“I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” ― W.B. Yeats
Everyone has ambitions, everyone has dreams. Some make it a point to show others what they want while others adamantly keep their desires hidden, out of the way and secret to others. But that does not mean that those of the latter group of people should be ignored. How can the ambitions of the latter group be made known, be addressed? You may want to read an earlier article where we addressed something similar, about bringing out the potential of quiet team members, for in this article we will not be focussing on the latter group, but on dreams and ambitions as a whole, and how we should approach those of others.
We often want others to consider our ambitions, our dreams. But how often do we think about others’? If theirs are in direct conflict with ours, is it not instinctual for us to want to put it down, to stop it in its tracks? Unfortunately, this is not an approach that we should use, for it only propagates animosity. Instead, what we should do is to approach that person. Talk to him, and discuss ways such that neither of you have to sacrifice your ambitions. If it requires compromise, try to make it. It is much better than ruining his plans entirely, or he ruining yours.
Of course, there may be concerns that the other person may not be trustworthy, and may backstab you even if you make compromises so that he and you can both get what you desire. These doubts are completely natural, and cannot be avoided. However, that does not mean that the other person’s dreams and ambitions should be completely disregarded for your own, nor should you draft a legally binding contract to keep him to his word.
Instead, what ought to be done is to allay such fears, by ensuring that he trusts you. This is because most of the time, backstabbing occurs due to a lack of trust. Thus, you need to find ways to assure him that you are trustworthy. Do not do things that can be misconstrued as efforts to thwart his ambitions. Likewise, you must accord him a level of trust which shows that you do not doubt what he does, even if it sometimes seems as though he is going against the agreement with each other.
If he still decides to use you as a stepping stone to fulfil his ambitions, it does not mean that revenge should be taken. For whatever he did to wrong you will eventually come back to haunt him. So to end off with just a final thought: why crush others’ dreams, even if yours has been? Mutual support, mutual understanding — these things go much farther than mutual competition in the quest to achieve your dreams and ambitions.