I have been sitting here on the computer, fiddling around on facebook, trying to decide how to start this blog post. This is a BIG topic, and I will try to cover it as best I know how. But, this is what is on my heart, so it is what needs to be said!
I read a book this past week entitled “Put Your Dream to the Test” by John C Maxwell. I picked it up because this author was recommended to me by my lovely friend Amanda.
I have always been a dreamer. Or rather, a DAYdreamer. I have always been a bit preoccupied with the future versus the past. But I have never had a set dream or something I wanted to accomplish. I have had goals (number one list writer right here), but nothing that stirred my heart.
“A dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” Well what is my inspiring picture? Everyone has to have a dream! It is what wills us to continue on in the day, something you are working towards, something that you want for the future. Without a dream, you become another slice of working America, merely punching a time card.
I realized I had gotten to the point where I was wandering through life, no clear picture of what I really wanted. I wanted to help people, I knew that! That is why I had gotten involved in social work in the first place. But I had no goal, no DREAM. Nothing looking forward. I decided it was time to buckle down and discover my dream again.
So what does a dream look like?
Josie Bisset says “Dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them.” Dreams are meant to STRETCH you and GROW you into a bigger and better person. They push your limits, challenge you! “You can’t reach for a dream and remain safely mediocre at the same time!”A lot of people are stuck in jobs too small for their spirit. Dreams go as big as you want them to!
‘But what if it is too late,’ some of you might ask. George Elliot said “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” The timing will NEVER be perfect for you to pursue your dream, so you might as well start now!
I am sure that many of you have had a particular dream come to mind as you have been reading this. It may be a dream that has been ruminating for years, or it may be one that just popped into your mind. HARNESS IT! Take down the details! Ben Stein wrote, “The indispensable first step to getting what you want out of life is this – decide what you want!” It is okay to want something! It is okay to dream! God created us for a purpose, and we need to find our individual purpose to be happy, to have JOY!
Does this mean it will be easy? NO. Ann Landers said, “Rose colored glasses are not made in bifocals. No one wants to read the small print in dreams.” But there is small print. Every dream has a cost, and you need to decide if you are ready to pay that price. Is your dream worth what it will cost you? “Every journey towards a dream is personal – so that is the price that must be paid for it. If you truly want to achieve your dream and not just imagine it, start investing now!”
So how do you take that step? First your dream needs to grow beyond general ideas into a specific set of goals. Follow Deepak Chopra’s Law of Least Effort. Basically, it means follow your nature and play to your strengths! Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” So make a strategy! Your dream won’t come true just by wishful thinking! You have to take action! Hope is NOT a strategy. “For most people, the limitations aren’t on the outside, but the inside.” Don’t visualize your failures! Focus on success! Many people don’t think that their dream will ever be realized because of FEAR. Fear is the enemy of a dream. To achieve your dream you will pay a price. You will pay the price of dealing with criticism and overcoming your fears! “When fear is irrational or disproportionate to the threat, it harms us.” It keeps us from achieving our dreams!
The difference between a dream and your wishful thinking is what you end up doing day to day. Dreams take determination. Dreams take moxy! “The only guarantee for failure is quitting.” So quit waiting, and start doing! Jim Rohn says, “The twin killers of success are impatience and greed.” Remember, “the bigger the dream, the greater gap between birth and fruition.” Do you have what it takes for the long haul?
Playwright David Mamet wrote, “we all die in the end, but there is no reason to die in the middle.” Without a dream, without a purpose, we WILL die in the middle. I want to get to the point where I am so entwined in my dream that I know exactly what I want and what I am striving for each and every day. I am tired of the humdrum way of life. I am tired of living without a dream. So re-awaken the dream inside of you! I know it is there, dying to get out. I have my dream. I have a specific set of goals to get me there. I have a drive, I have a passion. Now let’s find yours.