Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Achievers of Dreams

I had to admit; when he told me that he had been in a competition for stand up comics I just couldn’t see it.  I mean, he just didn’t look funny; strange, yes, but not funny.  Furthermore, I had never heard him say anything funny.  He never even cracked a joke.  Yet, he had won the first round and made it to the finals where he could win a chance to perform in Tennessee.  To say I was impressed was an understatement.  Shocked was more like it.
However, what I was impressed with was the fact that he had the guts to go after his dream.  Within him he had a desire to make people laugh and he went for it.  Adam found something that he enjoyed and he took a chance, a chance that seems to be paying off by the way.
A few weekends ago the girls and I attended a show put on by area belly dancers.  Two of our friends, Maddie and Laura, were in the show and they did an oopah of a job, which means it was really really good.  Now, I don’t know if belly dancing was a lifelong dream of theirs or if they just saw the class, thought it would be fun and signed up.  What I do know is that they found something that they enjoy doing and have gone after it.  They are quite talented at it as well, but even if they weren’t it wouldn’t matter.  They could see themselves doing it and, therefore, they did it.
Other friends of ours started growing bamboo and selling it to nurseries in the area, but soon that wasn’t enough.  Lynn and Molly stepped out and opened their own nursery on the sunny Florida east coast and though the weather hasn’t been friendly, they’ve stuck it out and seen their dream grow.
And those are just a few.  Scott and Tamara compete in tandem surfing, Angela models for the East Coast Bombshells and Todd travels the world motivating people.  Some of the dreams are extravagant while others may seem small, but they all involve risk to the one turning their dream into a reality.
I understand that risk.  To be honest it twists my stomach into a knot of Christmas lights every time I take another step on the path of my dream’s journey.  It is one thing to write stories for myself or even my family, or to paint a picture that will never leave your living room or compose a song that never leaves the shower.  It is quite another to send that precious creation out into a cruel and fickle world.  It’s the same with starting a business or performing on stage.  You take that special dream of yours out of the safety of your heart and put it out to a judgmental public hoping with held breath that whether they like it or not, they’ll at least be nice.
Yet, even if they’re not - and not all will be -the dreamer presses onward, determined to see it through to the end.  Nothing will discourage him or her from going to the next step; at least, not the Achiever of Dreams.
There are some who merely dream.  Yet, they go on and on as if the dream is all there is.  They went to start a business or they want to get into acting or writing or public speaking and they talk it up big.  They have an itch and have even written down a goal or two or an outline of how they would make their dream come true if, that is, they stopped talking about it and did something.
I realized recently that I was doing just that; an abundance of talking and not much doing.  Oh, I was writing; every day as a matter of fact.  However, I wasn’t taking any real risks and getting the writing out there.  Oh, I was putting things on the blog, just not as often as I should or even wanted.  Yet, that had minimal risk.  My friends and family read it and, of course, they all said they enjoyed it.  It gave me an ego boost, but when I was honest with myself I realized that I didn’t truly expect any of them to say, “My god, Robbie, that sucks worse than your wood working.”  The people who read it and didn’t like it simply kept their mouths shut and stopped reading.
In order to continue on the journey of my dream I had to risk more.  And I did.  As I was researching on how to put my books out electronically, I discovered that I could put my blog on Kindle through Amazon.  Before I could consider the ramifications, I filled out the form and clicked send.  This would open my writing up to more people, people I didn’t know nor had any contact with.  I was nervous as hell and walked away from the computer before I could cancel my account.
Everyone who has a dream faces those moments of fear.  Call it stage fright, the jitters, or simply doubting your decision and worrying about the future; we all feel it.  Yet, the Achievers push through those moments and travel onward.  They harness that fear and turn their dreams into realities.  They are still afraid, of course, but it doesn’t cripple them.
Furthermore, they remain focused.  While that popular show entices or friends call for a night out, the Achiever stays fixed on their course and chooses the long haul over the immediate pleasure.  It calls for sacrifice and at times it may seem as if the dreamer has isolated himself and checked out on life’s activities, but saying “No,” now pays greater dividends later down the road.  The Achiever turns down the good in order to have the better.  Yes, that means some things will be missed, but it will be worth it.
Anyone can talk about their dreams.  I hear people do it all of the time.  It’s one of my favorite questions to ask.  “What is your dream?”  My heart saddens when I hear people say that they don’t have one or that they’re just trying to survive.  Life is not about surviving, it’s about thriving.  Dare to do more than exist.  Dare to do more than just dream.  I dare you to achieve that dream, make the sacrifices, work until you sweat, and thrive in doing what it is you want to do with your life and your time.  Big or small, it doesn’t matter.  If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

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