“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmunds Lee
Whenever I reach a milestone I tend to reflect on my future, my past and where I am today. In the next few weeks I will be reaching such a moment, (at least for me) and I have already begun to reflect and ponder about where my life is headed. This particular milestone for me is turning forty-eight years old on September 3rd. Although I am still a few years shy of the big fifty club, celebrating a new year is significant because we are certainly not promised a tomorrow in life.
So as I count down the days to this momentous occasion, I think about my life. What I have accomplished, what I have not and what dreams I still believe that I can achieve. I remember as a kid I use to think about seemingly impossible things that I wanted to accomplish. Things like becoming a doctor or engineer, owning property, traveling around the world and becoming a great speaker and author. Maybe for many these were easily obtainable dreams, but for me they were not.
Obviously our dreams and goals change as we get older due to life circumstances and changes in our personal desires. Case in point I am definitely not a doctor, but I do enjoy my current career in construction management. I have owned a few homes, but I am not yet the real estate mogul that I dreamt of. Traveling is certainly a passion of mine which I have had the opportunity to partake in quite frequently and I have been blessed to speak on various platforms around the country. Lastly I am two chapters away from completing my first book and I will hopefully continue to write on topics that encourage people with this blog and other books yet to come.
So what about those unmentioned dreams? You know the ones we tend to keep to ourselves for whatever reason. Perhaps we gave up on them, a circumstance destroyed them or we simply stopped believing them.
I am not here to over-simplify why we tend to stop dreaming, because I can certainly identify with giving up, falling short or things just not working out like I planned. As children or young adults we seldomly see the challenges that come along with pursuing a dream, so the sky is the limit (and it should be), but often once real life hits us the story tends to change a bit. The obstacles become more apparent as we get older and there is nothing like reality kicking us in the gut and altering our plans or at a minimum prolonging them.
For me, one of my undisclosed dreams was being happily married (once) and having a family. (Read my other post to learn more about this) I did not necessarily grow up seeing the perfect marriage (not that one exist). My parents were divorced after seventeen years of marriage and you always believe you will do better, but when you do not have the tools to keep it together, you are destined to fail even with the best intentions.
Of course I never saw myself here, but I am and once I got over the guilt of the initial failure I was able to continue living with the hope and anticipation of having an intact family, which included a fulfilling and committed marriage. A dream that was shattered by much of my on means, but thankfully I have learned in my journey to never quit and listen to others that do not have my best interest.
So it was up to me to keep believing and following my dreams, no matter how far off they seemed to be. I had developed many reasons to stop outright, however something deep inside of me was not settled with failure. I owned my failure, but realized it did not have to define me or the next stages of my life. The dreams I once believed in were still attainable. I just needed to take the hard lessons I learned and apply them. Like really apply them. So with a lot humility and a little courage I did just that.
I began to believe again in what was once lost. I began to believe again in what I once gave up on. I began to believe again in what God placed in my spirit as a child. Yes I experienced some failures, made some poor decisions, and in some cases even attempted to alter the ultimate plan that God had for my life, but life was not over for me yet. And when I finally got back to pursuing my dreams, I realized they were still there like a treasure buried under rock. It required a little digging and work to retrieve them, but they were still there. I just need to believe and begin following them again.
Wherever you find yourself today, I challenge you to reflect on why you gave up on your dreams and find a way to rekindle them or take the steps to start them possibly for the first time.
No one can do it quite like you can and the world is waiting for you to rise up and follow your dreams like your very life depends on it, because in some cases it really does.