“Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you”- John Wooden
The Power of a Dream
You are created with the ability to dream. Given by God, no other species possess this rich ability. When tapped, your dream will take you on a journey beyond the mundane to your destiny. Individuals who have found success, significance, and greatness trace it back to a dream. Like a seed sown in the ground, fertilized and watered, a dream sown in the mind, fertilized by desire, and watered with faith and action, yields tremendous results.
A dream is the best way to free your future from the past. Dreams carry infinite value. Their worth is more than any precious metal. Without a dream, the future remains a hopeless vacuum. Dreams give shape and definition to the future. Because of a dream, people overcome insurmountable odds to see it become a reality. And when realized, dreams are life-changing.
Defining A Dream
In, Put Your Dream To The Test, Dr. John C. Maxwell defines a dream as “an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” This captivating nature of a dream creates in us a laser focus not previously present. But without relevance, a dream can quickly devolve into a wish and leave us stranded on a fantasy island.
What makes a dream relevant? To answer this, we must understand what makes a dream irrelevant. Dream irrelevance occurs when our dreams are based on someone else’s achievements or results rather than our potential and purpose. The “I want to be like ________” phrase reflects this. Your dream is as unique as your life. Author Max Lucado assures, “You aren’t an accident. You weren’t mass-produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on Earth by the Master Craftsman.”
Relevance is tied to relatability and alignment. Many companies that thrived in the ‘90s and 2000s lost dominance of their respective markets and eventually declared bankruptcy because they were no longer relevant. Their inability to stay relatable and align with the times and changes in consumer preferences eroded these once profitable organizations. Companies like Blockbuster, Sears, and Blackberry bowed to Netflix, Amazon, and Apple, respectively. Our lives suffer the same fate when our dreams are riddled with irrelevance. Dream relevance is assured when it aligns with your values, potential, and purpose, and current season of life.
Values such as integrity, faith, and loyalty, among others, are qualities that hold us up in the fiercest storms of life. They act like sandbags protecting us from the floodwaters of compromise in the name of achieving a dream. Knowing your values is a key indicator of self-awareness. Values are fundamental to inform your decisions and actions. Relating to dreams, values provide your dreams with a solid ground to stand on despite the unknowns that accompany a dream. Dreams with no values have little to no chance of becoming a reality.
Potential and purpose are the twin towers that lead to a satisfying life. They are inseparable and work in concert to bring us to our destiny. With them, we press forward in hope knowing that our best days are ahead and not behind us. On bad days, I am always grateful to God that the potential and purpose He put in me has not been exhausted. This perspective encourages me to press on. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your birth and upbringing you are loaded with wealth in the form of potential and purpose. Potential and purpose authenticate our dreams, confirming we are heading in the right direction.
In connection to dreams, my current season of life is primarily informed by my priorities, not my circumstances. Seeing their lives through the lens of circumstance, many choose to survive instead of thriving by throttling their dreams. While a circumstance refers to a current condition or state, a priority defines what is important at a certain phase of life. Your circumstances are never to create limitations for your dreams. A mediocre life is mastered when circumstances downgrade your ability to dream, set goals, and envision a better life. My wife and children are a priority, therefore a dream that would draw me away from them is irrelevant to me. The cost is not worth it. On the other hand, a lack of resources is a circumstance that should not stop you from dreaming if the dream is consistent with your values, potential, and purpose.
Final thought: When astronauts in space step outside their spaceship to go on a spacewalk, they use safety tethers to ensure they don’t float away into space. As you take your dream walk to step into your future, stay tethered to your values, potential and purpose, and current season of life. This tethering will keep you from floating through life. Your dreams will remain relevant, and the possibility of reaching them will be even greater.
Keep on keeping on!