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The following is an excerpt from the book The Maui Millionaires
by David Finkel, Diane Kennedy, CPA
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; October 2006;$24.95US/$29.99CAN; 0-470-04537-X
Copyright © 2007 David Finkel and Diane Kennedy

Chapter 9
The 25 Keys to Dreaming Big

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.

Everything happens because of a dream. If you're not living your dream, you're living someone else's dream.

Look at a normal life for the average person today. You get up earlier than you really want to because the alarm goes off. Rush through a work-out (or wish you had time for one) and go to a job that occupies most of your working time. The dreams of your childhood are long past. Now, it's about working, providing for a family, and maybe, someday, you'll have some time for you. 

If you're working for someone else, chances are you're working on someone else's dream. Now here's the amazing part. The owner of the company might never have purposely chosen the course of his business, so it's not even his dream. His mother always had the dream that someday her son would own his own business or his high school math teacher told him he was gifted in math and needed to do something in that field. He might have married someone his family told him he should marry (through spoken or unspoken comments and actions), lived in a city and neighborhood where someone else thought he should live and work. It's a life of chance and passive coincidence. No wonder we go through midlife crises! It's our subconscious waking up and saying, Hey wait a minute! What happened to those great dreams we had once upon a time?

Some people decide to start their own business in hopes that this is the way to personal freedom. The entrepreneurial spasm lasts long enough to quit a job and start working for their own business. But, for most people, they run their own business exactly the way they used to work a job. The difference is that instead of just one boss, they now have a whole lot of bosses to keep happy. We call them customers or clients. The business owner still has no control and still isn't following her deepest, most precious dreams.

Ask yourself: If you have your own business, is it run exactly the way you want it to? If you work for someone else, are you living your highest purpose? Are you achieving what you wanted in your life right now?

A big part to being a Maui Millionaire is purposely choosing the life you want to lead. Then it's a matter of setting the game up so you get exactly what you want. If you don't choose where you're going, you'll never get there. The dream is the beginning. It's the seed and spark that grows into a life of abundance and wealth.

Rediscover Your Dreams

As a child, we had dreams. They were in the language of children because we were children. Then we put aside many of those childish dreams and "grew up." Of course, growing up meant that we followed what the adults around us said being a grown up was. We gave up on the big dreams.

Instead, we started substituting goals for dreams. If you were raised in a typical American household, those goals had to do with success and money. They focused on the outer achievements, not on inner values and dreams. It's pretty ironic that with the primary focus on those kind of achievements, more and more people find their wealth slipping away. Could it be that there is something fundamentally off with how the average person thinks about the future? Of course! And in this section of the book you'll learn how to tap back into your real passion and purpose in life as you clarify your big dreams.

The big dreams of a Maui Millionaire are not always brand new dreams. You're not reinventing dreams. You're rediscovering the dreams of your childhood. Now, though, you're doing it with the years of experience and education that allow you to use the language of adults, with the heart and faith of a child.

Dream No Small Dreams

If you're committed to going out there and pursuing a dream, make sure the dream is worthy of your time and attention. Seek the game worth playing. If your current life doesn't have a dream big enough to risk the game, then find one that does. Find a dream so juicy, so appealing, and so powerful that it compels you to work to reach it. It calls to you, sings to you, sinks its hooks into you and won't let you go. What's a dream that is so powerful that you will live part of your life for it?

In the next few chapters, we're going to look at how to rediscover the dreams you've had and then supersize them in Maui fashion to create something even bigger and bolder. We believe that you were born to do something great, and now it's time to rediscover exactly what that greatness is!

Dream Big!

Corporations pay thousands of dollars to work on articulating their company vision. The corporate vision generally isn't just about making money. It's about the deeper reasons why the business exists and the powerful passions that fuel the organization.

The same is true for us. You have a personal vision as well. Sadly most of us don't bother to take the time and energy necessary to articulate our own vision -- the dreams that make everything we do worthwhile. Without a dream to pursue, our spirit wilts and our soul shrinks.

Your big dream is your personal vision that taps into the passion you have in your life. Passion is the energy of your heart. It drives you to perform at the highest possible level. It gives you the fuel to keep going when others around you quit. Passion dares you to ask more, to do more, to be more. Passion allows you to make mistakes, get knocked down, and get up for another round. Passion is the limitless energy that allows you to achieve extraordinary results. It's the juice that makes life so sweet.  

What is so important to you that you would invest part of your life going after it without any direct reward or compensation, just because you felt so powerfully moved by that dream? That's a first step in determining the dreams that aren't just merely financial. If your most compelling desire right now is to create a certain amount of money or passive cash flow, ask yourself -- why? Imagine you have all the money and financial success you've ever wanted, then what? When you achieve that level of wealth, what are you going to do with the money? Who is the person you dream of being? That's how you can tap into the most compelling aspect to those dreams.

Three Ways to Re-Discover Your Dreams

Sometimes finding out what our dreams actually are can be the hardest part. Here are some ideas to jump start the process.

Technique One: Do a dream download. Consider who would you love to be . . . what would you love to do . . . to have. That's your passion. Think about what you are good at. That's your talent. Reflect on what's most important to you. Those are your values. Now, what were you born to do? That's your destiny.

Take a blank piece of paper and put it in front of you. Set a timer or ask someone to time you for 10 minutes. Pick up a pen (not a pencil!) and write. You might make a list of dreams. Or you might describe your dream life. Or, perhaps you just answer the questions above. Whatever it is, keep writing. Don't stop until the timer stops.

Technique Two: Make a dream collage. Assemble a stack of magazines, blank poster board, a glue stick and a pair of scissors. Cut out pictures and create a poster of your dream life. Include pictures of whatever speaks to you.

Supersize your dream collage. Get a few friends together and each work on the project individually. Each person will create a collage of his or her life today on one side of the poster board. Assemble a dream collage on the other side of the poster board that will show your life five years from now.

Technique Three: Talk to your friends. Chances are your friends, family and business colleagues know things about you that you don't even know. We tend to look at ourselves through the eyes of others who have been critical of things we've done. Have you ever noticed how you remember the one bad comment you got about something you did and can't for the life of you remember the dozen good comments you received?

We're conditioned to look for the fault in ourselves. That helps us find the things we need to improve on, but it also means that we overlook the things we do well. Spend a lifetime working on your faults and you'll live a lifetime being mediocre. Instead look for those things that you have a talent for and that you are passionate about. Chances are the things you do well will unlock the secret of your dreams.

How can you find out what those dreams are? Your friends might hold the answer -- ask them. Send them a letter or e-mail and ask for their help.

Copyright © 2007 David Finkel and Diane Kennedy