Dreaming of Something More? Try This!
Most people I know dream of something more—more business, more time, more money, more margin, more friends, and so forth. Dreaming isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it’s a smart thing to do. However, just dreaming isn’t enough. In his book, Put Your Dream to the Test, John Maxwell said, “[Most people] possess a vague notion that there is something they would like to do someday or someone they would like to become. But they don’t know how to get from here to there.”
You might be among those who has been living someone else’s dream for your life. Most people who change careers in midlife do so because they finally acknowledge the fact that the life they’ve been living was assigned to them, but was never their dream. Maybe you created your life in response to what your parents thought you should become, who others suggested you should be, or the pursuit of a lucrative career. Living to fulfill other’s dreams will never enable you to reach your potential.
Dreaming Has It’s Own Questions
Who are you…really? Who were you designed to become? Those are hard questions to answer because our dreams often battle with our own sense of false ceilings. We never envision ourselves experiencing our dreams because we don’t believe we are smart enough, connected enough, wealthy enough, or creative enough. People who are raised in poverty struggle to accept the fact that they were designed for so much more. People who struggle in school doubt they could ever bring their ideas to life. When that happens, we settle for mediocrity and then convince ourselves that mediocrity is the maximum for us.
How to Escape Mediocrity
John Maxwell went on to say, “You cannot achieve a dream you do not own.” Owning your dream is the key to overcoming mediocrity. When you own your dream, your thinking changes. “I can’t” becomes “I can.” Self-doubt is displaced by confidence. Your days will no longer drain you; they will energize you. It all begins with your thoughts.
Soren Kierkegaard said, “A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.”
Most people dismiss their dreams and stick to living out the dreams others have for them. I see that in many of my peers. They have reached an age where “retirement” is near. They are exasperated and cling to each day like a mountain climber clings to a rock. They need to hold on a little bit longer. Then they can finally stop doing whatever it is they never really wanted to do but felt they had to do. In the American culture, we call that retirement.
You Never Retire from a Dream
Maxwell said, “When the dream is right for the person and the person is right for the dream, the two cannot be separated from each other.” So, if you’re dreaming of something more, choose making progress over making excuses. Age, finances, education, career path, and so forth are simply elements in your story. I know people seventy-years-old and older who are still living their dreams. I also know people in their forties and fifties who are counting down the days until they can stop doing whatever it is they do.
You get to choose your path because it’s your dream. When you stop dreaming, life becomes stale and stagnant.