Isa Adney
3 min readMar 20, 2018

The 5 Things 120 People Who Had a Dream Come True Had in Common

A couple of years ago I interviewed 120 people about a dream come true in their lives. I’m writing a book about it now, and the number one question I get when people hear about it is, Did you find anything they all had in common?

And the answer is:

Why, Yes. Yes I did.

And while that will all be shared in the book I’m working on right now, along with hundreds of things you can do for your dream, I figure, why wait to share with you some of the things most everyone had in common?


Let’s go.

1. They really cared about their thing.

I say “thing” and not “dream” because it wasn’t so much the dream they cared about, however they defined it. The dream was just the thing that got them going, the fuel, the first idea. What was behind that dream was a thing. A thing they cared about so much that they just couldn’t stop pursuing it, despite all the obstacles. And boy are there obstacles.

It was usually a thing they loved to do. A thing they were obsessed with, even. They couldn’t not do this thing. Even when they’d stop, it would call them back.

2. They were willing to fail.

And not just fail over and over and over again at their thing. But they were also willing to fail at the dream itself. No one had an iron grip on their dream. Their dreams were held loosely. The sprout of an idea that is quickly tucked away so it can grow, not get choked.

They also thought about the steps and skills needed to reach their dream and decided whatever the outcome pursuing that path would be worth it.

3. They were open to stopping completely.

A lot of people “gave up” on their dream in some way or another at some point on the journey. Maybe it was for a day. Maybe it was for a couple hours. Maybe it was for years.

Either way, when they felt totally burnt out, they stopped. They recovered. They listened to see if this was still the thing to pursue. For some, this was a time to change direction to a new dream. For others, it was a time to reasses a realistic timeline. For others, the dream just called them back once more, and once they had recovered, they got back to work.

4. Their dream was not their everything.

While everyone I talked to had some obsession, some thing they really really loved to do that they pursued as some aspect of their dream, no one was obsessively or painfully making their entire life or self-worth about their dream. They understood that their self-worth was not at all wrapped up in whether they made this imaginary thing a reality. The dream got things started. It was fun. It mattered to them. But it didn’t define them. They had other things in their life (e.g. wonderful people, hobbies) to remind them that they were more than the outcome of their latest pursuit.

5. They did research.

Everyone I talked to at some point dedicated serious time to research. What form or kind of research depended on the dream and the dreamer’s learning style, but everyone did their homework. Everyone did the required learning, and they didn’t wait for it to appear. They went out and found it and then devoured it. (If this sounds good and you have no idea where to start you can sign up for my free course coming soon where you’ll learn the fastest ways to uplevel your learning via mentors!)

There were also 5 surprising things they didn’t all have in common, things we often hear about dreams that, frankly, aren’t true for everyone. Things, that, at least for me, gave me great relief and courage. You can get those 5 things delivered to your inbox by entering your email below!