This morning in the shower, a question kept coming to mind and would not leave (keep in mind, I am in a drug induced state from over the counter cold medicines).
“What is the difference between a visionary and a dreamer?” my mind asked over and over again. What makes someone with a vision for the future different from someone that dreams of the future?
Looking up the words in a dictionary is not much help. The definition for visionary ranges from “someone with supernatural powers” to “one who is given to impractical ideas.” Dreamer definitions don’t seem much better in explaining a difference. They range from “someone who lives in a world of fancy and imagination” to “a habitually impractical person.” Frequently, the visionary definition includes the term dreamer and vice versa.
This is not going to be easy to sort through and come up with a good working definition for the two words. They both have very different meanings to me, but that might be just me.
Here is what I think about the two words.
A visionary is someone who sees the possibility of a better future.
A dreamer is someone who see the possibility of a better future.
A visionary is someone who is able to articulate the vision?
A dreamer is someone who is unable to articulate the dream.
A visionary is someone who can inspire others to see the vision.
A dreamer is someone without the ability to lead.
A visionary is someone who can gather a team together that believes in the vision.
A dreamer is someone who will not share because “they wouldn’t understand.”
A visionary is someone who can elicit actions from others to accomplish the vision.
A dreamer is someone without the desire to see the dream accomplished.
A visionary is someone who sees the vision from the 30,000 feet level.
A dreamer is someone without the ability to set goals and achieve actions.
A visionary is someone who realizes that to accomplish the vision, requires people.
A dreamer is someone without the ability to lead others to see the dream.
A visionary is someone who knows that actions are required to get to the vision.
A dreamer is someone who fancies themselves smarter than others, so it doesn’t matter.
A visionary is someone who understands accountability and adheres to standards.
A dreamer is someone who doesn’t want to be held accountable for not achieving the dream.
A visionary is someone who has to take action to accomplish the vision
A dreamer is someone who sees action as something that would spoil the dream.
I think the difference comes down to a word, ACTION. A visionary acts, and a dreamer dreams. A visionary does, and a dreamer does not. A visionary says it can be done, a dreamer say it is impossible. A visionary can’t wait to get up and get started, a dreamer goes back to sleep.
Which are you, a visionary or a dreamer? Which do you want to be? A new year is beginning and a fresh start can be made, if you want to put in the effort.
Visionaries are leaders and after all, that is what we are all about … leading and making a difference, so choose every day to be a visionary.