The First Truth

I have had many Dream Managers in my life. Parents and teachers, mentors and coaches, employers and colleagues, friends, and even the occasional stranger have all played the role to greater or lesser extents. Each of these people made considerable contributions to my journey, helped me along the way, and challenged me to explore the uncharted territory of my hopes and aspirations. Though, reflecting upon it all now, there is one who stands out. My first Dream Manager, in a more structured sense, was my brother Simon.

Simon is a financial planner, but in reality he is so much more than that. I have seven brothers and Simon is thirteen years my senior. When I was in my early teens, Simon would often take me out to a football game, to a movie, or for lunch. He took an interest in who I was and who I wanted to become. It was during our little outings that I remember first formulating any real and concrete plans for the attainment of my dreams. He taught me that dreams often have a financial component. He taught me the compounding power of saving and investing. When I got my first job at twelve, delivering medications to the elderly for a local drugstore, both Simon and my father immediately encouraged me to embrace the discipline of saving. Simon also taught me that many dreams worth pursuing don't cost anything at all, and in this he taught me to value the simple and intangible things in life.

A decade later, as the Dream Manager concept began to take shape, I immediately recognized it as the evolution of something I had not only seen, but had experienced many years earlier.

If you look back on your life, I suspect you will also discover a variety of people — parents, grandparents, coaches, mentors, friends, employers, colleagues, supervisors, teachers, pastors, and others — who, to varying extents, have played the role of Dream Manager. More than likely, it occurred in a more organic and less formal way than the scheduled monthly meetings and the careful planning and documenting of specific dreams. Nonetheless, these people who took an interest in you and your aspirations no doubt had an enormous impact on your life.

Life seems to spontaneously supply these figures who challenge and encourage us in the direction of our dreams. “I can manage my own dreams!” many people exclaim. To a certain extent this is true, but we all need someone who can hold us accountable. Most of us can develop a plan for ourselves; it is the accountability that we struggle with. This accountability is absolutely critical to the process because we have an incredible ability to deceive ourselves with all manner of excuses and self-justifications.

We all need a Dream Manager. This is the first truth.

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