Dream and Achieve: Discover and Express Your Passion in Your Lifetime by ‘Dream Driver’ Kola Olutimehin is the perfect read to kick off 2022 with a bang, offering an instructional and motivational guide to reaching your true destiny.
By Gwyneth Rees
We all come into this world with dreams and ambitions that we would dearly like to achieve, to bring satisfaction and validation to our lives.
Yet, despite this, it seems that for the majority those sought-after goals remain just that, never transitioning from the mind to reality.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way, as inspirational self-help guide Dream and Achieve: Discover and Express Your Passion in Your Lifetime is here to remind us.
Written by coach, public speaker and “Dream Driver” Kola Olutimehin, this book is the perfect read to kick off 2022, motivating readers to doggedly pursue their desires and discover their purpose in life.
And, in short, those dreams could be anything, for the same guidance and structure that Kola sets out so clearly in Dream and Achieve can be applied equally whatever your age, background or ambition. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a seasoned professional, student or housewife, you will find that the same mental framework is the essential element that turns aspirations into actualities.
In fact, the only prerequisite is to have a dream in the first place, or the enthusiasm to discover one. This is a central point for the author, who observes that having a dream brings meaning to life. At the start of the book, in the section titled ‘Any Dream Will Do’, he states:
I believe that everyone ought to have a dream, together with the intentions and plans to take relevant action steps towards the attainment of that dream. A dream elongates your life and gives you mastery over death, because death, which is a wicked angelic being, recognises and respects the practical dreamer!
When you lose your dreams, you risk death, not only physically but mentally as well! In my study of great achievers, I have discovered that when some of them gave up hoping after the attainment of their dreams, they soon died. They no longer had a dream to look forward to and live for.
However, as the above passages indicate, having a dream is nice but useless unless you also have a robust plan already in place to attain it.
In addition, you will also need to develop resilience because, as Kola makes clear—speaking as much from his own experience as wider insights—any journey to success is going to be paved with obstacles along the way.
You must be ready to tackle issues head on, learn from them, and be mentally equipped to dig deep in pursuit of your destination, banishing any hint of a quitter’s mentality. In other words, and as more eloquently put by the great inventor Henry Ford—one of the author’s personal heroes—“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”.
This, to me, is a key appeal of Dream and Achieve. It praises and encourages the daring to achieve your goals but at no point sugarcoats things. You must seek your dreams with your eyes open.
This key message is reinforced throughout the book. Don’t abandon your dreams but, instead, have the courage to turn them into reality, being ready to get right up again when challenges knock you down.
The book is divided into seven easy-to-digest chapters that take the reader from finding and defining their dream to putting together the winning formula that will see them come true.
Powering this whole process is Kola’s unique and supremely practical set of guiding principles: the Empowered Thought Pillars (ETPs).
Introduced in the second chapter, ‘A Winning Formula That Never Fails’, the ETPs consist of four key ethical pillars of thought that must be considered by every “practical dreamer”.
These comprise ‘giving back’ (to your community), ‘having a heart of kindness’ (towards those less fortunate), ‘using fair conduct’ (only becoming involved in projects that benefit everyone within that project), and providing a ‘beneficial service’ (where the customer benefits).
Addressing each of these pillars, the author advises, will help transform your thought processes and empower your actions, helping focus the individual on lifting up others as they pursue their own goal.
At the same time, the practical dreamer must be wary of negative habits that could easily derail their plans, including greed, fear, and a lack of commitment to continued education.
Throughout the book, Kola highlights the common problems we face on the way to reaching our dreams, so we can avoid or conquer them as soon as they emerge.
He discusses, for instance, how dreams—which are not just fantasies, but the “seedlings of reality”—are so often wrongly knocked out of children by their well-meaning parents, and require intervention later on in life to resurrect them.
He warns, too, of the things that can stunt our vision for success attainment, such as fatigue, short-term thinking, narrow-mindedness, and fear of ridicule.
What comes out most here is that it is often the case that the biggest hurdle to realising our dreams is us, with doubts such as the feeling of being too old, too behind others, or being too short on time dragging us down into inaction and defeat.
In answer to this, Kola shares a motto by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato: “The first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is, of all things, shameful and vile.”
You’ll find a treasure trove of inspiring quotes peppered throughout Dream and Achieve, selected by Kola for their essential truth and value.
Some of my favourites include “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new” (Albert Einstein), and Anthony Robbins’ pearl of wisdom, “Procrastination is the assassination of motivation and goals realisation”.
At the close of each chapter, the author kindly provides a handy summary, ‘Thought in Action’, so the key points can be committed to memory and drawn upon when needed.
What really makes this book stand out from others is Kola, himself. He is the ever-present mentor you’ve already wished for, being there every step of the way to instruct and encourage.
Within a few pages you fully understand that he has lived, and lived by, every single snippet of advice he shares.
For not only does Kola write honestly of his own daily practices, which include visualisations and affirmations, but he also goes so far as to credit having a dream to thank for him surviving a car crash, and with only a few scratches to show for it.
Essentially, if Kola is anything to go by then this essential guide categorically proves that dreams can come true.
In describing his own story, and his own long-term dream, Kola explains how he began following the path of self-development at the start of the millennium.
Originally from Nigeria but a resident of the UK for many years, Kola has carved out a respected, multi-faceted career as a business consultant and coach, public speaker, serial author, corporate trainer, and Dream Driver.
In fact, he refers to himself as an “info-tycoon”—someone who provides information for the betterment of humankind, while still managing to earn a living from it.
In his consultancy role, he has spoken to thousands across a range of industries about the management of change and business process efficiency to enhance bottom-line results.
And known as “getKOLA” amongst his international speaking audiences, he has provided keynote addresses at major corporate events globally, with his audience including entrepreneurs and business owners, company executives, and management and staff.
If that wasn’t enough, he is also the director of international publishing house MakeWay Publishing, and founder of MakeWay Global, an international management consultancy with clients including the African Development Bank.
It is not his link with publishing, however, that drove Kola to write Dream and Achieve. That, as he explains, came from his own journey towards success, beginning as an exercise to absorb and crystallise the teachings of other great self-help figures, such as his all-time hero, Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich.
It must, therefore, have been quite the honour for him to receive the blessing of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, with Don M. Green, executive director of the international non-profit educational institution, providing a stirring introduction.
Kola’s strong Christian faith has also been a constant source of strength. He speaks, for instance, of boosting the chances of succeeding in reaching your life’s destiny by growing your spiritual nature and being at one with your Creator.
In doing so, he says, you will be using your time wisely and developing your intellect. The author’s premise is that, with God in our lives, we are more able to pursue our dreams and goals wisely and with resilience.
Wherever you sit on the spiritual spectrum, however, you will benefit from Kola’s sage guidance, which is both instructional and a tonic to ward off those pesky self-limiting falsehoods we tend to tell ourselves. This passage, for instance, particularly resonated with me:
Believe in yourself and your capabilities to accomplish your desired goals. The lack of self-confidence and an inferiority complex keeps one bound in unbelief and results in a lack of activity. It is essential that one practices the art of believing. This means a mental and verbal rehearsal of reaffirming your belief on a particular subject or thing.
Using the well-known but effective tool of affirmations, Kola encourages us to use positive, self-reaffirming messages to tackle and extricate ourselves from mental setbacks.
Repeating simple affirmations such as “I am getting better every day”, or taking other steps such as regularly reading a statement about your dream to build self-belief and resilience, are incredibly important to the process of meeting your dreams.
The act of visualisation is likewise of vital importance in creating an intended outcome in your thought processes.
As such, Kola urges us to see success in our mind’s eye, talking about it with a firm belief and a deep personal conviction.
Fundamentally, Kola’s message is joyful and positive: taking dreams seriously and proclaiming that we must not ignore our dreams, no matter how hard they are, because pursuing a destiny is a person’s responsibility. To remain as you are is to deny who you can become.
Genuine and transformational, this is a compelling guide to turning your ambitions into reality and an invaluable resource for those who dare to achieve.
Dream and Achieve: Discover and Express Your Passion in Your Lifetime by Kola Olutimehin (MakeWay Publishing) is out now in paperback, eBook and audiobook priced at £7.50, £3.60 and £3.60 respectively. It is available from www.getkola.com, Amazon or www.makewaybooks.com.
Q&A INTERVIEW WITH DREAM DRIVER KOLA OLUTIMEHIN
We speak with Dream and Achieve author Kola Olutimehin to find out more about making your ambitions a reality, the obstacles that we must overcome to do this, and the dream that Kola has been pursuing, among many other things.
Q: Everybody has a dream, but most people never achieve it. Why is that?
A: One key reason is that they may not believe that the dream is possible. And where we have those that believe in the possibility of their dreams and dare to pursue it, they may notbe able to stay the course when disappointments and temporary defeats flood their paths. I have always said that going after one’s dreams is never a ‘stroll in the park’.
Q:What is your key piece of advice on how to tackle challenges?
A:Think through the steps you want to pursue (which may include consulting others whom you are associated with for their advice), and thenaction them. Be prepared to revise the steps if your thought-out plan does not work, so that you can take them again. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you have faced, and how did you overcome it?
A: My greatest challenge has been the financial losses that Iincurred in the UK and USA real-estate market, which took me very close to bankruptcy. In order to get moving to another phase of my life’s journey, I was able to segregate the financial debt that had resulted and got it independently managed so that I could focus my attention on charting my new path subsequently. Those were a very tough few years indeed!
Q: You are a tireless ‘Dream Driver’, helping others to realise their ambitions. What drivers you?
A: I am driven by my sense of mission. It is a part of me to see people do well in their endeavours and I will feel incomplete if theyare not pursuing their life’s call. This is what I was created for by the Almighty. Having said that, I am only interested in working with those who have proven that they are keen. I will not run after anyone; especially as there are lots of time-wasters.
Q: Tell us more about your own dream, and how it is progressing.
A: One of my dreams was community development forthe part of Africa that my parents come from. I had held onto this dream for almost 30 years before I began to set up businesses there. I have faced challenges associated with going to a new territory, but I am also seeing the development that I had dreamt of, which interestingly is happening more via others that had gone ahead of me. Whatever dreams we have must be capable of going beyond our capacities and reach. Purposeful steps are also being taken into developing my core business of consulting, training, and corporate coaching in the different countries and continents that I had envisaged.
In addition, I am still in conversations with how we can house vulnerable young children, primarily in the UK. Although I have contributed to the efforts of some that have been doing this in the UK and beyond, I am still sold to what I see myself doing in the UK. In terms of the progress, I have taken inch-by-inch steps as well as big leaps along the way.
Q: What is your favourite motivational quote, and why?
A: My favourite inspirational quote is actually one of mine, and it is,“God does not give us dreams to tease our desires, but to see whether we can dare to believe them, and thereafter pursue the aspirations with vigour. Any dream will do!”.
The reason why I have given such attention to this is that it helps one to stretch their capacities in spite of what pains we have to bear. No thought has accidentally come to anyone’s mind; it depends on the attention you pay to it and the person’s decision (measured by action steps) thereafter.
Q: The UK is going through many challenges at the moment, from the ongoing impact of Brexit to the Covid pandemic. How do you think this is affecting the nation in terms of pursuing their dreams, and what reassurance would you give to those concerned with the current state of things?
A: You know,no one ever prays for setbacks to come their way; however, we all have our share of this at different points of our life’s story. In the UK, with the relative ease that we have had with living (in comparison to other climes), people have generally coasted with life. As the saying goes, ‘Adversity (or necessity) is the mother of invention’. The lack of what one desires ought to ignite the ‘sleeping’ mental capacity of people such that it can be stretched to see what is not currently in the physical realm and so that people believe so much in its possibility that they dare to work towards it.
You will find that effects of Brexit and the Covid pandemic have caused many people to change the way they do things. Although a lot of people started from the complaining mode, it just shows how people experience some of the early phases you encounter in change. We have a mnemonic for the five phases; being ‘SARAH’, and it refers to,
Some people are in different phases of change. Now is the time for Dream Drivers to encourage people to find their inner voice and obey it. This will extricate those who are almost getting accustomed to the voice of doom and will call for a new rising with vision and purpose that ultimately drives hope.
Q: How do you think the British Government could help society become a nation of dream achievers?
A: I think the British Government can elicit the public’s contribution to problem solving. This will cause great thinkers to come to the fore and give a feeling of ownership for the country to be engrained in the brains of people. A sense of liberty comes with this, which will help people to pursue what iswithin them and rekindle hope.
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration, and why?
A: Napoleon Hill—the author of the all-time classic bookThink and Grow Rich, which was published in 1937—is a person that I relate to. He spoke many times about the relatable setbacks he encountered along the way of his pursuit. He dealt with these setbacks by refusing to listen to so-called ‘voice ofreason’ from family and friends, and his life has continued to impact people positively, long after he has left the scene. I refer to these setbacks, as the ‘Victor’s Extinguishers’ in my book, Dream and Achieve.
Q: What will readers benefit most from readingDream and Achieve?
A: An assured point will be that they will see themselves through other lenses and ignite their own capacities. More so, they will be able to relate to the stories adequately and enjoy the publication.
And, more importantly, some will take definite steps to pursue their dreams and hearts’ desires without giving in to the fears of what may or may not happen. Dream and Achieve does address issues of fear—whether it be fear of success or fear of failure. Going after one’s dreams results in unfathomable inner satisfaction and joy.