Are You Still Dreaming?

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you. — William James

What’s your dream? Or have you given up on dreaming?

chainsI remember the story of baby circus elephants who are tethered to large stakes. The baby elephant tries and tries to get away from the stake, but can’t. He keeps on trying but still can’t. Eventually, he gives up and even though the elephant grows into a massive animal who could pull out the stake with minimal effort, he doesn’t. Why? Because he gave up. He tried and tried to no avail, so he gave up.

I think many of us are like that with our dreams. We limit ourselves because we’ve tried in the past and couldn’t. Or we’ve been told over and over that we can’t. Until, one day, we quit trying. We give up on our dream.

Our world today teaches conformity, which is really sad to me. I believe that very few of us will reach our full potential because all we’ve heard most of our lives is, “You can’t do that! You will stand out… you will be different… you’ll be weird… you won’t fit in with the crowd.” We hear those things so much and so often that eventually, we give up. We don’t even think about trying anymore.

What’s most sad about this to me is that we’ve settled and didn’t even realize we’ve settled. We are comfortable in our playing small because we believe that’s all we are capable of. We accept that this is all we can have, be and do. We decide that this is our life and we’ll make the most of it, right here, where we are. We get stuck in a rut and don’t even realize that there is life outside that rut. We quit striving to be more, do more and have more.

Not only does this make me sad, but it makes me angry. It makes me angry that we’ve been taught to go along with the crowd and accept the life we’ve been dealt. We’ve been taught to sit down, shut up and follow directions. We’ve been taught that we can’t reach our dreams, so give up on them while you are young, before it will be a big waste of your time.

What makes me even angrier is that many times money is behind these teachings. Even our education system is built around money now. It’s not about getting a good education as much as it is about keeping kids in seats.

Our health care and insurance and most everything else is about money – not our welfare… not our well-being… not what’s best for us individually, or even collectively.

We are taught not to rock the boat. We are taught to quit pulling on our stake. And we do. We quit. We give up. And we are happy about that because we don’t know what we are missing. We don’t know what’s up and outside of the rut we’ve found ourselves in. Sometimes our rut is so deep, we don’t even realize that we are in that rut.

Several years ago – about 20 to be exact – I realized I was in that rut. I realized that there was much more out there and that I was capable of so much more than I thought or had been taught. I realized that I was being ‘duped’ for lack of a better word. That society, my environment, and our world was teaching me to play small. I realized that I had quit dreaming. I had been taught that dreaming was childish and ridiculous.

When I decided to dream again, I didn’t know how. My dreams were still really, really small. I dreamed of gadgets, new cars, better routes to work, better jobs, etc. It took me a while to learn to dream big again. I still don’t think I’ve let myself dream REALLY, REALLY BIG yet. But, I’m getting there.

I’m realizing the tethers that are still attached to my soul. And one by one, I’m breaking free. One by one, I’m cutting them loose and letting my imagination soar! I’m dreaming bigger and bigger dreams and realizing that there is no limit on the human mind and soul. There are no limits, except those we make up for ourselves. We are truly capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit.

Have you stopped dreaming? What is holding you back? What limits, if any, have you put on yourself? If you could be, do or have ANYTHING in the world, what would it be? What is your dream?

Pull on that tether and see if you have outgrown your stake. Don’t let old habits or old self-talk keep you from what you are capable of achieving. Dream big dreams! And KNOW that you can be, do and have ANYTHING you desire.



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