The Power of Hopes and Dreams
Hopes and dreams. Are they important? You might answer No? Somewhat? Maybe? Yes? Definitely Yes? The answer to that is not a definitive yes or no. It depends on how important they are to you and your future. Here's how hopes and dreams fit into people's lives.
1. They have no hopes and dreams. They are ok with the status quo. The underlying concern with this group is not only that they have no hopes/dreams, but the why. Why don't have have hopes/dreams? Has someone somehwere at sometime crushed their dreams? Has their self-confidence been so beaten down that they don't believe they can achieve anything? Or, could it be just the fact that they view life as ok and they see no need to achieve goals. What does the future look like for folks who fit into this category? Are they just waiting their time to die? This is probably the saddest category to describe someone's life. Where then is the joy that comes with looking at every day as a new opportunity to discover something you'd never known before, or possibly help someone along the way. It's just simply not there. Each day is the same. Nothing new, nothing challenging, nothing to hope for, nothing to learn, nothing to gain, nothing to lose. Nothing.
2. Hopes and dreams are there, but they consider them too unattainable for them. This is indeed another sad category to describe someone's life. This is probably where most people fit. I have heard so many people say, if only, well maybe someday, let's get together sometime (they actually mean, it's never going to happen). Their desire to reach their hopes/dreams is buried deep inside their heart, but their motivation and drive to see it through is lacking. I work with individuals who somewhat kind of fall into this category, a little bit modified though. They have grandiose dreams of becoming self-made millionaires, or independently weathy. However, their biggest hurdle, I don't want to work for it. I want it handed to me. This group is very hard to teach because they want it right now. That instant gratification that's very temporal. I also work with and directly know people who fit this category perfectly. They have hopes/dreams, but it's not for them for whatever reason they've convinced themselves to be true. Someone has taken their self-esteem and pulverized it to bits. I used to be in this category. Thank goodness I'm not now or else I wouldn't be here doing what I'm doing now. When I was a kid, I was horribly shy and did not stick up for myself when picked on. You see now in the media a focus on bullying, but I'm here to tell you that it's not a new concept. It's been going on forever. I allowed others to bully me and make me feel worthless. Make me feel like I wasn't good enough to be somebody. I used to love school until about 7th grade. It was downhill from there. It just got worse and worse. I wanted to do/be better, but I didn't believe it was for me. I really had no aspirations of being anything. But you know how life goes, things happen that change your life. Well, it did for me. An incident changed my life and helped me to believe that I can be something better. Thank goodness I broke out of the old stinky thinking that I wasn't worthy or good enough.
3. Hopes and dreams are what keeps them motivated to do/be more.
I fall into category #3. I have hopes and dreams of what I can do and become. Some hopes and dreams are in the near future, and some have more time yet to develop. But if I stay on course, they will happen. I have a goal and I can see what that goal will look like. Can you do this? Can you picture what obtaining your hopes/dreams/goals will look like? If you can't, then maybe you haven't put "feet" to your dreams. To get to your hopes/dreams/goals, you need to determine what those are, start an action plan of how to begin and map out what the journey will look like, and then picture yourself at the end.
The downside of having hopes/dreams/goals, not everyone will get onboard with it. Sometimes you'll feel like you're all alone wanting to do/be a better person. That's ok though. Be your own cheerleader. It is kind of sad how when you do reach your dreams, all of a sudden you have a host of people supporting you. But sometimes, those individuals who you thought supported you will not do it. When I went through college, not that terribly long ago, at each critical point in the process that required that I take a test to move on to the next step in the program, I would share my success with who I thought were my "friends". I had just received test scores in the mail of a test I had to take in order to continue in the education program. I shared these results with these "friends", only to have them give me a look that showed, "I could really care less". And, so put insult to injury, whenever I graduated from college, I had a party and invited family and friends. And once again, those "friends" didn't disappoint. They didn't show up. Only one elderly lady from the church we were attending showed up. But, what I've learned from that very hurtful experience is that I don't need other people to validate my success. And just as obvious, you find out who your true friends are when you do achieve success.
But, if you do have hopes/dreams/goals and you've shared them with people who you thought supported you only to find out that they really don't, that's ok. Think of your hopes/dreams/goals as a little seed that you've carefully planted in the dirt, or soil as my daughter insists. That little seed needs water to grow. Think of those who don't support your desire to do/be better as providers of the "rain" needed for your little seed to sprout. One day as these folks keep providing water to your little seed, it will eventually burst out of the ground and start to take on some height. Eventually you'll see leaves pop up, and then one day when you least expect it, a flower will start to bud. Then when all of the hard work of achieving your hopes/dreams/goals is finished, a beautiful flower will open and reveal its beauty. Then you can thank your rain providers for helping you fulfill your dreams. So go ahead, rain on my dreams. It needs the water to flourish.