Herworld (Singapore) - - HOW TO BE A BETTER HUMAN BEING -

Fol­low­ing your dreams isn’t al­ways sound ad­vice: I’ll never win a Grammy (my singing is atro­cious); and you may never be an as­tro­naut. But all is not lost. If you’re re­al­is­tic, you can still reach some goals. You just have to get real.

1. Cre­ate a vi­sion board

If you’ve ever walked into a Kikki.k store, you’ll no­tice it’s full of in­spir­ing quotes, with the ma­te­ri­als you need to cre­ate a vi­sion board (the phys­i­cal Pin­ter­est of your fu­ture). In chap­ter 15 of her book Your Dream Life Starts Here, founder Kristina Karls­son writes that the act of hand­writ­ing helps with mem­ory. When you see a vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your dreams daily, you start to open your­self up to op­por­tu­ni­ties, and take ac­tions con­sciously and sub­con­sciously to make them come true.

Kristina takes the S.M.A.R.T. ap­proach to en­sure her dream is “Spe­cific, Mea­sur­able, At­tain­able, Rel­e­vant and Time-bound”. She wrote down when she wanted to open her first Kikki.k store in Lon­don, and how she was go­ing to do it.

2. Dis­cuss your dreams with oth­ers

Shar­ing your goals will make you ac­count­able and help you achieve them, writes Kristina in chap­ter 16 of her in­spir­ing book. You never know who might help, or pro­vide the kind of crit­i­cism that you need to re­flect on your ap­proach.

When she had three stores, Kristina told a jour­nal­ist that she wanted to open 40 stores in the next few years. It was nerver­ack­ing, but it made her process things and think about why she was chas­ing this goal. She thought through the risks and uncer­tainty. But af­ter the ar­ti­cle was pub­lished, she re­ceived phone calls from mall land­lords of­fer­ing deals and in­cen­tives.

3. Sur­round your­self with peo­ple you trust

Build trust and re­spect with the peo­ple around you so they can speak freely, es­pe­cially if they have dif­fer­ing views. Cyn­thia Chua, founder of Spa Es­prit Group and Won­der­scape Hold­ings, has a close group of friends to bounce ideas off. “My busi­nesses are all creative, lifestyle­fo­cused and peo­ple­cen­tric, so friends don’t need to have rel­e­vant busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore they can share a valu­able opin­ion,” she says. “Even if it runs counter to my opin­ion, I al­ways lis­ten and ask fur­ther ques­tions to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of why they think a cer­tain way.”

4. Know when to quit

Cyn­thia’s vin­tage bou­tique, Po­tion, was in busi­ness for three years be­fore it shut in 2006. “We were grow­ing and had cre­ated so many brands that I couldn’t ded­i­cate enough time to run Po­tion well,” she says. She re­alised that re­sources are fi­nite and you need a great team to make a busi­ness work.

5. Start with seven ac­tions you can han­dle

Kristina rec­om­mends short­list­ing seven ac­tion­able steps. Fo­cus­ing on what you ab­so­lutely must do will move you ahead more quickly and keep you mo­ti­vated, other­wise it only gets over­whelm­ing.

In 1996, with her idea of open­ing a Swedish sta­tionery store, Kristina opened the Yel­low Pages busi­ness di­rec­tory and con­tacted po­ten­tial sup­pli­ers. Some of the peo­ple she spoke with couldn’t re­late to her dream, but the rest booked her for meet­ings, took her around their fac­to­ries and ex­plained the var­i­ous pro­cesses of man­u­fac­ture. #Win.

6. Com­mu­ni­cate your mes­sage well

Kristina wanted to fea­ture fash­ion de­signer Stella McCart­ney in her book. She was turned down at first but, un­de­terred, Kristina sent an e-mail de­tail­ing why she felt Stella in par­tic­u­lar would be a good fit and that the book’s pur­pose was to in­spire 101 mil­lion peo­ple to chase their dreams.

She also ex­plained that she planned to do­nate $1 for every book sold to Ter­erai Trent In­ter­na­tional, a foun­da­tion run by Dr Ter­erai Trent, a woman who was born in a war-torn vil­lage in Zim­babwe and is now an ad­vo­cate for ed­u­ca­tion in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. “I just had to do a bet­ter job of com­mu­ni­cat­ing to her how shar­ing her story in my book could help change the world in a pos­i­tive way,” says Kristina.

Stella said yes. So you see, dreams can come true!

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