he found himself forced to follow the goals set and standardized to be a good and successful business, he had the dream of having a better company, but the way he got there was pretty much controlled by the traditions of doing business. That’s something about the notion of dreams, they could be revolutionary or crazy or wild, and no set of goals can limit them, they decide their own rules and steps.
Out of an institution, he was able to dream more, and from his dreams was able to stem ways of getting there, and so he was able, with his creativity, to find the best steps to help him achieve his dreams.
We can’t control the fact that sometimes we have to dream and sometimes we have to stick to the script to continue living the dream once we’ve reached it or stop chasing after a dream once it’s been deferred, its just a consequence of the nature of goals and dreams.