Dare to Dream: Set goals to achieve greater things
When we’re young, we love to dream and are fearless with our dreams. They seem to have no bounds. Yet, the older we get, many of these dreams fade away and are replaced with more “realistic” goals. An unfortunate result of this fading was confirmed by a recent study of those in their twilight years. They were asked to share the top regrets from their life now that it was coming to an end. Failing to pursue their dreams ranked highest. Instead of pursuing them, they kept them locked away in their hearts and minds and never planted their seeds of potential.
Clearly, some dreams are more imaginative, but there are those that have true merit. Why, then, would so many of us let them fade into obscurity? Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be. Additionally, we don’t have to go to the other extreme and sacrifice all other priorities in pursuit of achieving our dreams. So, what is the balance and how can we protect our dreams from withering away, while at the same time keep them from consuming us completely?
Plant Them: We know the potential power in a seed. It’s amazing how something so small, when planted and nurtured, can grow into something both beautiful and bountiful. These are like our dreams. We all have “dream seeds” that we can either choose to plant or keep locked away. Of course, this doesn’t have to be. The first step for any seed to grow is to be planted. Likewise, we must have the courage to plant ours. Yet, how can we determine which are pursuits of vanity and which possess great value? Most great dreams benefit others. Just think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his bold declaration of, “I have a dream…” as a perfect of example of this. What is your dream? Will it benefit others or is it solely self-focused? May we always be courageous enough to plant the great ones.
Provide For Them: Now that we have clarified our dreams and taken the courageous step to plant the great ones, we must provide for and nourish them. Perhaps some of our dreams include writing a book, starting a business and/or saving enough towards a goal. The problem is we don’t know where to begin. This is where we pursue the skills and steps necessary to get the process started. Just like planting a seed — we need to know how much sunlight, water and nutrients help it grow best — we need to do the same study in nourishing and providing for our dreams’ maturity.
Protect Them: We all have seen gardens and plants destroyed by weeds and insects. Thus, we take steps to protect them by regularly weeding and tending to our garden by adding select pesticides, organic or otherwise. Likewise, we must protect the development of our dreams. Distractions and discouragements will arise. Therefore, being disciplined to set aside specific amounts of time towards them is important. We might even decide to join a club or accountability group of some kind to help keep us motivated.
Ultimately, there is tremendous benefit in remembering the value of gaining new ground little by little. For one thing, we develop maturity when we acquire our goals slowly over time. We learn the importance of patience, persistence and even perseverance. Just consider how many people have squandered and wasted what has come too fast or too soon. Our greatest dreams and goals are too precious to be wasted like that.
However, we must first choose to pursue them, and that is the step so many never take. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be true for you and me.