Aspirations 102

The second of a three-part series

Aspirations 101 (read our previous blog here) encouraged you to be transparent and cultivate a list of “heart dreams.” Remembering that the word aspiration means to breathe, individuals who tap into such an audacious notion infuse their world with a vitalizing, self-generated oxygen of sorts.

In her book, The DNA of Leadership, Organizational Anthropologist, Judith Glaser notes that high levels of learning characterize people who honor their aspirations. These individuals don’t get stuck. Instead, they find a way to take one step, then another. They create environments where optimism trumps pessimism. When opportunities arise, they seem to be aware and seize the benefits of such moments. Aspiring individuals and cultures focus on the future, rather than past mistakes. They encourage learning from experience. They reduce the amount of fear they have regarding making mistakes. Blame decreases because the focus is on challenges, opportunities, and possibilities.

Glaser believes “aspiring cultures build ‘pull energy’ by focusing on releasing hopes both at the individual level (careers) as well as at the organizational level (brand).” Imagine attracting support and resources because you speak up about your aspirations. Glaser says, “Dream to live and live to dream” by speaking of your heart dreams.

We know that people thrive when they utilize language that embraces their aspirations. To this end, we’ve offered you an exercise found in STEP 1 of our blog post—Aspirations 101. If you’re ready to take on Step 2, you’re ready to shift away from limitation and fear toward risk-taking and inspiration. Here’s how:

STEP 2—Find someone with whom you can share your aspirations. This person must support you without judgment. They must also support your beliefs and experimentations. Review your aspirations with this individual. They must not criticize or try to help with or fix anything about your list. Simply ask them to “hold the space” for you to share and to ask a few of the questions below. Your intended outcome is to hear how your aspirations feel as you speak them to someone you trust.

  • What is important to you about this aspiration?
  • How long have you had this aspiration?
  • What do you like the most about this aspiration?

Exercising your dreams through STEP 2 can be an incredibly cathartic experience. In fact, the answers that come from asking these questions may outline an underlying purpose. If you take this next step, you’ll be in an excellent place to embolden yourself and embody such dreams. Maybe you’re feeling a bit of fear or maybe you’re feeling excited. It’s perfectly normal. Stay tuned for Aspirations 103 where we’ll show you how to take bold, confident steps toward moving one of your aspirations into an achievable goal.