From Frustrated to Fulfilled: Five Keys to Living Your Dreams


I don’t believe God gives me a dream to frustrate me. He gives me a dream to be fulfilled. – John Maxwell

It started like so many evenings. Mom and Dad at home and Jimmy playing after dinner. Mom and Dad were absorbed with jobs and did not notice the time. It was a full moon and some of the light seeped through the windows. Then Mom glanced at the clock. “Jimmy, it’s time to go to bed. Go up now and I’ll come and settle you later.”

Unlike usual, Jimmy went straight upstairs to his room. An hour or so later his mother came up to check if all was well, and to her astonishment found that her son was staring quietly out of his window at the moonlit scenery. “What are you doing, Jimmy?” “I’m looking at the moon, Mommy.” “Well, it’s time to go to bed now.” As one reluctant boy settled down, he said, “Mommy, you know one day I’m going to walk on the moon.”

Who could have known that the boy in whom the dream was planted that night would survive a near fatal motorbike crash which broke almost every bone in his body, and would bring to fruition this dream 32 years later when James Irwin stepped on the moon’s surface, just one of the 12 representatives of the human race to have done so?

The story of James Irving should give each of us pause to think not just about the size of our dreams but also in finding our greater purpose while here on this earth. Yet how many times have you or someone you know given up on their dream out of frustration?

I am a firm believer that in your journey as a leader you can live a life of fulfillment. The good news is that it has nothing to do with your title, position, income, or station in life. How does one go from living a frustrated life to a life of fulfillment? Here are a few proven ways.

The shift from looking inward to looking outward

So long as your focus as a leader is inward (only about your needs, wants and desires) your life as a leader will be characterized by frustration and unfulfilled dreams. It’s as you get your eyes off yourself and take up the mantle of servant leadership that you will begin to experience a life of fulfillment. When you live your life for others and causes greater than yourself then fulfillment will take on a whole new meaning for you.

The shift from taking to giving

Similar in thought to the first shift, this one takes it a step further. Moving from frustration to fulfillment especially for new leaders can be slow and pain-staking. It’s a shift away from ‘what’s in it for me’ to a life focused on others. When you commit yourself to a life of generosity and helping others see their dreams fulfilled your life takes on a whole new meaning. Instead of an attitude of ‘what can you do for me’ make the shift to ‘how can I help you” and see the difference it makes. 

The shift from mediocrity to excellence

The sooner you make this shift as a leader the better. We all know people in our organizations who are content to only do what it takes to get by. And then they wonder why they are so frustrated (and frustrating). As a leader with big dreams and a desire to live a fulfilled life it will only begin to take shape when you make the move from mediocrity to excellence. It will require more from you and it will stretch you at times to do what you previously thought you couldn’t. But you can’t go from dreaming of walking on the moon one day as boy to actually walking on the moon as a man unless you are willing to pay the price. A big dream without the work to get there is only a wish.

The shift from success to significance

Your life of fulfillment is realized when you make the transition from being success minded to significance minded. The blessing of success is being able to live a life of significance. The truth is, you can’t give what you don’t have. Be it in the form of monetary contributions or the donation of your time to mentor a young leader, etc., your fulfillment is realized in tangible ways when you can give back.

The shift from ‘one day’ to today

The dreams, goals, and the desires of your heart can either frustrate you or motivate you. Are you ready to live a life of fulfilment? Begin today. Begin today by focusing on others. Begin today by changing your attitude. Begin today by adding value to those around you. Your ‘one day’ begins now. What are you going to do today?


© 2016 Doug Dickerson


Recommended Reading:

  1. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  2. Halftime by Bob Buford
  3. Intentional Living by John Maxwell
  4. Simplify by Bill Hybles

About dougdickerson

I am Certified Leadership Trainer, author, columnist, and speaker. Husband to Alicia, father to Katelyn and Kara, and "Pop" to terrific grandson Tyson. I am an avid photographer, love the outdoors, and like to travel. I'm passionate about sharing my leadership insights and helping people reach their full potential.
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One Response to From Frustrated to Fulfilled: Five Keys to Living Your Dreams

  1. Zachary Hicks says:

    What a great post Doug! God bless.


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