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Daydreamers vs. Daredevil Dreamers: How to Break the Mold and Accelerate into Action

By vts | October 31, 2017
Daydreamers vs. Daredevil Dreamers: How to Break the Mold and Accelerate into Action

Are you a daydreamer or a daredevil dreamer?

I don’t ask this question lightly. In fact, the answer to this question is what separates “doers” from the true “achievers” among us.

I was born during the heyday of Robert Craig “Bob” Knievel, Jr. – better known as “Evil.” What Evil Knievel did for youth everywhere was integrate the principles of risk-taking and excitement into our ordinary, media-deprived lives. As you can probably imagine, our parents were not thrilled (Evil suffered from more than 400 broken bones during his career, according to the Guinness Book of World Records).

While I don’t advise you soaring your motorcycle over 20 Greyhound buses to prove your leadership mettle, I do encourage that you let the spirit of daredevil dreaming into your daily approach.


Here are some differences between daydreamers and daredevil dreamers:

• A daydreamer loves to talk. A daredevil dreamer loves to act.

• A daydreamer relies on luck. A daredevil dreamer relies on discipline.

• Daydreamers like to think about the destination. Daredevil dreamers like to focus on the process.

• Daydreamers wait. Daredevil dreamers initiate.

• Daydreamers love to live within their comfort zone. Daredevil dreamers take calculated risks.

• Daydreamers become distracted. Daredevil dreamers are focused.

• A daydreamer never launches. A daredevil dreamer follows through.

• Daydreamers think about what it could be. Daredevil dreamers activate what it will be.

Get the picture? Daredevil dreamers aren’t a special breed. They live within all of us. It’s our propensity to take action that separates us from those who are simply content to watch from the sidelines.

The media once asked Evil Knievel if he realized that fans came to his live performances to watch him die. His response was indicative of his daredevil mentality: “They don’t come to watch me die, they come to watch me defy death.”


If you’re looking for a process to crystallize and activate your dreams, dive into John C. Maxwell’s 2011 book, “Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions That Will Help You See It and Seize It.”

Core concepts of the book will walk you through the process of owning and clarifying your dream, as well as putting the right passion, reality, strategy, and people around it.

The book also helps you judge your level of commitment and tenacity for the dream, guiding you through the process of assessing its value and the feasibility of achieving it. Be aware that you may have to invest in yourself or your team to make things happen. The best dreams are never free.

John always says that if you don’t have to give up something to achieve your dream, then it isn’t worth pursuing.


Daredevil dreamers take action. Here’s how:

Take Advantage of Opportunities: Daredevil dreamers have the ability and the will power to take advantage of opportunities that arise. They don’t just think about their dreams. For them, the dream is actually only part of the process.

Execute the Outcomes: Daydreamers often keep their dreams in isolation. In their minds, everything works out perfectly. The crowd cheers wildly after every presentation. The checks flood the mailbox every day. This is not realistic. This is a self-fulling approach that holds no values for others. Daredevil dreamers know the dream is not for them. It’s for those they can impact.

Develop a Process: Daredevil dreamers know that today matters. Their actions are designed to support the dream and they are flexible enough to know when to change course while keeping the dream in motion.


Everything good in life is laced with problems, risk, and the potential for failure. The late Evil Knievel would likely agree.

In 1974, he failed an attempted canyon jump across Snake River Canyon on a steam-powered rocket. On multiple other occasions, he fell hard and ended up in the emergency room. But he didn’t stop.

I’m here to tell you there will be failure. There will be broken bones.

Will your dreams survive?

Mark Cole is CEO of The John Maxwell Company, EQUIP, The John Maxwell Team and The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation. The enterprise’s fully custom offerings are built on the timeless principles of John C. Maxwell, a #1 New York Times best-selling author, coach and speaker who has sold more than 28 million books in 50 languages.

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