Today I really wanted to talk to you about following your dreams, setting goals and making progress in your life. However, as I began to write I realized that I may be addressing some of you who abandoned your dreams long ago and the goals that went with them. So I decided to speak to you about that instead and try to urge you to dream again, set goals again and start doing the thing you love.
What connects your gifts to your purpose is . . .
I believe that God placed you here for a reason and that you have a definite purpose for being on the planet. To fulfill that purpose, you’be been gifted with certin abilities. When you are doing those things, it gives you satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy. But, He didn’t stop there. He has also placed within you an inward compulsion to put those gifts into action. This urge that drives you, this magnet that draws you, this desire that motivates you, this hope that inspires you. This dream or aspiration, is God’s way of connecting you and your gifts to your purpose in life. Dreams are the key to your passion, purpose and your productivity. So, follow your dreams.
Who or what silenced your dreams?
When you were young, they told you that following your dreams was a high and noble thing and what makes you an individual. But, as you neared your high school graduation, those same people started telling you the exact opposite. They said you needed to get your head out of the clouds, stop dreaming and be realistic. They said you needed to get an education, get a job and be like everyone else. Now we have a massive amount of people in their 30’s and beyond, who are disillusioned, disgusted and disheartened with the outcome of that advice. They feel cheated, unfulfilled and frustrated. Your dreams were pushed aside, silenced and almost forgotten. Or, maybe they were silenced and you stopped following your dreams was for other reasons. It might have been the weight of your responsibilities, the demands of a relationship, some unforeseen circumstances or perhaps it was a series of wrong choices that have made your dreams now seem impossible to reach. It’s painful to even think about, isn’t it? Secretly you’ve hoped that one day you could dream again, but now you’re afraid to dream. So, for all practical purposes, you have given up on dreaming.
Why setting goals is not your main problem
There are many well-meaning people who will tell you that you just need to set goals and everything will be alright. That you can get your life on track and all will be well. But, not having goals is not the issue. Not having goals is not the cause of your problem. Not having goals is a symptom. It’s the result of not having real dreams. It’s only when you cease to have a real dream that you cease to have goals. The important thing is not merely setting a goal or trying to discover why you stopped dreaming. The important question is,
Will you choose to really dream again?
Real dreams won’t leave you alone
Real dreams are not just passing thoughts or wishful thinking. Real dreams won’t leave you alone. Real dreams constantly call out to you day and night wanting you to follow them. They are always just beyond your grasp and yet still reachable. Real dreams aren’t satisfied with idle speculation and occupying your occasional attention. Real dreams nag you, pull you, tug you, nudge you, keep you up at night and make you restless during the day. They are always in every waking moment, unseen and unheard by others but always present in your mind. Real dreams make you dissatisfied with “what is”, with the things staying just as they are, with the mundane, with what’s expected and with the average. Real dreams needle you and bug you and irritate you. They lift you to the heights of joy with just the thought of them and then they terrify you with the thought of not seeing them realized. Real dreams drive you and push you and shove you. They make you plot, plan, seek advice from others, and sit quietly alone for hours …thinking … dreaming. Real dreams make you spend your money, fry your brain and exhaust your body. They hover somewhere between the illusive and yet tangible. They make you search for a way to find them, to hold them and keep them forever. Real dreams won’t leave you alone. If it sounds like madness, it’s close. There is a fine line between what appears to others as madness and the true genius of following your dreams. But dreams, and pursuing them, are the things that make life worth living. It’s never too late to dream again, to plan again, to try again and start following your dreams.