“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious
triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take
rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer
much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows
neither victory nor defeat.” — Teddy Roosevelt
Do you remember when you were a child and no dream seemed
too big? Some of us thought we would walk on the moon; some
dreamed of riding with Roy Rogers; others imagined stepping
to the plate in a big-league game. Every one of us, when we
were young, had a common trait – we were dreamers.
The world hadn’t gotten to us yet to show us that we
couldn’t possibly achieve what our hearts longed for. And we
were yet still years from realizing that in some cases we
weren’t built for achieving our dream (I realized about my
junior year of high school that I was too short and to slow
to play professional basketball. The dreamer is always the
last to know).
Eventually we started to let our dreams die. People began to
tell us that we couldn’t do the things we wanted. It was
impossible. Responsible people don’t pursue their dreams.
Settle down, get a job, be dependable. Take care of
business, live the mundane, be content.
Do you know what I say to that? Hooey! It is time to dream
again! Why? Here are just a few reasons:
* Avoid regret. The facts are in, and someday we will all
lie on our deathbed looking back through the history of our
lives. We will undoubtedly think about what we wished we had
done or accomplished. I for one don’t want to regret what
could have been, what should have been. So I am deciding
today to pursue my dreams.
* The world needs people like you to dream of something
great and then to pursue it with all of your heart. Maybe
you belong to a business, school or organization that
started out with good intentions but has settled into the
same ole, same ole. Shake them up and remind them of how
they could really help people if only they would dream!
* Personal and family fulfillment. One of the things that
happens when we stop pursuing our dreams is that a little
piece of us dies and we become disheartened, if only in that
area of our lives.
Stepping up and pursuing your dream rekindles that passion
and zeal that everyone has the capacity for and lets us
experience fulfillment. Having a purpose puts the zip in our
step and the zing in our emotions!
* Making the world a better place. All of the great
accomplishments that have ever happened began with a person
who had a dream. Somebody rebuffed the nay-sayers and said
to himself or herself, “This can be done, and I am the one
who will do it.” And in many instances they changed the
world for the better.
It isn’t just the Martin Luther King’s and the J.F.K’s
either. Think of all the people we have never heard of who
have started things large and small that help people world-
wide every day.
* Leaving a legacy. How will your children remember you? As
one who sought all that life had to offer, using your gifts
and talents to their fullest extent, leading the family with
a zest for life, or as an overweight couch potato who could
have been? Our children need to see that we dream; that we
search for something better. They in turn will do the same!
So where do we start? Here are some ideas:
* Reconnect with your dream. Set aside some time to let
yourself dream. What have you placed on the backburner in
order to live the status quo? Settle on one or two dreams
that you can and will pursue. Don’t come up with too many.
That will only deter you further.
* Decide that you will do it. This may seem elementary but
many people never decide and commit fully to their dream.
They simply keep “thinking” about it.
Tell others that you are going to do it. This puts you on
the record as to what you are dreaming about. It makes you
accountable. It will help you do it if for no other reason
than to avoid embarrassment!
* Develop a step-by-step plan. This is absolutely essential.
You must sit down and write out a few things:
– A timeline. How long will it take to the end?
– Action steps. Point-by-point what you will do and when you
will do them.
– Resources you will need to draw from. What will it take?
Who will need to be involved for help or advice?
– An evaluation tool. You need to evaluate from time to time
whether you are progressing or not.
– A celebration. Yep, when you are done you should already
have planned what you will do to celebrate. Make it big!
I have found that there is no better time than now. So, set
aside some time today to get started on your dream. Follow
the action plan and set your sights for the top of the
mountain! You will be glad you did!
by Chris Widener