Dreams are funny things. We all have them. They can last a moment, a day, or a lifetime. And they begin early in life. Ever since I was a young child I found myself imagining the different futures I might walk into. Some of them were downright ludicrous (because, let’s face it, the chances of my family being the long-lost heirs to some forgotten kingdom were slim to none—which meant that I was never going to be hailed as a princess and relocated to the castle from Sleeping Beauty).
My dreams changed as I aged, and while some remained ridiculous (sadly, I still haven’t figured out how to invent human wings, nor have I come up with a scientifically proven formula for a teleportation device), others have led to goals that have been somewhat more realistic. I dreamed of finishing school, of moving out of home, of graduating from university, of travelling overseas, of getting a good job… These are all dreams I’ve managed to achieve. They’re what I consider the basics, though. Because my other dreams are much, much grander. Some of them have come true too, like my most fervent desire to become a traditionally published author. In my mind, it doesn’t get much better than that. And because my publishing dreams are now becoming a reality, I’ve had to readjust my goals and come up with new ones to work towards—which is both exciting and extremely daunting.
Dreams, I believe, signify our deepest desires and our most honest hopes. That makes them scary. Because there’s always going to be that little voice in the back of our heads whispering things like:
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
“What if my dreams are too big?”
“What if people laugh at me?”
“What if I try my hardest and still don’t succeed?”
Negative ‘what ifs’ are dream-crushers. They’re hope-destroyers. They scream “YOU’RE GOING TO FAIL!!!” so loud that you’re terrified to even try. You may be paralysed by the thought of even beginning to work towards your dreams because you’d rather not lose the possibility of them coming true ‘one day’. It’s a hard truth to acknowledge, but there’s always the risk that if you try today, you might also fail today—which could mean the end of a dream. And that’s a totally justifiable fear. Because the best dreams are also the scariest. But do you want to know a secret? It’s the scary ones, the most challenging ones, that have the power to make a difference—in you, in those around you, and in the rest of the world.
You can probably tell by now that I get a little passionate when it comes to talking about dreams and goals and hopes and all that, so when I was contacted by the community manager at Kabbage.com yesterday with the suggestion to write a post on this topic, I jumped at the chance to put pen to my thoughts. I can’t help it—I’m just an eternal optimist with an unshakable belief in happily-ever-afters. But I’m also not completely oblivious to the realities of the world. Yes, things can happen in life to crush and ruin our dreams. It’s happened to me before, and it sucks. But that’s when we have to dream new dreams, set new goals, nurture new hopes. And there’s beauty in that—so much beauty. Because each new day has twenty-four hours of potential for us to work with. And in that time, it’s up to us to decide if we’ll begin to step into our dreams… or if we’ll just wait for a ‘better time.’ I love the quote by Earl Nightingale that says, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” That’s so true. And it’s up to us to use our time wisely.
Let me encourage you today with a final, well-known, often overused (but still appropriate) quote:
What are you waiting for? Put your shoes on and start walking into your dreams!