*from the book Renew Your Mind
Have you ever told someone your great idea and they immediately shot it down. They begin to laugh and say “you are crazy, how are you going to do that?”
What about a college choice and you were told “you just need to go down to the community college.”
“They won’t hire you over there, you better just get a job at _________.”
I could go on with the negative comments you can receive when you are brave enough to share your dreams.
It can get to a point where you stop telling anyone.
These people are dream killers.
Every child has been asked many times what do they want to be when they grow up. Depending on the age, the answer varies.
The answer at age 5 will be different at age 10; 12 will be different than 18; 20 will be different than 30.
Very few people are what they said they wanted to be. We let someone kill our dream.
My youngest says she wants to be a Rock Star. She loves to sing and dance around the house, she always demands we stop what we are doing to watch her latest dance moves. She is committed to her dream.
She also likes to draw, so every chance she gets she is putting a new drawing on the fridge. I have to be careful not to be my child’s first dream killer. My inattentiveness or my dismissive attitude towards her dream sends a clear message that she CAN’T do it so maybe she should choose something else.
My oldest always showed an interest in crafts, so we would foster that. She made bracelets, earring and key chains for all her friends in school. Then a little later she took a liking to makeup and hair. Fast forward to after graduating with a degree in History and working for many years in her mother’s medical offices, she is pursuing her dream of make-up artistry. She has found the thing that she wants to do everyday. Is her dream complete yet? No, not yet but she is working towards what makes her happy. Her term for success may not happen instantly but it will happen because when she talks about her dream assignment the entire room is filled with the kind of passion no one can kill.
We as parents also have a hand in steering our children towards things we wish we had done. Maybe it was our own dream to be a dancer, so despite protest from our children they have been enrolled in dance since the age of 3. Or we really want our child to become a famous athlete, so we push and push, forcing them to become what we want them too.
Now I am not saying don’t encourage your child. I am saying don’t kill their dream. So what if a child wants to be a fairy princess or a dragon slayer, a fireman or a doctor? They will show signs of what they like and dislike. We want our children to have a social calendar at 5. We over schedule them, making them try this activity and that activity, then we say choose 2.
We often think letting them keep up with this dream of becoming a super hero is just a waste of time and they should choose practical careers. What’s a practical career? Practical to who? A fellow dream killer? I think not. Why are we making children decide on grown up career in Elementary school?
Let’s talk about dream killed adults.
There are many many people who are in careers that they simply dislike. They have made family happy, but they have settled.
I have a friend who has always wanted to go to a certain college; but because his family was an alumni at a rival college- guess where he ended up? You guessed it…Dream killers.
What about the entire family of preachers? Is this your calling or your family calling you to follow in their footprints? What if you wanted to be/do something else? How would it be viewed?
Or the family of musicians; but you don’t even like to sing?
Dream killers almost always never followed their own dreams, they are stuck and feel there is no way out. They didn’t dare dream and they don’t want you to do it either.
Dreamers never play it safe; it’s risky to follow a path that is uncertain.
To dream killers’ defense- they don’t want you to be disappointed if things don’t work out as planned. But what if they do work out?
My mom always said ” your job has to mean more than a paycheck” but I warn you that if it’s not your dream or your passion no matter how many figures are in that check it will always be just a job. You will be satisfied for a while, then you will become restless.
Why do we share our dreams?
We need for someone to believe in us. We need validation, we need to know that this isn’t some crazy idea in our head, we need people to cosign. We need support, we need each other.
Go back for moment to a time in your life before you were met with “it will never work”
Back to the days before your dreams were killed, before you decided or someone decided for you that you should do something else.
You may even catch yourself saying “I always wanted to be a _____________” you could actually see yourself doing it. You become happy just thinking about it.
Why aren’t you doing that very thing, why have you let someone who didn’t pursue their dreams keep you from pursuing yours?
Have you settled for someone else’s dreams? Or did you expect that your dream didn’t require that much work? Did you think it was too hard to continue, did you take the easy way out. Did you take the first job offer, did you even apply for the job you wanted?
I know a doctor who refuses to see over a certain number of patients per day. Once he reaches that max- he is out of there. It does not matter if you are near death, he will not add another patient on his schedule.
On the other hand I know another doctor in the same practice who will work through lunch and stay late to accommodate his patients.
Who do you think has the better practice? Who do you think is actually following his dreams?
I know you are thinking it’s too late to follow some childhood dream now.
To that I say “says who?” you hear all the time where the retiree went back to finish his college degree, or the corporate giant who left it all to pursue his love of painting.
The only limitation you have is the one you convinced yourself you had. You listened to a dream killer, you believed in someone who didn’t have the courage to believe in themselves. You allowed someone to take your dream and throw it in the trash.
It’s so much easier NOT to pursue your dreams now, you have reasoned it away. You have become your own dream killer. Your fear of failure has choked the life out of that dream or has it?
The desire never left you for a reason, there is still a flicker of a flame. There still is time. The fact that you still think on it shows that the dream may still be alive; even if barely.
What about the most recent desire you have, the one that just dropped in your spirit. The one that fits you today. What have you decided to do with that? Where is that invention, that business, that book?
Have you dismissed it as “not gonna happen” or did you decide it can’t be done because of finances?
Maybe it’s “I have this idea but I don’t know what to do with it” where is it? What is it? When are you going to stop dreaming and start doing?
You may have missed out on being a princess or a fireman but this new dream can be yours. No, everyone will not understand, they won’t get it, they may even think you are making a mistake. It’s not their dream- it’s yours and it’s your time to fulfill it. No one can do it quite like you. It was given to you for a reason. Change I Can’t into I Will. No one’s stopping you.
What I you fail?
What if you don’t?
Why if I can’t?
What if you can?
What if it’s hard?
What if it’s not so hard after all?
Dreams aren’t magic, they take work. They take planning, and sometimes take trial and error. But none of it compares to the feeling of “I did it, against all obstacles, I did it”
Resurrect that dream. Absolutely no one can keep you from your dream today but you.
The first thing that grabbed me was your daughter having a college degree. That’s a great accomplishment, and no matter what she does in life, she’ll always have that safeguard!
I was a kid when I first picked up the bass guitar in the early (70’s). My mom brought me my first guitar from Montgomery Wards. I never had lessons, because I think that my mom thought it was a phase that I’ll soon grow out of! My asking for a guitar was probably no different from a kid asking for a pair of skates. For close to forty years,
I’ve played by ear off and on an never pursued any lessons for that affinity.
Well, I started taking bass guitar lessons about a year ago, for the sake of doing so! Still love to play, but there’s been a shift to write. I wrote an unpublished manuscript about that affinity.
Dream Killers…what an incredible thought
Because I know what a literary giant you are. The fact that you took the time to read anything I wrote means a lot. Thank you.
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Out of respect, I’ll say thanks and in the same breath, I’ll say, stop playing! They write books about people like you!