We often put others down when they tell us their dreams and wildest aspirations. The paradox is that we constantly hear people say, ‘dream big.’ When we are young, we do so. Then as we grow older we are pushed on to do something with our lives and make something of ourselves and like little sheep heading back into the fenced area, we do exactly what is expected of us. We end up picking something to do that somewhat feels right. But what about our dreams? What about living a life true to ourselves, that is fulfilling and allows us to feel a sense of fulfillment? Where did that idea go?
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the two wolves we have within. There is one that is positive and full of courage, generous, kind, and loving. The other wolf is the opposite. Unkind, a cheater, always looking to take advantage, sabotage others, etc. They are constantly fighting each other. Who wins in the end?
The one you feed.
The paradox is that we are constantly being sent or sending others mixed messages. In an interview TED conducted with Elon Musk, they asked him what inspired him to go after such amazing feats. Things few would dream possible or even attempt. The interviewer asked, do you think perhaps we need to think a little bigger? He humbly answered, ‘yes.’ He added that he wanted to do something that would inspire people and give them hope. Elon Musk has done that and more. He has changed the car industry, space, and alternative energy spaces forever.
“What the mind of man can conceive, he can achieve.”
Are these just things we say in order to sound supportive to only doubt it later.
Why are we constantly doubting? Constantly thrown back into thinking that the only way we can live is the way everyone else lives?
Imagine for one moment who you would have to become in order to really achieve those wild dreams you dream. Who would that person be? What are the characteristics of that person? The mindset? The beliefs? The way they communicate? How do they walk? Talk? Who are their friends? Now consider where you are at this moment and how you could become that person.
It is so important to pay attention to the stories we tell our children because that is ultimately what they will grow up believing.(Check out my post on the power of Story telling) At the same time we have to make sure to always be developing the curiosity of our kids to ensure they keep questioning, seeking answers and pushing themselves to grow. (Check out this post on Curiosity)
In many aspects, it is only a matter of discipline and putting in the work and doing it until it happens. Sure, you need guidance and the right tools and mentors and knowledge, but even with that, if you don’t have discipline and are unwilling to work at it, you will achieve nothing.
Why, however, are we afraid to go after those dreams and instead remain in our comfort zone? My friend Andres Ponciano believes your comfort zone is usually where you are most uncomfortable. Why are we allowing ourselves to be steered away from the path that would eventually allow us to become the person we wished we could be?
Another key ingredient to becoming the person we dream of is getting comfortable being uncomfortable and then becoming uncomfortable again because you keep growing. Perhaps our own dissatisfaction with life is on occasion, a matter of being in constant growth mode. We are never fully satisfied because we know we could do more and we have to do more. Because there is more meaning in our life when we work hard on something that we value, that could change not only us, but the lives of those around us.
Perhaps it is not just the idea of having a sense of purpose that is greater than ourselves, but that of constantly becoming a better version of ourselves.
What is life if not a consistent evolving of our personality, our body, our spirit, our everything?
People talk of stagnation and reaching plateaus. Is it a plateau or is it a slow movement back down? Is it maybe just natural that you need to rest in order to come back stronger?
The answers can only be found by going through the process.
Perhaps the most important question for me is why people live their lives in a way that is unfulfilling instead of putting all they’ve got in making it great? In following what they want to do and reaching that dream. Even if they don’t fully attain it, they will have tried and they will most likely come close.
Of the many issues I have with our current outdated, mediocre education system, this is the biggest. It kills dreams.
When you kill dreams consistently you create a society that gets used to no longer dreaming and believing it can be done.
Why not try doing the opposite? Encouraging it all? Imagine what that would do for the world? Imagine if we all dreamed big and worked hard to make those dreams a reality? What a world that would be.