Is there something you’ve imagined yourself doing since childhood? You envisioned what it would be like, you daydreamed about it and shared it with friends. It may have sounded like this, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a doctor and heal people.” Or, perhaps you said, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a professional basketball player.”
Whatever the vision, big or small, you had a dream. A desire to find purpose in life is something we all have in common. Wanting to make a difference and leave a mark is ingrained within us.
Think of the young child that dreams of becoming a doctor or basketball player. In his mind, he already is a doctor or basketball player. Imagination and faith govern his thinking. Untainted by the world, he holds on to a belief that he can become anything he wants to be. What an awesome thought. Whatever you can dream and imagine, you can become.
One day, tomorrow, next week or next month…After I’ve finished school, when the kids are older, or after I’ve paid off my debt…Once my life is in order, then I’ll pursue my passion. More time is spent dreaming about creating a better future than actually taking steps of faith.
Day after day and month after month, you may find yourself in the same spot. Life seems to lack meaning, and you find yourself thinking, Life has to be more than this. I want to make a difference. I want to leave a legacy.
In reality, you’ll never complete anything in life until you first start. This sounds so simplistic. But, how many times do you put off doing what you know you should do? After all, there’s always tomorrow.
The dream in your heart started as a small seed. Perhaps the seed was planted as a single word or thought. I bet you’ve imagined your vision becoming a reality many times over. But, what have you done to water that seed?
Big dreams are great, but when unrealized frustration sets in. You may be left feeling anything but empowered. Fear may stop you from moving forward altogether. If this is your situation, I can certainly relate.
For years, I knew what I was supposed to do. Even so, I lacked the courage to step into it. Knowledge wasn’t enough. I needed a change in mindset. Here are some things that helped me to build courage. Perhaps they’ll be helpful for you as well.
1. Pursue your passion. Don’t follow someone else’s vision or do what you feel you should do based on others’ expectations
2. Do what you can to move closer to the vision. Every little step counts. Do something, even if what you can do seems insignificant.
3. Move forward at a pace that is right for you. Don’t compare others’ progress with your own. This is your journey, and only you know what you can handle. You will eventually get there. Just keep moving.
4. Be consistent, even if results don’t come quickly. It takes time to turn a vision into a reality. Keep yourself motivated by celebrating small successes along the way.
5. Be open to change. Adapt and adjust to changes in direction along the way. Your vision may even change. Steps will be revealed as you move forward.
6. Don’t give up when things don’t go as planned or if you have a setback. There’s a lesson in every setback. It’s an opportunity to reassess, a chance to start again.
Every dream unrealized is like a masterpiece never painted, a hit song never sung, a great book never written. Every work of art began as a sketch or a dab of paint on a canvas. Every song started out as a single note. Every book originated from a single thought jotted down on a page.
No painting will become a masterpiece until the first dab of paint is put on the canvas. No song will become a hit until the first note is sung. No book will become a bestseller until the first word is written.
Every dream realized began with a step of faith, a single act of courage. Make today the day you step into greatness. It only takes a single act of courage to take that first step of faith.
Julie Barbera, author of the forthcoming book, Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection
“Treasures Are Right Before Our Eyes, yet Many Miss Gems Searching for Pearls at the Bottom of the Sea.”