Dream bigger…

August 17, 2021

I saw this little quote from Laird Hamilton, a world class surfer, in a series of quotes from athletes – “Never let your memories be bigger than your dreams.”

Athletes seem to always be focused upon doing better, running faster, scoring more, achieving greater. That focus on doing better in the future is what keeps them going and training.

As one gets older, it becomes more difficult to keep one’s dreams ahead of one’s memories, especially if one has lived a full and satisfying life. However, I think it is important to continue to have dreams and goals that you strive to achieve. Perhaps those dreams are a little less ambitious than they once were and maybe they are more focused upon doing things for others, but they still provide a purpose in life and one can still strive towards achieving a new personal best in whatever they are trying to do.

The physical limitations that creep in with age can seem to put a cap on the things that we can dream of personally doing, but we may just need to dream of achieving them in a different way. Many top-level athletes become coaches when their playing days are over. They use the knowledge and wisdom that they collected when they participated to teach others how to do it even better than they did.

There are opportunities like that in the non-athletic world, where there is a constant need for teachers, mentors, tutors, and coaches. There is something very rewarding about seeing someone whom you have taught or mentored being successful and being able to think, “I taught him/her how to do that.”  Your dream may shift from thoughts about yourself to hopes for your protégée.

Of course, one never completely stops thinking about one’s own future and dreaming about what that may hold. Thoughts and dreams may shift towards what comes next. It is then that the reassurance that there is a “next” can bring the most comfort. There are many passages in the Bible that talk about Jesus’ promise that those who believe in Him shall have everlasting life. Perhaps that is the biggest dream of all. I can’t imagine any of my memories of life here on earth rivalling what is in store in that dream – what is next.

But, while I’m still here, I choose to continue to dream – to have work to do, unfulfilled goals to pursue and personal bests for which to strive. I have lots of great memories, but I also have lots of new memories to make, new friends to meet and new goals to achieve.

Never stop dreaming; in fact, dream bigger.


Never stop dreaming – Never stop flying

July 21, 2021

I happened upon today’s quote while searching for something else recently.

1936 photo by Carl Van Vechten

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
 “Dreams”
by Lanston Huges

[From Wikipedia] James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1901 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. One of the earliest innovators of the literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

It is hard to imagine what it must be like for a bird that cannot fly, because of a broken wing. When flight comes as natural to you as breathing, to have that suddenly taken away must be a frightening and confusing thing. The bird is still alive, but not really “alive” because it cannot fly.

If we cannot dream of a better tomorrow, we become like that bird. Perhaps we lose all hope because we cannot see that better tomorrow in our dreams. People suffering from depression experience that feeling because they can see no way out of the situation that they find themselves in. They sink into despair because they have lost the ability to dream of a better time. They cannot fly on the wings of their imagination.

Most of us don’t sink into despair, but we may occasionally get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that we don’t take time to dream – we lose sight of our hopes for a better day tomorrow. I saved this quote from a cartoon character and it seems to fit –

 “Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.”

— Charlie Brown, from “Peanuts,” on pacing

Maybe Charlie Brown could have added something about taking time to dream while you are resting.

Rest is certainly important, so that we don’t burn out physically; however, taking time to dream, to have hopes for tomorrow, is also important so that we don’t burn out mentally.

Taking time to pray each day can provide a great setting in which to take that break from the stresses of your day-to-day life and set aside a moment for yourself to dream of a better tomorrow. Then you can ask God for the perseverance to never lose sight of those dreams and continue to pursue them. Perhaps that prayer will be the only step you take today towards realizing those dreams, but it is a step in the right direction and it keeps the dream alive.

So, don’t allow yourself to become like a broken winged bird. You can still dream. Keep your dreams alive. Keep your hopes alive. Keep your faith alive.

Take some time to pray and dream today. Someday soon you will fly again.


Do you deserve it?

June 29, 2021

Yesterday I wrote about the journey towards a goal or dream being as important as actually achieving it. Later in the day, I saw this quote – “Deserve your dream.”  – Octavio Pas

That simple three-word quote has tremendous power when you think about it. It also ties in nicely with the previous day’s quote. The truth is that some people do “luck” into their dream, or at least what seems like a dream. It would be hard to say that a Lotto winner deserved that dream. It was pure luck.

Most of us have to work for our dreams…we have to take the journey to get to the dream. For many that involves hard work, long hours, and personal sacrifices. When they finally get there, they deserve their dream…they have earned it.

For some, a dream may become just something that we continually think or fantasize about, but don’t really do anything to achieve. They don’t get their dream because they really don’t deserve it…they didn’t work for it.

Some people spend their entire life making up excuses for themselves and for others to hear about why they haven’t achieved their dreams. For them life is a giant conspiracy theory bent on holding them back from their dreams. They have focused all of their energy on the excuses instead of taking any positive steps towards achieving those dreams. These are people to be avoided.

Some confuse deserving a dream with entitlement to that dream. We often hear people shouting on news casts that they have a “right” to this or that. Many times, those things that they say they “deserve” are not rights at all, but privileges that others work for or work to pay for. What they deserve is the equal opportunity to realize those dreams or goals. What they are really facing in many cases is systemic roadblocks to those opportunities. Martin Luther King’s dream was to achieve a world were the roadblocks of systemic racism were removed.

Some people may pray for God’s help in achieving their dream; however, many do not pray for the right thing. I like a quote from Bruce Lee that I saw recently – “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” Too many people pray for God to make their dream come true. That is not how God works. Pray instead for God to give you the perseverance and strength to keep progressing towards your dream.

So ask yourself, the next time your dream comes to mind, “What am I doing to achieve it? What steps have I taken to realize that dream?” If you have no good answers to those questions, then place that dream aside with other fantasies and get on with life. You don’t deserve it.

Deserve your dream.


Ask and you shall receive…

May 7, 2021

Paster Freed used this quote from an Indian philosopher today in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words“Reach high, for stars lie hidden from you.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”   (Rabindranath Tagore) 

Tagore might have added, “Pray fervently, for through prayer the hidden path to your dream is revealed.”

Prayer makes you stop and think, it also makes you formulate what it is that you want God to help you with. You don’t just ask God to make your dream come true. That’s not how it works.

Perhaps the path to your dream requires only the courage to try. You can find that courage through prayer.

Maybe the path is long and arduous. God will give you the patience, perseverance, and endurance to stay the course, if you but ask.

It could be that your dream is not realistically achievable. It that case, asking God for help letting go of that dream and finding another, more realistic, dream to pursue may be the best course of action. So, maybe God’s role is similar to that of Dr Phil on TV and he’s telling you to get real. Pray about it.

Ask God for the right help and then listen in your heart for His answers. Whatever you approach it is that last part that matters the most – listen to his answer in your heart and do the right thing. Sometimes you are not going to like the answer, but you must accept it and move on. Ask for God’s help in dealing with the disappointment. You might be surprised how fast a new dream, one that you can accomplish, pops into your life.

Indeed,  “God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to  perform” (from a poem by William Cowper)

So pray for God’s guidance and help with your dreams and the path will not be hidden from you.


Getting there from here…

April 29, 2021

“All you need is the plan, the roadmap, and the courage to press on to your destination.”  (Earl Nightengale)

I’ve had that little quote hanging around for some time and thought it deserved to be commented upon.

Many people have hopes or dreams, most of which never get beyond that stage, because they remain in that vague, unorganized state in their minds. Hopes and dreams at least made it further than “passing thoughts” that pop in and out of our heads and are gone forever. Hopes and dreams that are not acted upon eventually turn into regrets and that’s not a good thing.

What keeps those hopes and dreams from becoming reality is the lack of a plan of action to make them come true. It is those plans and the road maps to success that results from them that Nightengale is referencing in his quote. Once you turn a hope or a dream into a goal, you can begin breaking down the steps that are necessary to achieving that goal (that dream) and making plans on how to approach and achieve those steps.

Hopes and dreams are a little like problems. Sometimes they can loom so big that they seem impossible to solve. But, just like big problems, one can break hopes and dreams down into smaller incremental steps. You begin to think in terms of, “I’ve got to do this, before I can do that.” Each this and that along the way to achieving your goal (your dream), becomes a stop along the roadmap. Reaching each stop on the roadmap by accomplishing that task represents a little victory. Take time to celebrate each victory to keep yourself motivated, but make sure that it is only a pause to celebrate and not a reason to stop.

Breaking down your hopes and dreams into small steps and mapping out a road to success also makes getting up the courage to press on easier. After all you aren’t trying to do it all at once, just this one little thing today. Rather than asking God for the courage and strength to take on the whole dream at once, you can ask for His help on achieving the little step that is front of you. And at the end of the day, when you have achieved that little step, you can thank God for his help and line up support for the next step. You might also acknowledge the need to ask God for the patience to take on the journey in the small steps that you have mapped out. Patience is one of God’s strong suits.

So, what are your hopes and dreams? Have you really thought about them enough to start mapping out a roadmap to achieve them? If so, have you started down the path that you have defined? If not, why not? After all, you have a plan.

Perhaps it’s time for your to ask God for the courage to begin or continue that journey. Your hopes and dreams await. Just take that first step or that next step. You can do this, and God can help.

Have a great day and good luck with today’s small step in your journey. Maybe we’ll bump into each other along the way to our hopes and dreams.


Got to get to work…

July 25, 2018

OK, so I didn’t win the big ½ billion lotto drawing last night. I guess the quote that I saw in a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog applies to this situation as well as to life in general.

“The six W’s: Work Will Win When Wishing Won’t.”  (Todd Blackledge)

Many people seem to spend their lives wishing for things, instead of working for things. They may wish that their life had turned out differently or perhaps that they had been born into different circumstances. It is easy to allow wishing to degrade into wallowing in self pity.  Wishing and blaming also seem to go hand-in-hand for those type of people.accountability They wish things were better and blame the fact that they aren’t on things that they feel like they can’t control. Yet others who had the same starting point in life take the path of hard work and a dedication to bettering themselves and their situation. They work at a job and go to school. They work at a job and raise a family. They work. And, it works for them.

There is a big difference between just wishing and pursing a dream. Having a dream of aman daydreaming better future provides the foundation for the desire to achieve that dream. As Napoleon Hill once said –

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”

What separates the achievers from the dreamers is the will and determination to achieve that dream.

“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re to go to bed with satisfaction.”  (George Lorimer)

In between those two quotes is a good place to put today’s thought – “Work will win when wishing won’t.”goal

Well, I’ve got to go now. Got to get to work. I’m still working towards my dream. How about you?


Sometimes achieving your dream turns out to be disappointing…

April 25, 2017

From a recent post on the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes today’s thought –

“It hurts to find out that what you wanted doesn’t match what you dreamed it would be.”  (Randy Milholland)

That quote sort of goes along with the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” The origins of that saying are somewhat obscure but may have come from a Spanish proverb.

We often romanticize things in our dreams, seeing only the beauty that we hope is thereman daydreaming and none of the warts that may go along with it. That is often the case when we dream about things, owning things or doing things. Somehow we have this belief that we would be happy, if only we owned that thing that we don’t now have. It could be a car, a house, a boat, whatever; we’re just sure that it and owning it is the key to our happiness. Then we finally get it and guess what; it’s just a thing. Owning it may make us feel happy for a few moments, but then something else out in the distance that we don’t own catches our attention and acquiring that new thing becomes our obsession.

The same issues arise when dreaming about people, or maybe about Mr. or MS. Right. Our fantasies are encouraged and fed by the world of advertising and the entertainment industry, both of which tend to show us only images of beautiful people with apparently perfect lives. Of course the drug store tabloids have headlines that scream out that all is not as it seems in those perfect lives and Hollywood divorces certainly seem to outnumber the success stories of married famous couples. So, it would seem that being married to Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie isn’t all that we might have imagined it would be.

mother with childHow do we avoid the disappointment of reality not matching our dreams? One could just say stop dreaming; but that is not realistic either.  Perhaps rather than stopping dreaming about some ideal person we’d like to or about things that we wish to possess, we could start appreciating what we already have in life and the people that we already know. Maybe the next step it to see a path to achieving our dream that is comprised of small steps in the general direction of that dream, maybe we could buy a newer car, with some of the features that we’ve been dreaming about; rather than buying that ultimate dream car. Maybe going out with Mr. OK is a step in the direction of finding Mr. Wonderful, and at least you have someone real to talk to and not just another lonely night with a dream. Life is full of compromises and you might even find that Mr. or Ms. OK turn out to be better than you had thought. You might even find love. Dr. Seuss even had an interesting observation about that – “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

So, go ahead and dream; but, dream with your eyes open to the reality of life. Making the most of your life by appreciating those people and things that surround you on a daily basis is much better than moping about those things and people in your dreams that you don’t have. If you find that your commitment to achieving your dreams is strong enoughgoal and persistent enough to pursue as a goal in life, then start turning your dreams into plans and start working away at them. Your dream has now turned into your vision of where you want to go in life and what you want to achieve and you are now on a journey to turn those dreams into your reality.  Mark Victor Hansen put it this way – “You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.”

Let’s hope that you are not disappointed when you get there.


What inspires your hopes?

January 2, 2017

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”  (Andrew Carnegie) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack was writing about New Year’s resolutions and setting your goals for the New Year.

We went through goal setting for the New Year at my work office back in December and I goalcan remember the years of annual goal setting exercises that I went through at various technology companies that I work for back then. While they might have commanded my attention and thoughts for a while and certainly required my energy, they never really inspired my hopes. If anything the achievement of those goals might have served as an enabling step towards achieving my hopes.

I suppose that one might aspire to be the CEO of whatever company they work for some day, but that is difficult to envision that if you are driving a forklift in one of the many warehouses of that company.  Some might have hopes of having their own company someday, but perhaps that is more of a dream than a real hope. man daydreamingThere’s a fine line between hopes and dreams. I suspect that most people’s hopes are centered more on life goals than on work goals.

Jack also wrote about a little acronym that he came across for making good resolutions – S-M-A-R-T.  S-be Specific!  M-make it Measurable.  A-be sure it’s Attainable.  R-be Realistic.  T-set a Timetable. I wrote recently about resolutions, too. One thing not in the SMART acronym that I had in my post was to make yourself accountable for achieving the resolution by sharing it with an accountability partner and doing regular status checks.

I may hope for the end to world hunger, but the SMART thing to do is to work in a local food bank or serve in a soup kitchen. Am I achieving my hope of the end to hunger in the world? Yes, at least in the small part of the world that I can directly impact. Maybe there is more that I can do to collect money or food for use in other parts of the world and the energy that is liberated by my hopes will find a way to do some of that, too. You see how that hope may command your thoughts.

If you have hopes for finding the right person to spend your life with, I think hopes also Oh crapneed to be proactive and action oriented and not reactive and defensive. You are much more likely to be successful if your start out with the positive attitude that says “I’m going to be open and friendly with those that I meet in hopes of finding Mr./Ms. Right”, than it is to start out by saying” I’m going to be cautious and guarded around others so that I don’t take the change of getting hurt”.

So, what inspires your hopes? Is it all about you, or do you find that making the lives of others better too is in your hopes somewhere? Are your “hopes” really just big pipe dreams or are they SMART? It’s OK to have BIG hopes, so long as you can see how to break them down into manageable and SMART steps that you can work on a little at a time.

When was the last time you really sat quietly and thought about your hopes? What’s wrong with right now, as long as you’re already thinking about it?  What are you hoping for? What’s the SMART way to achieve those hopes? What are you waiting for?


Do you have a plan?

August 19, 2015

“One possible reason why things aren’t going according to plan is that there never was a plan.” ― Ashleigh Brilliant

I love Ashleigh Brilliant quotes. What a great sense of humor and understanding of mankind he displays. Many of us think we have a plan for our lives or maybe even just for the day. Perhaps we start each day with a “To Do” to do listlist, but that’s not really a plan. Perhaps we have even spent some time thinking about the day and the things that we need to do or want to do; but those thoughts aren’t plans either. Maybe we have visualized how the day might go. Maybe we have dreamed about or wished how the day might go. None of those are plans.

So what is a plan? The WikiPedia definition of a plan is –

A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective.  It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal. The definitions in other sources are similar and likely similarly unachievable in life.

We like to think we can plan and that we have plans for our life. We have, instead, some goals in mind andchasing goal perhaps we have considered a few alternatives at a few decision points in the processes necessary to achieve those goals. What we have are dreams and ambitions surrounded by a vague understanding of what is required to achieve them, nestled in good intentions and held together with the gossamer threads of naivety. In fact there never was a plan.  I often say that I had a plan and then life got in the way.

The thing is that not having a clear and firm plan is OK. A dream or a goal provides us with some sense of the direction that we wish to go in. Our plan (an outline at best) gives us a starting point and the rest of the journey towards those goals falls loosely under the category of learning and maturing. Another thing is that the plan changes as we go, or at least it should. Finally, it’s almost useless to try to keep track  (score) of how you are doing in achieving the original plan. As Brilliant put it –

“Please don’t ask me what the score is. I’m not even sure what the game is.”  ― Ashleigh Brilliant
Have you ever met someone who says that they are still trying to find themselves, to figure out what they want to be; what they want to do with their life? You may initially pity them or even be repulsed by their lack of ambition or purpose; but, the truth is, they may be stating more honestly than you what their plan is for their life. They have no plan yet and they admit it. Some of the most famous and successful people the world has known spent a part women dreamingof their youth bumming around the world trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their life. Along the way they accumulated wisdom about people and different cultures that served them well later in life.

So, let’s all continue to make our daily To Do lists. They aren’t plans; just task lists that we may get to in some random order and feel good about accomplishing. As for real plans in our lives, maybe we should just make sure that our moral compasses are set right, let life happen and enjoy the ride. We can still have dreams, because as Brilliant says –

“The best reason for having dreams is that in dreams no reasons are necessary.”  ― Ashleigh Brilliant

I’ve posted here before3 about dreams, see the post What’s in your Dreams?

But as for plans – go back to the top and read the first quote. Don’t spend too much time on a plan that goes out the window the first time things don’t go as planned. You’re better off to prepare yourself to react properly to the things that come your way on your way to your goals. Maybe a re-read of my post on Problem Solving 101 would be a god start.


Let go and dream…

November 26, 2014

“The best dreams happen when you’re awake.” – Cherie Gilderbloom

I’m not sure where I saw this quote, but I knew I wanted to save it and write about it eventually. I’ve opined about having dreams and hopes many times and even about day dreaming; but this quote is really talking about our ability to “see” (to dream) a better future for ourselves.

The dreams that we have when we are asleep are mostly random, unruly and mostly without any point. The dreams that you can conjure up while awake have more context and meaning for your life. They don’t have to be constrained by your current reality, but they usually take that into consideration as a starting point. It’s where you end up in those dreams that really makes them fun.

man daydreamingYou may say that a dream while you’re awake is just letting your imagination run away with you. That’s true that it takes a vivid imagination; but, it is running away with you in a direction that you control. It is a mix of fantasy and reality that is unshackled from the constraints that we normally place upon ourselves. Maybe you see yourself scoring the winning touchdown or slugging the winning home run. Perhaps you envision yourself relaxing on the beach on a tropical island or maybe you’re out on a date with the girl that you could never get up the nerve to ask out. These dreams go one step beyond the visualization that many professional athletes use to “see” their next play or move. You can come very close to actually feeling like you are experiencing the moment that is in the dream.

We often hear people who have just won something – an event, a prize or contest – say that it thinking hardfeels like they are in a dream; maybe the same is true about actually being in an awake dream – it feels like it’s real. It’s fun to think that could be the case; but, I suspect that Cherie Gilderbloom was actually talking about more than day dreaming. She may have been saying that the things that we actually experience in life, while wide awake, are much better than the things that we dream about. While dreams are fun, they are also disconcerting, because you don’t have a frame of reference in them. Dreaming while wide awake maintains a frame of reference that both anchors you and allows you to snap back into full consciousness at any time. In some cases it allows you to fold some reality back into the dream to change its direction if needed. In an awake dream you don’t forget where you left your car.

facing new dayPerhaps dreaming while you are awake is really letting your hopes direct your mind for a while. Hopes often get pushed aside or pushed out into the future. Dreaming about them brings them back to the forefront and allow you to explore them and imagine possible outcomes. Dreams based upon hopes can be a great antidote to a numbing life. Call it escapism if you like, but escaping even for a moment or two into the future that you are striving to reach can be a great motivator to continue the struggle.

dreamsWhatever the case, I think taking a little time to dream, even while you are awake, is necessary for our mental health, just like taking a little time every now and then to be silly or to play or to laugh. We cannot go through life constantly constraining ourselves to the situation at hand. We cannot always be on guard, on the ready, constantly serious and on the defense. We all have dreams that need to get out and breathe every now and then. We have aspirations that we’ve never shared with anyone that need a stage upon which to rehearse. Dreaming while we are wake provides the release necessary to let those hopes stay alive and grow. Don’t stifle yourself when it comes to dreaming.

What do you dream about while you’re awake?