We all have dreams when we are young and resilient and capable of extraordinary faith in our future. It’s a time when we still believe that whatever we desire from life can become a reality one day. The truth is, that reality never changes. What does change is that as we grow older, we begin losing our faith in our dreams.
Somewhere along the way, this thing people call “reality” hits. Suddenly you realize that your circumstances are not connecting the dots to the future you imagined. Maybe your parents are divorced and you have no money or you’ve been abused or you are not the right size or color or gender or…fill in the blank.
For whatever reason—and there are always reasons—what you dream of doing and what you believe you can “really” do become two very different realities. Others’ comments often fuel this belief.
They begin asserting things like, “You can’t do that,” and, “You need to live in reality,” and, “That’s impossible,” and, “Maybe in your next life.” The comments are occasionally from a place of good intentions, especially if family and friends are just trying to protect you from disappointment. But such comments do not convey the truth about you or your future.
The fact is that all dreamers, including the greatest achievers in history, have heard these same comments:
Harrison Ford was told he couldn’t act.
Oprah Winfrey was told she was unfit for television.
Michael Jordan was told he couldn’t play varsity basketball.
Amelia Earhart was told she was the wrong gender.
Albert Einstein was told he would amount to nothing.
Anne Frank was told she didn’t matter.
Elvis Presley was told he wasn’t going anywhere.
Rosa Parks was told she was the wrong color.
The difference between those who realize their dreams and those who don’t is simple: Those who realize their dreams refuse to accept someone else’s “reality” for their lives. They dare to keep pursuing their dreams despite the unfavorable odds and constant objections.