Dream, Wherefore Art Thou?

Where are you, RIGHT NOW, in the pursuit of your dream?  You know, that thing you always kept in the back of your mind; the thing that would make a difference in the world and change things for the better and you would be recognized for the unique contribution you made.  Where is it?

If you are able to talk precisely about where you are with your dream; you are living it or pursuing it actively, then you are commendably one of the few.  For far too many, that dream is something that has sunk into the back recesses of their mind, either abandoned completely or placed into the bin marked “SOMEDAY”.  The dream has become a lonely orphan, waiting for a forever place to fit in to your life.

abandoned dreamsWhy?  What causes people to abandon the dreams they had to make an impact and settle for a life being defined by others?  They will send back a bad meal at a restaurant in a heartbeat, but accept in the rest of their lives whatever anyone else is willing to dish up.  They trade impact and influence for a false sense of security and cubicle with no view.  Why do they make their dream an orphan?

I have noticed several things to push people to abandon their dreams:

  1. Others have discouraged or disparaged their dream.  The world is full of people who have settled for less and want to make sure you do too.  They will go out of their way to try to crush the dream and the dreamer, to instill feelings of inadequacy, to detail the reasons why they will never make it.  They have accepted it for themselves and it makes them feel insecure or insignificant if you opt for something more.
  2. They take failure to heart.  For some, failure is a be all and end all.  To them, failing even once means you should never try again.  This condition especially can occur in those who are outwardly focused.  Extraverts tend to be more sensitive to the thoughts and impressions of others around them.  Being a high extravert, I fight this battle with myself every day.
  3. It was never their dream.  Some people have dreams planted in their minds by others.  You should be a doctor.  You should be a lawyer.  You should be an accountant.  Somebody else planted a lofty goal in their mind, but it wasn’t their choice so it never really takes hold, even if they once claimed it was their dream.  Notice, by the way, nobody ever says you should be a garbageman or food service worker or pig farmer, despite the critical role those people have in our lives often on a daily basis.
  4. Mediocrity becomes an accepted way of life.  We are just like everyone else.  The flaw in that logic is that we AREN”T like everyone else.  Author Max Lucado says

You aren’t an accident.  You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product.  You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the Earth by the Master Craftsman.

Reunite with Your Dream

Adopt that dream again!  You were not meant to be like anyone else and you certainly weren’t designed to be what anyone else says you should be!

Take that dream back out, dust it off, and re-examine it.  Forget everything else for the moment; forget the how, forget probabilities and possibilities, forget logistics.  Is this still your dream?  Is it really YOUR dream?  Then start right now to move towards it.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed!  You deserve a life of significance and accomplishment!  Refuse to settle for anything else.  When someone tries to serve you up that meal of mediocrity, send it back!  Demand the meal that satisfies!

It’s your dream and your life; why not live it today?  No excuses!

Action Plan

  1.  Get out a sheet of paper.  Think about the dream you want to keep.  Do not analyze the dream right now.  Don’t rationalize or evaluate.  Just write that dream down at the top of the paper.  Write it out in detail, every facet of what you are visualizing in your mind when you think of that dream.  What are you doing?  Who are you serving?  Where are you?  What do you look like?  Is your family with you?  What are they doing?  Every last bit of the vivid picture in your mind.  Write it down!
  2. Now write down below that specific steps to work towards that dream.  What reality do you have to create to make that dream come true?  Again, don’t think about arguments against it, just think about steps to move towards it.
  3. Set the list aside and review it daily for five to seven days, then take it out and read it through and see how you feel about it.  Does it still appeal to you?  Does it create a strong sense of desire in you?  If not, it’s not your real dream.  Toss it out and write another.  If it is, set a deadline for that first step.