Created by @arbytes (John Loberiza) via Pixteller
One of the common obstacles in turning your dreams into reality is not knowing where to start. My suggestion to overcome that obstacle is to start from where you are.
This is actually the third installment of a series of articles. The first two installments are:
If you have read the previous articles above, it would be best if you read them first.
Applying SWOT analysis
In this post, we will go through a process of self-evaluation. This will be quite similar to the SWOT analysis applied to a corporation or a group.
SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning.
Though I do not intend to apply the whole SWOT analysis procedure in this blog. However, the process I outlined here is closely similar to the well known analysis procedure. But we will apply the process in a personal level.
I have outlined this post in this manner:
- Start With 'Why'
- Where are you now?
- Identify Your Strengths?
- What do you have right now?
- Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
- What are the possible obstacles (Threats)?
- Identify the skills that you can and need to develop -(Opportunities)
Image Credit: esqbs.ac
Start With Why
As Simon Sinek says in his video below, always start with Why?
Simon Sinek: Find You're 'Why'
Video Credit: HESMotivation via YouTube
Why do you want the things that you have listed in your dreams?
You're 'why' should be your motivation in dreaming and aiming to achieve those dreams.
Once you found your 'why', let's go to the next step which is assessing yourself.
Where are you now?
Image credit: Edited by @artbytes via Bitlanders
Start with taking inventory of your current situation.
- How much are you earning now?
- What are your sources of income?
- Do you have a savings account?
- Have you started investing?
- How much time are you spending with your family?
- Do see your friends often?
- Do you go to church regularly?
If one of your dreams is about your health, make an inventory of your physical status. Record your weight and height and see if you're BMI is ok. You can use the BMI calculator app.
Screenshot of BMI Calculator
Image credit: @artbytes via Bitlanders
Better yet if you are above 40, have blood chemistry checked.
From here you will know if you need to improve your health or maintain it.
One thing that I am trying to point out above is, your dreams and goals should be balanced. Don't just dream for material wealth but you should also include in your dreams your family, your health, your social life, etc...
Identify Your strength
Find Your Strength
Image Credit: NeuPaddy Via Pixabay
Obviously, I am not just talking about your physical strength. Strength could mean your skills, your talent, your intellect, and of course, it could also mean your physical strength.
Make a list of what you are good at and what you love to do.
- Do you love to write?
- Is photography your hobby?
- Are you good at drawing or creating designs?
- Do you love programming?
- What sport or sports do you play?
- Are you a music lover?
Assess yourself. What is it you do that you are good at? You don't need to be the best in that field but that is your strength.
At first, you may have a lot on your list, but you can shorten your list by asking yourself these questions:
- Which of these do you love to do most?
- Which of these can you earn from?
- Can I help others with this skill, in one way or another?
What remains in your list are your "strengths" in which you can possibly use to achieve your dreams. Or by developing a certain skill could even be one of your dreams.
Image Credit: Diwou via Pixabay
To show you an example let share with you some of the strengths and how I narrowed it down.
- I love to draw ever since I was a kid
- Playing chess is one of my favorite pass time activity.
- I have many years of training in Aikido.
- Designing, installing and troubleshooting network systems has been my main job for the past decade.
- I am a self-trained web developer with knowledge in WordPress, PHP, SQL, XML, etc…
- Writing has become my new passion lately.
- I have earned my Financial Advisor license.
- I love to tinker with new gadgets and apps.
- Being a teacher gives me satisfaction as well.
Ok, as I was writing this, it felt like I am writing my resume. You could do it that way as well.
Now the next step is to narrow the list down by asking yourself the questions above.
- First and foremost, I love to draw and I love to make graphic designs.
- These days I am earning more from my writing
- I really love to help others by teaching them how to handle their personal finances.
- I aim to earn my third-degree black belt in Aikido in 5 years, so I can open my own dojo.
From nine, I narrowed my list to four. Others are secondary and could be used to complement these four. I can start with these.
What do you have right now?
What are the tools that you hae right now?
Image credit: @artbytes via bitlanders
The next step is to make an inventory of the existing tools and equipment that you currently have. Since my work and the skills that I have requires some gadgets here is my list:
- Huawei Smartphone with 8MP camera
- 10.1" Modoex Tablet
- Samsung Digital Camera (repair needed)
- Internet Connection (needs upgrade)
These are the things that I have right now. The next question is, "Are they enough? Or you could do better with upgraded equipment".
In a situation like this, upgrading my equipment becomes my minor goals or short-term goals.
Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
Acknoweldge Your Weakness
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It is not enough to know your weaknesses. You must acknowledge and accept them. Write down your weaknesses.
For me here are my major weaknesses.
- I'm not good at marketing or selling.
- I have an unexplained fear of failing.
- Talking and socialization is something that I don't like to do.
- I have manana habit.
- I lack self confidence.
These are my major weaknesses. Now, it's your turn. List down your own weaknesses.
What are the possible obstacles
What are the possible obstacles?
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What are the obstacles or hindrances that block you from reaching your goals? Are your current inventory of tools good enough? Sadly, there will be some people who are close to us that becomes the obstacles.
Personally, the weaknesses that I have listed are of course some of my major obstacles. Although my current equipment is good enough for me to make a few bucks a day, they have limitations. Thus their low specifications are part of my obstacles
Identify the skills that you can and need to develop. (Overcoming weaknesses)
Learn something new
Image credit: Geralt via Pixabay
Often times, we were told to focus on our strengths and not on our weaknesses. I wish it's easy as that to become successful. However, there are times that we need to face our weaknesses. Then we have to find ways to overcome those weaknesses.
For example, I mentioned above that one of my greatest weakness is marketing. I don't know how to sell. However, as a financial advisor, as a graphic artist, I need to tell people about what I can offer. I need to learn and develop my marketing skills and sell my services.
To do so, I have to:
- Be more sociable;
- Find a mentor on marketing and selling;
- Read books or ebooks;
- Watch tutorial videos;
Bottom line is, sometimes, in order to overcome our weaknesses we need to learn new skills. It might even be possible that your weakness could become your greatest strength.
Here's a nice video with a few tips on how to turn your weakness into your strength
video credit: Julius Ancheta via YouTube
To Wrap Things Up
In "Can you imagine your life twenty years from now?" We wrote down our dreams.
Then in "Turn your dreams into goals." We added more details like the price and when we want to achieve our dreams
This time, we assessed ourselves. What do we have? What are our strengths and weaknesses?
'Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?"
- Luke 14:31
We may not be literally going to war, but before we could start working on achieving our dreams, it pays to be prepared. And in order to prepare ourselves, we need to assess ourselves first.
- What are our strengths?
- What do we have?
- What are our weaknesses?
- What do we need to learn or develop?
Thanks for reading.
Next: Create Smaller goals