To say that my husband and I are very different people makes family members snort at the understatement. We approach life very differently. He is a quality engineer who spends his time chasing down details and making sure the parts that go into products don’t fail, or worse, blow up. Or, like at his previous job, making sure helicopters don’t fall out of the sky. Minor things like that.

I, on the other hand, tend to be rather loosey-goosey and prefer to make things up as I go along. Those differences have made for some interesting moments over the years.

But as most long-married folks will tell you, if you learn to appreciate the differences and incorporate the other’s strengths, you will bring balance to each other and bring out the best in both of you.

What does all this have to do with reaching our dreams?

If we marry creative thinking with a quality engineer’s mindset, I think we’ll have a much better chance of reaching our dreams.

Make a Drawing

You can’t build a whatzit without a drawing that shows the finished product and lists the parts you need to build it.

Same with dreams. To build yours, think about what it will look like when you reach it. Write it down, or find a picture in a magazine, or draw it out. What does your “finished” dream look like?

Provide Accurate Descriptions

The guys working the factory floor will be lost of the parts list simply says, “screws,” since there are thousands of them. They need an accurate description to follow.

Initially, our dreams start out as hazy, nebulous concepts or plans. Experts say that our chances of reaching them increase tremendously if we make them concrete.

Instead of, “I’d like to try my hand at watercolors someday,’ decide, ‘I’m attending the watercolor class at the college this fall,” or, “I’m writing 1,000 words today.”

Follow the Procedures

Every project comes with work instructions, listing the necessary steps in the right order.

Take your dream and backtrack it. Start with where you want to end up, and then work backwards from there. If you want to be at point B in six months, what do you need to be doing today to get there?

By applying a little quality control thinking, we’ll be able to turn our dreams into workable products and achievable goals.

So what steps do you need to take today?