// Dream stealers, dream killers, dream builders and dream givers

To realise your true potential, you must associate with dream builders and kick dream stealers to the kerb, says productivity expert and creator of the ‘Play a bigger game’ concept, Rowdy McLean.

It is human nature to want more. More money, more fun, more love, more time, more friends, more adventure, more holidays. ‘Play a bigger game’ concept is all about testing the boundaries, becoming better, having more, achieving greater things, being a better person and doing things you have never done. To successfully play a bigger game you need to stay committed, ignore the dream stealers and never give up. Dream stealers and dream killers appear in everyone’s life – how you deal with them will determine the shape your life takes.

‘Play a bigger game’ drives you to stay committed, ignore the dream stealers and never give up. The first stage in overcoming dream stealers and dream killers is recognising who they are. By doing so, you can avoid them, block them out and make it your mission to prove them wrong, and focus instead on surrounding yourself with dream builders and dream givers.

Stop thief!

A dream stealer is someone who makes subtle suggestions that cause you to doubt yourself, give-up or not even want to try in the first place. Dream stealers have the attitude ‘that’s not a good idea’, ‘that won’t work’, ‘that will never happen’ and ‘you don’t have the will power for that’. These are the people who ask ‘why torture yourself working out, all you do is complain?’ and ‘why are you working 60-hour weeks, it’s not worth it?’ You know the dream stealers; these are the people who have never done anything, yet they’re experts on everything. They want to hold you back and stop you stepping out of the cotton wool because you might prove to be a little better than them.

It was murder

Dream killers have the ability to hugely affect your behavior. They keep pushing and pushing until they get to you and you give up. They are the people who might say to your members ‘I don’t know why you are spending all that money on a gym membership, you’ve tried it 10 times and have failed every time’ or ‘it hasn’t worked yet, it won’t work this time either’. The dream killers want to pull you back into the cotton wool so you won’t move away from them and leave them alone in their average space. Dream killers are the type of people that are terrified you might achieve more than them and do something they haven’t done.

Build it and they will come

Then there are the dream builders who know you have the ability to excel, they hold you accountable and support you: ‘I know how much you want to lose that 10 kilos, and I know you can do it this time!’ or ‘you are so deserving of that promotion, and I know how hard you are working to get it, just keep it up.’ Dream builders are the people that are going to encourage you to play a bigger game, they are going to support you when the going gets tough, and they will be there to catch you when you fall and promptly get you back up again. We all need dream builders in our lives, so when you start to play a bigger game, look out for them and dedicate more time to them.

Give and you shall receive

Then there are the dream givers. Dream givers are special individuals who inspire you to dream. They want you to reach your full potential and can see what you are capable of, even when you can’t; they keep you wanting more and they plant the seeds of dreams in you. There aren’t a lot of dream givers out there, but when you come across one you will know who they are. Dream givers are often people very close to you like your parents, siblings, partners or best friends. Dream givers are around to stay for the long term: they are not going to let you fail and they will be the helping hand you need to overcome obstacles in your life.

Take some time and really think about whom are your dream stealers, dream killers, dream builders and dream givers. Once you have identified them in your life make a conscious effort to avoid the dream stealers and killers, and surround yourself with the dream builders and givers, show thanks to them and support them in their dreams too. If we let the dream stealers rule we wouldn’t have a lot of the simple little inventions that they would have described as stupid, like the paper clip or liquid paper. Some dream stealers even thought computers would be useless: Tom Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1958 said ‘I think there is a world market for about five computers’ – how wrong he was!

If we let the dream stealers rule, the Berlin Wall would still divide Germany; John F Kennedy would never have realised his dream of putting a man on the moon; and Martin Luther King’s dream of having a black man in the White House would never have happened. If you let the dream stealers rule, you’ll never get off the path of average and onto the path of awesome and ultimately play a bigger game.

We all have dreams stealers and dream killers present in our lives, even the big achievers do. The difference is that successful people refuse to let dream stealers stop them – they just keep trying until they succeed, which is exactly what you should do.

Join Rowdy at the FILEX 2012 Business Summit, where he will be presenting:

  • Play a bigger game – What drives motivation, execution and results?

For more information on Rowdy’s session, the Business Summit and the Business Gold Pass package, see pages 9 and 16 of the printed brochure with your Summer Network magazine, or check out the fully interactive site at www.filex.com.au where you can also register for the convention or the all-inclusive Gold Pass.


Rowdy McLean
Rowdy is an expert on productivity, personal growth and achievement. He is the master of making things happen and getting things done and has achieved some remarkable things. You can find out more about Rowdy, his book and his products at his websites www.playabiggergame.com.au and www.rowdy.com.au