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Dreams versus Goals

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

Most songwriters are dreamers. That’s part of the appeal.

It’s okay to be a dreamer, and it’s even better to make those dreams come true.

For a songwriter to have a specific goal isn’t so common.

After all, when you’re dreaming big, how can you possibly set a goal?

It seems so silly to set a goal to win a Grammy when you haven’t even gotten a major label cut yet… or maybe no cuts yet at all.

Still, having a goal is one thing that separates the songwriters who eventually “make it” from those who hang it up and go home.

My dad, Kim Williams always set specific goals for himself.

Sure he was a dreamer, but as a child his dad told him, “Son, you get a real job to pay your bills, and do your music for fun on the weekends.”

(image - Kim Williams before his burn accident)

That worked well until my dad was injured on his “real job,” working as an instrument technician at a float glass plant. Burned on over 60% of his body, he was told he would never work again.

(image - Dad hiding from the camera behind the mandolin after his burn accident)

But my dad had big dreams, and he matched those dreams with goals.

Every year, he set more and more strenuous goals for himself, and through sheer hard work and discipline, he met those goals again and again, eventually ending up in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame largely thanks to Mr. Garth Brooks, his early collaborator, and Randy Travis’s cutting his signature “Three Wooden Crosses” co-write with Doug Johnson.

(image - Garth Brooks inducting Dad Kim Williams into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame)

Without goals, a writer is just a dreamer adrift on a sea of insecurity and un-sure-ity.

But with a goal, you not only have a specific focus, you have a way of measuring how well you’re keeping up with your dreams.

Someone said that goals make the impossible seem inevitable.

So let me ask you – what is your goal for your songwriting career this year?

Take a few minutes and write it down.

It’s fine to dream big, but keep in mind, the bigger you dream, the harder you’re going to have to work to achieve what you desire.

Let your burning passion and desire be the engine that drives you to excel. Don’t settle for mediocre. You have within you the seeds of greatness.

Now is the time to decide what you want, and then to work toward that.

And BTW, if it’s a Grammy you want, be sure to tune in to the awards on CBS February 12th.

Here’s a link to the Grammy website for details and exclusive features.

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