The ABCs for following your dream

abc's for following your dream

How can a book on sales help you discover and act on your dream?

In my last post, I reviewed NY Times best selling author, Dan Pink’s latest work, To Sell Is Human. The central thesis of that book is that the immediacy and ubiquity of information has fundamentally shifted power from the seller in favor of the buyer. As such, the old ABCs of selling (Always Be Closing) don’t work anymore. Instead, Pink proposes a replacement acronym: Attunement, Bouyancy, and Clarity. Read my review post to understand his definitions. These new ABCs of selling can nicely be adapted to following your dream as well:

  • Attunement. We’ve been made to do stuff, which, the Bible says, “God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Our dreams lie at the intersection of the gifts we’ve been given and the world’s need that we are intended to meet. In an earlier post, Discovering Your Perfect Pitch, I liken that discovery to the resonance from a musical instrument. Gaining awareness of the activities that resonate with us, that energize us, propels us toward our dream.
  • Buoyancy. Every worthwhile pursuit encounters setbacks. Buoyancy is a measure of how well we recover from them. Those with a high degree of buoyancy possess an impregnable optimism. Setbacks that swamp another into inaction become the catalyst for creative action in those who are possibly thinkers. (Read my post Are You a Possibly Thinker? where I define possibility thinking as “the disciplined combination of optimism, creativity, and perseverance.”) By definition, a dream is outside our immediate grasp and will forever remain there without sufficient buoyancy.
  • Clarity. To succeed in sales nowadays, says Pink, the salesperson must turn their focus from providing answers to asking the right questions; to help their prospect see things more clearly. So it is with us as well when it comes to discovering and acting on our dreams. To gain clarity about our dreams, we must devote less energy on the answers, and more on positing the right questions. But that kind of cultivation, especially for ourselves, takes work. It takes mental discipline. It’s far easier to anxiously seek solutions than it is to ask ourselves the right questions. By so doing, we don’t tend to our mental culture, and it atrophies. Soon we find ourselves wondering why direction and peace is so elusive. In my post, Recreating Your Mental Culture, I offer five questions that can keep you sharp and ready to ask the right questions.

When you think about it, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that ABCs that work well to move others should work well to move ourselves. After all, if our passions can’t move us, then perhaps nothing will, for we’ve already died.

Which of these ABCs do you find most challenging?

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