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Written by Val Sopi on Friday, March 07, 2014
What was your biggest dream as a child? Below is a story about my childhood dreams and how they panned out as I grew up.
As a kid, all I knew about myself was that I was going to play in the NBA. I had played basketball since I was a little boy. Had every single issue of HOOP Magazine and knew every trick in the book. All I wanted was to make it to the NBA and I even prayed for that, constantly. I remember playing and training for up to 8 hours a day, rain or cold. Success was not a stranger either. I had made the first team in my town at the fragile age of 15, playing the point-guard position. We had just become national champions in the Junior competition and I was heading out as a High School exchange student to the US, to play a bit more basketball. Once I got there, I made the Varsity team and was the first international student to make the cut. I even ousted the substitute point guard who was a star running-back in Varsity football. I had it going for me, until I reached college and didn’t make the cut.
Up until that point I had no plan B and had to swiftly decide what direction I wanted to go. With a solid background in coding and design I chose computer science and immediately switched to graphic design because of the gender gap in computer science classes. In plain english, I wanted to enjoy the company of more female friends and the Art & Design department at Montclair State University was the best fit for that.
Have you ever stopped to think if your dreams panned out the way you envisioned them? The old Chinese saying “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it” could not ring truer in the unfolding of things below…
After getting a hang of few graphic design classes, I started freelancing. Once I graduated, I got a job at an ad-agency, ran my own design firm, joined another design firm, worked as an in-house designer, and then with an amazing twist of fate I started working at the National Basketball Association as an in-house graphic/web designer. I was part of a great team who cared about one another and was working under the direction of a kind, but just, creative director. After few weeks, I realized that my long-time dream had come true. I had made it to the NBA… but not in the right sector. Instead of playing basketball for an NBA team, I was part of another NBA team, that of the creative department.
Now if you were to ask dream gods, they would happily say that they made my dreams come true. They would be pretty mad if I were to say the opposite.
If you followed my story up to here, by now you understand that I wasn’t quite specific about my dreams. As a kid, all I said was — “I want to make it to the NBA”, which in all fairness happened to me. Now the conflict between playing or not for a basketball team, is another story.
Since then, I’ve been explicitly specific. When boldUnderline. llc was operating as a consultancy, I drove clients nuts in trying to get specific about the outcome of a project. There was no stone left unturned on the initial stages of the project. This helped us have an almost flawless success rate, which obviously is a great achievement.
Being specific is the difference between having a drink and having a Balvenie. A drink could be anything from a highly-salted Turkish yogurt all the way to a Guinness.
This specific life lesson leads me to one thing only, and that is to share with you the power of being specific. Dreams and wishes do come true. This is not some fairy-tale take on things. It has to do with the energy you put out and how that energy drives you to accomplish certain things that lead you to that dream. The first step in realizing your dream is to be crystal clear in the most specific way possible, because you will get what you wish for. And believe me, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a modified version of your dream just because you weren’t clear enough. However, this is only the beginning of your journey. Hard work, talent, and luck will eventually get you there. But, you already know all that.
I’m no expert, but I learned the hard way what it means to ask for a beer and get an Amstel Light.
Please, pardon all my alcoholic references. The Balvenie is a stellar choice though, if you’re into whisky, that is.
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