Many people dream of doing something worthwhile — succeeding in their careers or attaining the academic qualifications they have always wanted or picking up a new skill.

Achievement can also be reflected in material things like a bigger car, a bigger house or a bigger paycheck. Whatever you want starts as an idea in your head. The question is what do you have to do to turn your dream into reality.

Your journey to making your dreams come true involves the 3Ws. Remember “www” — wish for it, will it and work hard at it.

Wish for it

Author Paulo Coelho wrote in his allegorical book, The Alchemist: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Every great achievement ever made in human history started with a dream. If you want something, you need to first wish for it. It should be perfectly clear at this point that what you want must be something that is achievable. Your wish to be an opera singer is probably doomed to disappointment if you are tone-deaf and cannot sing a note.

It is possible that you may wish for something that is beyond your reach at the moment. However, if you really want it, you can come up with a game plan on how soon you can realistically achieve your goal and the amount of effort you have to put in. 

When African-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, he spoke of his vision of a world where everyone, regardless of their race, would be treated equally.

He knew his fight to end discrimination would be a work in progress. He organised and led marches for the blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labour rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into the law of the United States with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. 

Will it

Wishing for something gives you the ingredients of success but this is only part of the equation. What you have got to do as well is to will it. By “willing it”, it means that you have to start focusing on how you are going to go about making your wish come true.

Too many people stop at the wishing stage. To will something requires effort and consistency.

Abraham Lincoln wished to become the President of the United States. However, he had to lose two elections and suffer other political defeats before he managed to clinch the presidency.

When you “will it”, you are setting the stage to do what is necessary to achieve your goal. Take the cue from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu who said: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

Work for it

This is perhaps the most difficult part of your journey to getting what you want. Hard work alone may not suffice, as you need to have the right environment and knowledge to become effective. 

For example, to grow a fruit tree, you will have to know about the climate and soil it needs to thrive in. You have to also ensure that it does not succumb to plant viruses, worms or other pests. Over time, with constant care, you will be able to reap the benefits of your effort. 

Too often, people lose sight of their goal when they face short-term challenges. They become discouraged and give up. People who achieve their goals are persistent, resilient and focused. They don’t give up until they get what they want. As American writer Charles C. Noble said: “You must have long-term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures.”

In any endeavour, embrace the 3Ws, and you stand a higher chance of succeeding because you understand that your dream will not get off the ground without the will to make a start and the hard work to go the distance.