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Share Your Dreams. Let People Help You.

By on January 2, 2008 – 12:01 am  16 Comments

David J. Pollay, MAPP '06, is a co-founder of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). David has an Economics degree from Yale University and has held leadership positions at Yahoo!, MasterCard, Global Payments and AIESEC. He is an Executive Coach who specializes in business relationships. He is also an author and keynote speaker known for his best-selling books, The Law of the Garbage Truck (how to navigate negativity) and The 3 Promises (how to create personal fulfillment every day). David's articles are here. For permission to reprint David's articles, please contact him.



Have you ever said something like this to yourself? “I have a dream. I want to do what I love every day. Yet, I don’t know how to get there. I am too busy. I have too many responsibilities right now. When things slow down, I’ll figure out what to do.”Most of us are affected by this thinking at some point in time. We keep our dreams locked up inside. We wait for another day.


It’s time to break this cycle of thinking. Stop limiting yourself. Let other people help you think about how to achieve your dreams. Call in their mind power.

Consider this. You’re at a party and someone says, “What are you up to?” How would you respond? Most of the time I hear people fumble through their answers. They say things like, “Not much. Business is good. Family’s good. How about you?”

Why waste time boring yourself and others with responses like these. Skip that stuff. Let other people share in your passion; ask for their ideas and advice. Most people will feel closer to you as a result. And those who show no interest in your passion are better left alone; there’s no need to spend much time with people who do not care about what matters to you.

“People who report high levels of commitment and involvement in their goals show a high level of well-being and low distress,” reported psychology researchers Jari-Erik Nurmi and Katariina Salmela-Aro in a chapter they wrote in A Life Worth Living by Mihaly and Isabella Csikszentmihalyi.

Share Your Passion

Here’s how I like to respond to the question, “What are you up to?” I say, “I’m excited about my new television program, and I’m having a lot of fun writing my weekly newspaper columns. You know, I’d love your thoughts on something.” I open myself to their feedback and give them a chance to contribute. Then I return the favor and ask them what they are focusing on. I try to engage them.

Heidi Goff, former MasterCard Division General Manager once told me, “Always come ready with your paperwork to be signed.” Her point was that you should believe in your work enough that you are ready for someone to sign on the bottom line at any time.

Goff’s advice also applies to meeting people. You should be ready to share your passion with others. People may be ready to help you right now.

Trust Yourself

You must trust yourself to know that you are committed to your dreams; you are sincere in your desire to change your life. Don’t get caught up in an inner dialogue that questions your commitment to your passion. It won’t help you to repeat, “I’m not sure if I really want to do this or not, so I better not say anything.”

You have to trust that your dreams are real. You have to trust that while you might not yet have a plan to make your dreams a reality, you will. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself.

Fernando Flores and Robert Solomon in their book Trust wrote, “The freedom provided by trust is the freedom to think for oneself and speak up with one’s ideas. It includes as its consequence (not its cost) the freedom to be questioned and criticized – and the right to be recognized and (if deserving) rewarded.”

Share Your Dreams

My Mom’s Mom used to say to us, “Don’t hide your light in a bushel basket.” My grandmother wanted us to get out and connect with people. “Let them know what you’re doing. Let them know what’s important to you.”

Share your dreams. Let people help you. Make 2008 a great year!




Nurmi, J.-E. & Salmela-Aro, K. (2006). chapter in M. Csikszentmihalyi & I. Csikszentmihalyi (Eds.) A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology (Series in Positive Psychology). Oxford University Press.

Dreamers courtesy of jurvetson


  • Andria says:

    We are all have different experiences. Through the way of sharing our thoughts we could make a great communication friendship.Thank you for your great words.

  • Chris says:

    Thanks David for such great thoughts for the start of 2008! I know I want to make meaningful progress towards my goals and dreams this year, and taking your advice will definitely help me do it. I find that some people are a little surprised at my level of honesty when in a conversation about goals and dreams. Most times my openness and willingness to engage them encourages them to open up as well. Thanks David!

  • Timothy says:

    Thanks for the encouraging passage. Will treat this as a great reminder of making 2008 a great year! Never lose our hopes and dreams!! Very true, thank you, David!

  • David J. Pollay says:

    Hi Andria,

    Happy New Year to you! You are absolutely right; we deepen our relationships when we share with others what’s important to us (and when we learn about what’s important to other people). And it’s more fun (sure, a little risky – but are dreams are worth the risk!).

    Best to you,


  • David J. Pollay says:

    Hi Chris,

    Good for you! Your confidence and friendly approach encourage others to share what is meaningful to them too. People respect people who are on a good mission in life. Have fun living every day, and going after your goals this year!

    Best to you,


  • David J. Pollay says:

    Hi Timothy,

    I love your energy! Have fun taking your good energy and investing it in your goals and dreams this year. Have fun! Thank you for your post!

    Best to you,


  • Lillian says:

    Wow David! What a wonderful article for this new year!

    Your knowledge of the human condition, and your words of wisdom have helped me in my approach to the new year. Using your suggestions, I am going to try, no, I am going to be more outgoing this year and join in conversations and ask those questions, and share my ideas. It will be a challenge. Keep writing, and many thanks David.


  • mikey says:

    Thank you David for another great article. As someone who has benefited from your help and the help of many others and someone who ,thanks to you, does what they love, I can honestly say that your article still had much to tell me. If not remind me of this priceless advice. Thanks again.

  • Melanie says:

    That’s wonderful advice. I especially love the part about trusting yourself and being open to others about your passions. It’s so true that we can spend our time talking about non-essentials, small talk that really doesn’t matter. When I ask you how you’re doing, I really want to know what’s new with you? What’s going on in your life that you love? What great steps to fulfilling your dreams are you taking? I’m fulfilling my nursing dream, slowly, but still on target! What a great feeling!!

  • Alberto says:

    Hi David
    Thanks for the article and thinking as we begin our new year. Lots going on on our lives, and a great reminder to always think, reflect, share, and engage with others about what is important to living a good life. All the best to you in 2008! Alberto

  • Hi Lillian,

    It was so great to get your post. Good for you for joining conversations, sharing what you’re doing, and asking for input. 2008 will be fun!

    Best to you,


  • Hi Mikey,

    It is great that you are doing what you love to do. The energy you get from doing what you do best infuses all of us with even more energy. Keep up all that is good in your life!

    Best to you,


  • Hi Melanie,

    It is so great that you are pursuing your nursing dream. And it is even better that you are sharing your dream with others. They will be inspired by your commitment and passion. I am very happy for you!

    Best to you,


  • Hi Alberto,

    It is so true. There is so much going on in our lives, that it is easy to forget to share what’s really important, not just “what’s happening at that moment.”

    And best to you too this year!


  • Health and beauty advice…

    There is nothing more wonderful for your looks than beauty rest. I always remember my mom and my aunts saying they need their beauty rest, but I never understood what sleep had to do with looking good. Now I know that sleep is one of the most important…

  • social development says:

    social development…

    Exactly! We need to start a group on Facebook for that….

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