Updated: Dec 28, 2022
I think everyone has been told or at least heard from someone, that we can be anything we want to be, however, is there any truth in that idea? When we were children, we have likely been asked what we want to be when we grow up, and the answers are usually some very lofty ideas, like becoming an astronaut, a pilot, or a professional sports player. How many of us ever become what we dreamed of becoming as a child? Unfortunately, not many of us achieve or even pursue those lofty goals that we had as young people. We somehow end up just trudging through life, going to school, working a job, raising a family, then retiring, and never truly finding that golden nugget of purpose. So, what stops us from becoming or seeking out those glorious goals? I don’t believe that we put on this earth to simply work, eat, consume, and die; we all have some specific purpose and mission to fulfill, but discovering that purpose is quite the task.
I find that societal norms tend to dim us down, bog us down with stuff, beat us down with bills, and force us into the normal model of working a job, or jobs, that we would rather not do. Why do we let the system do this to us? Is it because that is what we are taught to believe? Or is it because we are afraid of what other people might think if we create our own path and create something that is not “normal”? I believe it is all of that; when we are young, we have no limits, nor any inherent fears, but along our path, we get indoctrinated with the beliefs, and our perceptions become hardwired into specific patterns. Once our patterns have been etched into our subconscious mind, we then tend to move through life on autopilot, and rarely even remember the dreams we once had. Then one day when we get older, we begin to wonder how we ended up where we have, and then realize that we have never chased down a dream or a passion.
Can we then set goals and achieve anything we want? There are clearly physical limitations to achieving some things; for example, you will likely never be able to bench press a train, however, you can certainly set some goals towards that and end up quite strong. But there are an enormous number of goals that we can reach if we really set specific goals and work diligently toward those goals. Clearly, we must have a target, or some specific direction to move towards, otherwise, we might as well just be running in place. There is a difference between working hard and working forward towards a goal. Most people never achieve their dreams or goals because they simply do not have any; you can’t decide if you have reached what you consider success if you haven’t laid out what that is for you. Achieving superior dreams or goals does take purposeful actions, solid beliefs, and dedication. Even though there are dreams that cannot physically become reality, that is no reason not to chase the seemingly impossible goals. That mentality is like the old mantra of shooting for the stars, and if you can’t reach the stars, you can still land on the moon!! There are also many stories about people achieving the seemingly impossible, so if other people can succeed, there really is no reason why everyone can’t do the same.
Working towards a dream is like building a fire, you must start small and build during the process to achieve a great roaring fire. I am sure many of us have tried to start a fire by lighting large logs, only to realize it was not going to work; just like chasing a dream, you can’t start at the top. When building a fire, the best way to start is with small sticks and brush that light easily; then begin to add larger sticks until you have achieved a large fire with logs burning. There are steps that must be taken to build something robust, and these steps should not be skipped in the process; however, even once you have built the big fire, you must continue to tend to that fire, or it will die out. Any dream or goal that is achieved must also be continually tended to, otherwise, all the work to achieve this goal will be for naught.
Remember that success is not simply a destination, however, it is a lifelong journey.
This is a call to action for all those that need to dust off all those old dreams, set some goals, and chase that dream!!!