A Vision a Dream or a Goal – How are they Different?

Visions, dreams and goals aren’t limited by specific definitions.  You may regard a vision as a shared idea…

Visions, dreams and goals aren’t limited by specific definitions.  You may regard a vision as a shared idea by a team, a community or even a nation that’s looking ahead to a promising and hopeful future.  A vision doesn’t depend on the current situation. Instead, it’s a set of objectives or a series of ideas that people aspire to achieve.

Dreams are just that: fleeting ideas and images that pass through your mind while you’re asleep.  They may contain inspiration, unexpressed emotions, thoughts and sounds, and they may be pleasant or terrifying.

Goals are more specific than visions or dreams.  They are clearly defined objectives that a person, group of people or a nation wants to achieve within a specific length of time.


Creating A Vision

When you set out to create a vision, the key is to start with strategic planning.  Strong positive ideas and inspiration are the keystones upon which the entire enterprise rests.  The current situation may be difficult and stressful, or business may be bad, but successful leaders rely on their mission statements for guidance during difficult times; they know a mission statement was designed with confidence to take them into the future.

It’s just as important to rely on your mission statement to maintain your vision during good times.  This helps you visualize the long term sustainability of your enterprise. This is the time to think “outside the box” and experiment with ideas that will move you closer to achieving your vision.

Dreams are the product of your resting mind. There are several theories and hypotheses about where dreams come from:  the continual-activation theory, the excitation of long-term memory, and psychosomatic theory.

Good planning and an analysis of the current situation are crucial while a team is deciding on its goals. Goals can be short term or long term, but either way the goal statement needs to be specific, measurable, targeted and scheduled.  When you’re preparing a goal statement, you need to have a clearly defined set of available resources.


Why Create A Vision?

It’s imperative to have a vision when your team needs to accomplish short-term tasks and results.  Having a vision lets the team look beyond the frustration of short term failures, and keeps the team enthusiastic and working toward a better future.  Whether you’re talking about an organization, a nation or a movement, having a vision is one of the strongest factors that can bind a team together.

Dreams may be a reflection of our unsatisfied desires and wishes. They comprise a wide range of emotions including joy, laughter, pain and fear.  A person’s dreaming pattern can help with the detection of several medical disorders. For example, the absence of pure black and white images in dream is a prime symptom of synesthesia.

Through goal setting, people strive to achieve something specific in the future.  Goals help people create a future they like and they want to live in.


The Value of Vision

Visions, dreams and goals have been crucial in transforming our global civilization at different times and in different ways.  Martin Luther King had a vision of the United States where nobody is discriminated against on the basis of skin color. Goals related to the eradication of infectious diseases have made most of the world free from polio, chicken pox and small pox. The visions of leaders have helped shape nations.


Compare and Contrast:

  • Whether you have a dream, a vision or a goal, the road to your destination never is smooth; there are going to be challenges along the way
  • Both goals and visions demand consistent efforts and patience, and transformation of short term results to sustainable ones
  • It takes a lot of effort to turn achievable dreams into reality.

Dreams, goals and visions add definite purpose to group efforts.  They help focus the collective efforts of any group on where that group is going.  Capitalize on your strengths and emphasize the importance of mending weaknesses; both of these can help you bring your dreams, visions and goals to reality


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