What’s your dream?


Do you know how Martin Luther King jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Lionel Messi achieved world-class performance in their respective areas?

This post reveals the first principle of world-class performance and helps you apply this principle in your own life.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”(Martin Luther King jr.)

This post is part of RethinkingTruth’s Performance Series. and it reveals the first principle of world-class performance:

Have a dream.

In the first part of this post you’ll learn the importance of knowing, believing and loving your dream.

In the second part of this post you’ll learn how to find your own dream.

Part I: The importance of knowing, believing and loving your dream

1. Know your dream

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” (Walt Disney)

Knowing your dream gives you direction.

For example, once you know that your dream is to sail from Bergen to Sydney as fast as possible, your brain will start working towards achieving that dream.


Well, one of the things the brain will do is to direct your focus.

Suddenly you’ll start noticing articles, books and TV-programs about Sydney everywhere. Then, you’ll learn that several people you know have already been to Sydney.

This is your brain working for you.

The topic of directing your brain is a big one and we’ll return to it in Principle #4 of the world-class performance Series. For now, all you need to know is this:

Knowing what your dream is, is very, very powerful. Visualise your dream, feel it, hear it and even smell and taste it if possible! Help your brain help you.

Knowing your dream is crucial, however there’s another part of world-class performance that’s just as important.

2. Believe in your dream

In order to pursue your dream you need to believe you can make it happen.


No-one who ever achieved world-class performance started out with all the answers!


Do you think NASA knew exactly how to put a man on the moon in 1960?

Absolutely not.

But, did they believe they could make it happen?

Oh yes!

Do you think Mahatma Gandhi knew exactly what he needed to do when he decided to liberate India?

Not a chance.

But did he believe he could do it?


Like outlined in RethinkingTruth’s post of posts, The Four Most Important Things In Life, the core of believing is having a positive self-view.

gandhi3In the context of world-class performance having a positive self-view means that you believe you can make your dream happen:

  • Even though you’ve never done it before
  • Even though you don’t currently have all the answers
  • Even though everyone else are telling you “you can’t”

To achieve world-class performance you need to believe.


Because believing you can do something enables you to perform.

Here’s are some examples of the many resources that will be fully available to you only if you strongly believe you can achieve your dream:

  • Attention, focus & concentration
  • Reflection
  • Intelligence
  • Imagination & creativity
  • Strength & endurance

As if this wasn’t enough, believing gives you emotional strength:

  • Instead of fear you’ll feel hope
  • Instead of doubt you’ll feel confidence
  • Instead of stress you’ll feel peace

The impact of believing is enormous.

But, believing you can achieve your dream isn’t enough.

You need action too.

This brings us to the last and arguably most important component of world-class performance Principle #1.

3. Love your dream

 “First of all you’ve got to love the game.’ How much? ‘Well … from the age of three I played every day: every morning, afternoon and night. Inside the house, too. I’d break things. My mum would go mad …” (Lionel Messi).

Knowing what your dream is will provide you with direction.

Believing you can achieve your dream will give you access to incredible resources of your mind & body.

But, just like a sailboat will never reach Sydney without wind, neither will you reach your dream if you don’t love it.

Steve Jobs famously said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

I couldn’t agree more.


Because loving your dream is what will make you act and keep you going. If you don’t love your dream, you simply won’t bother spending your time pursuing it.

Loving your dream is the single most important part of world-class performance and it fuels all other performance principles.

So, before dedicating your life to a dream, make sure you love it.

Take the road to Self-Awareness to find a dream you love

The more self-aware you are the easier it is to find a dream that you love.

The reason for this is that the clearer you understand your life-direction, your purpose, values and dreams that is, the easier it is to see how well your dream fits with how you want to live your life.

To broaden your thinking around life-direction I recommend this article on “The four most important things in life”.

Then, to increase your self-awareness, get 2-4 hours of alone time and reflect, preferably outside in a quiet park or something, on the following three life-direction questions:

  1. What’s a meaningful way to describe why I’m alive and here at planet Earth? (purpose)
  2. By what core principles do I want to live? (values)
  3. What are the things I really want to become true in my life (dreams)?

This will get you started.

But, can you love a dream without knowing anything about your life-direction?


For example, think about the above Lionel Messi quote (“First of all you’ve got to love the game…”).


Messi, the world’s best footballer, definitely didn’t have his life-purpose and values mapped out at the age of three!

He simply loved the feeling of playing football.

So, regardless of whether or not you know your life-purpose and values, I recommend that you check how much you love your dream.

Here’s how:

  • How does the thought of achieving your dream make you feel, on a scale of 1 (terrible) -10 (great)?
  • How does the thought of you not achieving your dream make you feel, on a scale of 1 (great) -10 (terrible)?
  • How important does this dream feel to you, on a scale of 1 (unimportant) – 10 (extremely important)?

Loving your dream means your total score will be in the 24-30 area (this is an approximation of course).

If you don’t currently have a dream you love, don’t worry. It’s easy enough to find one. If you already love your dream that’s great!

Now, we’ve covered a lot of ground together in this post. Let’s finish in style!

What specifically can you do today to make sure you know, believe and love your dream?

Part II: How to find your own dream


If you don’t have a dream I encourage you to do the following:

  • Go for a 30-minute walk in nature or in some relaxing environment close to where you live. Bring your phone or a piece of paper so that you can make notes
  • Ask yourself:
  • “How do I want to spend my time?”
  • “What would love to experience in my life?”
  • When you come back, summarise your thoughts and decide when you will go for your next walk

You’re now on your way towards finding your dream.

Simple, right?

If you do have a dream I encourage you to do the following:

  • Go for a 30-minute walk in nature or in some relaxing environment close to where you live. Bring your phone or a piece of paper so that you can make notes
  • Ask yourself:
  • “How clearly do I understand what my dream is, what it is that I want to achieve?”
  • “How deeply do I believe that I can achieve my dream?”
  • “How deeply do I love my dream?”
  • When you come back, summarise your thoughts and decide when you will go for your next walk

You’ve now started the process of making sure you’re pursuing the right dream.

Pretty easy, right?

Well that’s it! Now you know the core principle of world-class performance and how to apply this principle to your own life.

Next up is world-class performance Principle #2: Spend your time wisely.

It’s something to look forward too!

Now I want to hear from you

What’s your dream? How deeply do you believe that you will achieve your dream? And how much to you love your dream?



I’ve borrowed the pictures in this post from the following sources: Mr. King, Earth & moon, Gandhi, Messi, What’s your dream. Thank you.

20 thoughts on “What’s your dream?

  1. Marlena

    This was a very inspirational story that you wrote. Thank you for enlightening me, and opening up my mind to goals that I was afraid to let myself dream of. I have been putting off going to school to be a registered dietitian because of the heavy Chemistry courses it entails. Nutrition has been my one dear passion since I was 5.—> “Mommy, are potato chips healthy?”
    In fact, I have just called the university’s administrative office.
    Thank you, Bjarte!

    1. Bjarte Bakke

      Marlena, thank you so much for sharing! It’s 06:50 here in Norway, I just woke up and your comment put a big smile on my face :-)

      You’re fortunate to both know and love your dream Marlena. Believe too and you’ll not just do fine, you’ll do great :-)

  2. Tony Nguyen

    Hi Bjarte Bakke. thank for your advice about turning the dreams come true. I know that it is so difficult to get my dream into a reality. however, after reading your article, I have new ideas to plan for my life. Hope to read more helpful information from you. have a nice day!

  3. peter

    On point, straightforward powerful nuggets of wisdom. The article made me to rethink my dream.Blessings. Love.

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    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this amazing site needs a lot more
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  8. Utahaussie

    Thanks for this. I’m at a crossroads in mid life, trying to decide which country to live in. You’ve brought me much closer to a decision. Great, simple insights

  9. RH

    I am 30 years old. I still don’t know what do I wanna do with my life and what I want to become. Living life without a definite goal makes life uneasy. Right now I am doing Post doctorate research, not because I love it (its boring), but I have nothing to do and this job gives me enough money to rent a place, play insurance bills and buy groceries to make home cook meal.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      RH, you are not alone, few people know what they want those who do often don’t realize their desires may be wrong due to condition.

      I think a healthy approach to life is wanting feel good, be good and do good. If you focus on those three I think life can become totally awesome!

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