I got this graphic in one of the daily inspirational emails that I get…
It reminded me of one of the laws of physics which states that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion and bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. If all you do is to dream about a different future for yourself, you will tend to stay at rest. Successful people who fulfil their dreams tend be be those who take action and are in motion – doing things rather than just thinking about things.
The fear of failure is what most often what keeps people trapped in their dreams, instead of achieving them. Successful people will tell you that being in motion, doing something is key, even if that something leads to a failure; for out of our failures we learn and we adjust. Thomas Edison is famous for his quotes on how many times he failed before he achieved some of his greatest successes and realized his dreams. So, being in motion is important, even, if you are moving towards a failure.
Do not let yourself get stuck in your dreams. Go out and take actions to achieve them. Be in motion and you’ll always be learning and achieving. Take the actions to make your dreams your reality.
I don’t remember where I saw this quote, but it rang true to me. “Risk something or forever sit with your dreams.” (Herb Brooks)
Many people sit with their dreams, unable or unwilling to take the risks that may be required to achieve them. Perhaps they dream of getting a better job but are afraid to take the risk to leave the job that they have now. Maybe they have dreamed of asking a certain person our but are afraid of rejection. Maybe they have always dreamed about trying a particular sport or activity but hold back because of imagined failure or the possible risk of injury. Whatever the real or imagined risks involved, they just never try.
I suppose that there is a kind of comfort in just sitting there with one’s dreams instead of actually taking the risk to try to make them come true. Dreams can become like old friends and prove to be a sort of comforting refuge from the reality of their day-to-day world. That is especially true if the crushing weight of the mundane rules their real world. Dreams allow an escape from the repetitive sameness of a boring job or life.
But while just sitting there may provide a refuge it fails to provide any real reward. One might imagine the reward that awaits at the end of a dream but can only really experience it by accomplishing the dream. The dream is like the shadow of the person or the thing that is imagined- you can sort of see it, but you can’t touch it or hold it. You don’t really experience it; you just see it – in your dreams.
So, the key to today’s thought is that you must take the risks that you also imagine in order to turn your dream into a reality. Don’t just sit there with your dreams. Take the first step. Say hello to that person whom you ‘ve been dreaming of meeting. Fill out the job application for the job you’ve been dreaming of having. Try the beginner’s level of that sport or activity that you’ve dreamed of competing in to see if you really like it.
Many dreams involve launching yourself into them and provide no way to turn back. That’s OK because turning back is just another way of say failing. You’ve already “won” just by trying and things will never be the same again.
There is a law in physics that states that “a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tend to stay in motion.” Don’t just sit there at rest with your dreams; take the risk and become a body in motion. I think you’ll like being a body in motion a bit more.
A quote I think I got from the Jack’s Winning Words blog was my inspiration this morning (as often happens) – “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” (Mae Jemison)
Jack went on to write – Mae Jemison — who in 1992 became the first Black woman to travel into space — was forced to contend with people’s limited imaginations throughout her pioneering career. I’ll leave that to your imagination; although it is not hard to imagine.
One’s imagination can be limited or influenced by many things – ignorance and prejudice are two. In the case of Mae Jemison it was probable a combination of the two for most people who could not “see” her as an astronaut. A similar story was made into the film Hidden Figures.
Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder. It is loosely based on the 2016 non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly about African American female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race. (Wikipedia)
In both cases the imaginations of many to see the black women as mathematicians or as an astronaut was limited or redirected by ignorance and prejudice. Also, in both cases, the women involved did not let that stop them from being or becoming what they imagined themselves to be.
While the majority of us may never feel the limitations and sting of prejudice, we do sometimes let the imaginations (or lack thereof) of others hold us back. Being told that you are not smart enough, or strong enough, or brave enough to do something or that “you can’t do that” for reasons never fully explained, serves to set artificial boundaries in our lives…unless challenged.
Sometimes the limited imagination is shown through oversight or being ignored. Nobody expected greatness when Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. I can imagine that Brady sat there through round after round of the 2000 NFL draft wondering why no one could see the potential greatness that he could imagine in himself.
The similarity of those two very different situations is that both Jemison and Brady believed in themselves. They could both imagine themselves in the roles that they were being denied in the imaginations of others. They also combined that with a hard work ethic that helped them never to give up on their dream or imagination about themselves.
There is no way to avoid the limited imaginations of others about you, whether it is driven by ignorance, indifference, or prejudice. The key is not to let what others think of you influence what you think of yourself. Keep your goals out in front of you and keep imagining yourself achieving those goals. Let that imagined achievement motivate you to put in the hard work that may be needed to get to that goal.
Remember that The little engine that could in the book you read as a child achieved his goal; of reaching the top of the hill because he did not believe those who said that he could not. His mantra was, “I think I can, I think I can.” He continued thinking that until he did. You can, too. Like Mae Jemison, don’t let yourself be limited by other people’s imagination of what you can accomplish. Just keep imagining “I think I can” and you will.
I like this quote because it harkens back to hope – “There are times when dreams sustain us more than facts.” (Helen Fagin)
The facts and reality of day-to-day life can often get tough or boring, but if one has hope and dreams based upon that hope it is more bearable.
You may have been inclined to answer the question in today’s title with the word “faith”. I would submit that faith is based upon hope and the dream of a better afterlife to come.
One may have somewhat passive hope and dreams or one may use that hope and those dreams to motivate them into action. President Barack Obama put it this way in his Iowa caucus victory speech in 2008–
“Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”
There are many times in life when the “facts” of what is happening around us or to us may not be very encouraging. It is during those times that our faith and the hope that it is based upon sustain us. We get through those times because we know and trust that we can get through them, because we are not alone. We have not only hope but faith in that hope.
There was a quote in the Jack’s Winning Words blog recently that also seems appropriate to use here.
“I trust the next chapter, because I know the author.” (Unknown)
If you have faith in God, you know the author of your life and you can have hope and faith in whatever He has laid out for you in the next chapter of your life. What is even more comforting is that the same hope and faith will carry you on into the chapter after this life. You can be sustained when facing death not in fear, but in hope and anticipation, because you know the author for that, too.
We all have hopes and dreams, based upon those hopes. As for me, I trust the next chapter in my life, because I know the author.
In my role as a Realtor® I get a daily email with an inspirational graphic in it. Sometimes I’ll notice that a couple of them just seem to go together to create an entirely new inspirational thought. Such is the case today.
These two graphics came to me weeks apart, yet they just seem to work together –
I think the glue that holds these two thoughts together is faith.
One can have dreams that are mere idle musings and it is easy to let go of them. Life changing dreams are seldom so casual and often involve appeals to God for help in achieving them. That brings the second graphic into play. One must have faith to keep pursuing their dreams, even in the face of long delays or temporary setbacks.
Dreams are seldom accompanied by detailed plans and an exact timetable. Initial prayers are seldom requests for the patience and perseverance needed to achieve one’s dreams, yet that is what is most often required. Instead of questioning God as to why he hasn’t helped you achieve your dream yet, it is better that you should thank him for helping you get as far as you are and try to understand the guidance that he is giving you. If nothing else, at least acknowledge that it is not over yet, so your dream is still alive. Keep praying for the patience and perseverance to continue pursuing your dream.
We are told in the Bible –
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
That quote from James also alludes to the real payoff of faith; not so much the achievement of earthly dreams, but the realization of eternal life through Jesus. Perhaps that points out to us that we have not been dreaming big enough.
If you haven’t realized that yet, don’t worry, it’s not over yet.
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.
I happened upon today’s quote while searching for something else recently.
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.
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.
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.
“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.