Henry David Thoreau wrote “Go confidently in the directions of your dreams”
While putting school supplies away in my classroom the other day I noticed those words on the wall and found myself wondering what they really meant. What does Thoreau mean and why am I struggling to figure it all out? And why am I trying to figure it out now at 46 years of age? What are my dreams? What direction are those dreams taking me; if they are taking me at all?
Quite often I think we find ourselves losing sight of the dreams we have because life takes over and survival mode kicks in. When we are young it seems that we have our entire lives ahead of us and our dreams are endless. Throwing caution to the wind in search of the meaning of life seems do-able until somewhere in the midst of it all we grow up, have bills to pay, become parents and set those dreams aside because somewhere someone told us that following our dreams and doing something for ourselves is selfish.
Born a twin in a low-income area in Miami, Florida, Les Brown and his twin brother, Wes, were adopted at six weeks of age by Mamie Brown, a single woman who had very little education or money but a very big heart. As a child Les struggled with hyperactivity. His non-stop talking and inability to focus on school work landed him special education classes for the learning disabled most of his school career. Les would spend hours in his bedroom each night listening to his transistor radio; using a hairbrush as a microphone he would introduce songs to an invisible audience. Listening through the thin walls his mother and brother would scold him for talking too much. He never stopped; Les Brown dreamed of being a disc jockey. After graduation Les became a sanitation worker in Miami Beach, but he never lost his dream.
Through persistence, hard work and wanting to keep his dream alive, Les Brown landed his first job in a radio station; a job that would take him onto many other endeavors including becoming an Ohio politician, public speaker and television personality. Les Brown never lost sight of his dreams; he pursued them with intent, purpose and dedication.
Wondering what it is that causes some to stay focused on their dreams while others give up and move on living a life filled with “what if’s” and “I wish I had’s” I conclude that there are no right answers. I believe that some people have buried deep within their souls the desire not only to dream but to live the life they dream about. I am not referring to fairy tales and fantasy rather living life to fulfill our dreams and reach our highest potential.
Following our dreams can be scary. Quite often it would appear that dreams are un-reachable because we are taught that they are filled with frivolity and fantasy, however, dreams are really the roadmap to the life journey we are on. A friend shared with me the following quote: “If your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough”. Allowing ourselves to dream the impossible will enable us to achieve the impossible. Much like Les Brown, I too found my life path filled with obstacles that slowed me down leaving me filled with fear and standing still. It was only after I made the decision (with encouragement from family and friends) to dream again that life began to make sense.
Dreams are the gateway to our soul allowing us to see what it is that we really want. Dreams are what give us courage to quit the life we are told we should have and live the life we have always dreamed of having.
Follow your dreams for as you dream you shall become. As Christopher Reeve once said “At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.” I encourage you to live large and dream and achieve the inevitable.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!