The Difference between Dreamers and Doers

So what’s the difference between dreamers and doers?

It’s an important question. I guess it’s on my mind because of that “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” movie. It’s based on a short story about a guy who leads a very ordinary life but dreams of doing extraordinary things. Does that describe a lot of people?

Doers might have more talent or opportunities than the dreamers. Sometimes that is legitimately the case, and we really can’t control where we start out. But in America, the land of opportunity, maybe we can have more of an impact over where we end up than we realize.

What stops the dreamer from being a doer? Sometimes the dreamer doesn’t want to risk failure, or look foolish, or face criticism.

Many years ago I was in college with a young woman who had an interesting method of making hard decisions. She used to ask herself, if she pursued a certain path, “What’s the best that can happen, and what’s the worst that can happen?” She said that this usually made her choice pretty clear.

Teddy Roosevelt used to say that there was a big difference between the person who would get into the arena, risking big failure for the chance at a big reward. It was far easier just to sit and watch and ridicule┬áthan it was to take a risk for the possibility of doing something grand. Of course, Richard Nixon thought the same thing, so I don’t know what you do with that exactly.

Bottom line: I am not encouraging reckless or irresponsible behavior, but I am encouraging you to not drift along in your life. Plan and prepare and when you are ready…dream big…but then do something with that dream.

It seems like I have written more stuff recently about the importance of making a difference. Maybe this is on my mind because I need to do something big.

Or maybe you do.

Happy New Year.