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Kevin Cullen on Pursuing Your Dreams
Business transformation consultant Kevin Cullen specializes in training and developing business leaders worldwide. With more than 20 years experience, he has worked with Fortune 500 companies and other organizations to help them develop leadership skills and produce exceptional business results. A former Landmark Forum leader, trainer and facilitator, Cullen has worked directly with more than a quarter million people in the areas of personal transformation, business coaching and management and jury consulting. Currently he is a partner at King, Chapman & Broussard, a Houston-based management consulting firm, and has a private coaching practice. In this interview, Cullen explains why it is important to pursue your dream.
How do you define what a dream is?
A dream is a breakthrough goal, something outside of your current behaviors, something no one would expect you to do. Dreams are also impossibilities. A dream may look impossible, but it really could happen.
What inhibits people from pursuing their dreams?
They really don’t think it’s possible. If you don’t change your course, you will likely end up where you’re headed. So the question is, what changes the course for people? They get around others who are talking about whether it’s possible to change course. If it’s what you want to do, you’ll notice that you have friends who match your philosophy and you’ll meet people who are doing outrageous things. You’ll start to ask yourself, “If they can write a book, why can’t I?” It’s an infectious conversation.
Do you believe in synchronicity?
Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come. When someone is committed to something, everyone shows up. There’s a wave of energy around someone who is living something. It’s so alive, so seductive, that people want to be around it. You can feel someone who has good vibes. It’s like a vortex: it has a magical effect that sucks in people who want to help. There is something remarkable about people doing something great.
What makes people stop dreaming or imagining what is possible in their lives?
They don’t want to repeat mistakes of the past or look bad to other people. Dreaming is a high-stakes game for most people because they’ve been trained from an early age not to do risky things. Think about the way you were raised. How many times did you hear the word no? You were taught to believe that taking risks and making mistakes were bad. The educational system doesn’t reward people who think, just people who have the right answers. We need to change that whole structure of thinking and believing. If we get past our commitment to looking good, if we have nothing to lose, we will dream and take risks because the downside is so low, compared to the upside. Then, once we think a dream is possible, we can go about the work of pursuing it.
Can pursuing our dreams make us happier?
Satisfaction and fulfillment are simply not going to come from accumulating more stuff and more wealth. You reach a point at which you will not be any happier if you have better wine, a better car, better clothes or a jet. These things can start moving against you in the wrong direction and start to consume you. The juice of life is in the quality of your relationships—the people you love and choose to spend your time around, the difference you can make for them and they for you. If you find a way to serve others, you will be happier. Have an avenue to express your joy.
What is the belief you personally go to during times of change?
A resolution to keep my word: I said so. There’s a story about someone who wanted to pick apples from an orchard but had no way of getting over the wall that stood in his way. So he threw his hat over the wall, which forced him to find a way. I like to throw my hat over the wall.
The best thing about change is…
…leaving old beliefs behind, thinking differently and inventing. Change is an adventure.
For more information on Kevin Cullen, visit www.kcbcg.com.