If you’ve ever been on social media, if you’ve ever seen a car commercial, if you’ve ever spent an hour in an office meeting listening to a motivational “expert,” then you know that there are a lot of people interested in your reaching your dreams and goals.
Actually, they’re not interested at all in if you actually reach those dreams and goals, but because they know you have them, they want you to purchase their book, attend their seminar, or buy their product (e.g., the car — as a means of fulfilling yourself). Like fruit flies feeding on ripe peaches, “these people” promise what they know you want to hear, and in the process, fulfill their own dreams for fame, power, and money. Those of a religious bent drop the names of Jesus and God, along with faith, belief, and promises, in the process of enriching their bank accounts.
All this does not change the central truth that you, as a creative, intelligent, energetic, and viable human being, have dreams, goals, and aspirations beyond — far, far beyond — the projects you are given at work, the homework you are assigned in school, or the tasks you perform to keep the house running and the (way too many) taxes paid. Quite rightly, we as humans understand that life is more than the basics, and quite understandably, we desire to make a difference with this one life that we are given, and to do something that is meaningful and true.
So we have dreams. The wise ones of us share the details of those dreams with very, very few people, and the wisest of us trust both the details and the grand scheme of those dreams with God.
In the process of fulfilling those dreams, we run into a lot of setbacks, and the bigger and grander the dream, the more frequent and discombobulating the setbacks. What makes it even more confusing are the myriad of inspirational stories and movies, many of which assure us they are “based upon a true story,” which frequently leave us more discouraged than we were before.
“I don’t have what that person has,” (which is also true, because the stories frequently leave out inconvenient, but salient information; it’s not as impressive to hear that a poor, ordinary schmuck who made it BIG with his business, had a little help from a venture capitalist who was best friends with his dad. Stuff like that).
Inspirational, motivational speakers do not make money saying things like this:
- Dreams take time to fulfill.
- Frequently, in the process of fulfilling them, we adjust and change — both the dreams and ourselves.
- Fulfilling dreams is a lifelong process that includes a series of small steps forward. And while we always have the dream in front of us, it cannot overwhelm our lives to the point that we don’t recognize and treasure other aspects of living.
- We have value, at all times, because we are human beings created in the image of God. While we are convinced that our fulfilled dreams are the means that we will use to do good and make a difference, we have the ability to do good and make a difference simply by being kind, listening to people when they speak, helping out in whatever way we can, and treating others with dignity. And while this looks “boring,” unworthy of slow-motion action and accompanying musical theme, it produces far more fruit than inspirational movies.
Simple truths don’t make money.
Do not give up on your dreams because they do not happen as quickly as you wish they would happen. And do not be fooled by people who tell you that they can get you there faster, if you simply put your affairs in their hands.
Keep walking. Keep moving. Keep trying. Keep being kind.
Trust your commonsense. Find time to think. Accept that you will not look “normal,” because “normal,” in our society, is fitting in with the crowd.
You can find more on this topic at the article, Realistically Following Your Dreams
Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes, where I endeavor to counteract mass media’s constant, pulsating message that we must buy this, dress that way, drive this car, watch that movie, and be a person completely different from what we are, in order to be happy.
If you like the memes in this article, you’ll find more of them at Free for Sharing on the Steve Henderson Fine Art website. All artwork is by Steve Henderson. You can find it as prints at the following online retail sites: