After a long work week, I read this quote that was posted on social media by a colleague turned friend, as I ran through the growing To Do List in my mind. Iron. Grocery shop. Pay bills. Assemble cat condo (Priorities, people, priorities). Put away laundry. Get gas for the lawn mower. My mind was racing with everything that I had to do before I called it a night, and then, I read that quote.
As I read it, my mind slipped into neutral, while my heart went into overdrive. The words on that page didn’t just speak to me. Those words silenced the chatter in my mind, which is no small feat, considering the decibel level most of the time, and they reduced me to tears. As my eyes devoured the words on the screen, they traveled the path from my mind to my heart and back again on an endless loop. The tears I cried were of sadness and fear for dreams yet realized, and I felt as if those words were sent to me by a divine source, causing tears of gratitude.
If this were a scene from a movie, I would have read this quote, had a life changing epiphany, torn up that To Do List, quit my job, and run off to pursue my dream as a writer, blogger, and speaker of sorts. This, of course, is not a work of fiction, though. It is my life’s work. So, I dried my tears and went about the business of busyness, but I kept going back to that quote.
We all have dreams, and coinciding with those dreams, we all have daily routines that we engage in that develop a sense of security. There is nothing wrong with routine and security, nothing at all. In fact, I am rather fond of them, as they tend to make my life go smoother and make me feel good. Until they don’t.
As children, we may have been told that we could be whatever we wanted to be, so, we saw ourselves with limitless potential and dared to dream big. Slowly, and stealthily, those dreams gave way to the routines of school, work, family, and other responsibilities and obligations. Somewhere along the way, we embraced the notion that dreams and routine cannot coexist and that we must choose one or the other. We tend to choose routine and security over our dreams. Dreams don’t die. We kill them.
If you haven’t figured out how to kill a dream, let me count some of the ways:
Letting someone convince you that your dream is not worth pursuing or that it is unattainable. We don’t need disingenuous people in our lives who are only going to tell us what we want to hear, as opposed to what we need to hear, but we also don’t need naysayers who criticize our dreams for no reason other than they can. Too often, we let others talk us out of our dreams, and these people usually are the ones not pursuing their own dreams. When it comes to people we share our dreams with, we need to choose very wisely.
Giving up when faced with the first setback or the first perceived failure. Often, our path of seeing a dream to fruition is not the one we first envisioned, as life rarely goes exactly as planned. We need to view setbacks and obstacles as opportunities to learn and improve, rather than as signs to give up altogether. We may have to tweak a dream along the way and take a new path to getting there, but the only way to truly fail, is give up before we give it a fair chance.
Putting off the pursuit of our dreams for the perfect time. While there may be more opportune times than others to set out to make a dream come true, we need to be careful that we don’t allow our dreams to take a back seat to everything and everyone else. There always will be people who need us, and there always will be things to do. Always. There will not always be time to go after our dreams, though, so, we need to pursue them.
Chasing a dream that no longer is relevant. Sometimes, we set out after something, only to realize along the way that we don’t really want it. Sometimes, we feel an internal or external pressure to see a dream through to the end, even when it no longer serves us, while not going after a new dream.
Overthinking things. Simply put, we need to get out of our own way! Come up with a plan, put that plan into action, and let it unfold how and when it is meant to do so. Overthinking and overanalyzing have killed countless dreams.
Being distracted by things that don’t support our dreams. We often complain that we don’t have enough time to pursue our dreams, but that often is a lie. If we are honest about some of the biggest things that rob us of our precious time and energy, we would see that we have more time to pursue more important things than scrolling through social media or watching reality television.
There is a way to cultivate a routine and sense of security and follow our dreams. I know this to be true, because the world is full of people like us who are living their dreams. The only difference between those who live out their dreams and those who kill their dreams is the person doing the dreaming. Now, it is time for us to make a difference and make our dreams a reality.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story