I’m generally not a fan of generalizations (see what I did there?), but often when writing or speaking to a wider audience they are helpful for making connections with people. During yesterday’s message I made a generalization that people usually fall into two categories: the dreamers and the doers.
The dreamers love talking about the future. They love the big ideas and are inspired to spend time thinking about what’s next. They love the questions that start with “what if…” because it creates an open-ended horizon of possibilities.
The doers love talking about the present. They want to know the details of how what’s now leads to what’s next. The “what if…” questions might even frustrate them because they feel like it’s a waste of time and energy to dream when there’s so much to do right now.
So a brief word of advice to both the dreamers and the doers.
We need each other.
If you’re a dreamer, you need to surround yourself with some people who love to get things done, because if you don’t your grand ideas will always be just that – grand ideas. And truthfully, you don’t get credit for great ideas, you get credit for turning great ideas into reality. Your hopes and dreams for the future will mean nothing if you never get moving towards them now. So your best bet is to find those people in your life who want to do something NOW and let them help you pursue those dreams and visions for the future. Sure, they will ask you some frustrating questions. You’ll be tempted to think they are “dream-killers” and you’ll want to avoid spending time with them because you’ll think they’re just trying to keep you from running after your dream. But they’re not. They’re actually going to refine your dream. They’re going to fine-tune your vision. And when it comes time to act, you’re going to need them with you to execute all those plans you’ve put on the whiteboard or in your notebook.
If you’re a doer, you need to surround yourself with some people who love to dream about what’s next. If not you may spend all too much time getting things done now that you may, in the end, realize were just too small. You will look back on your life and see that you always got everything done, and it was always on time and your life was always in order, but it may not have amounted to all that it could have or should have. You need the dreamers in your life to push you to think about what’s next, and where your life is going, and to ask you not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it. The dreamers will invite you to find purpose and significance that you might otherwise miss if you avoid them. Yes, their open-ended questions will bother you and make you wish there was only one option so you could chase after that. But if you let them, they may inspire you to a future you wouldn’t have ever seen without their influence.