I trust that you are well and keeping safe during these precarious times. Welcome to October! As I write to you, it is the first Saturday and the 3rd day of October and of course the beginning of the final quarter of 2020. Regular reflection and introspection is important and I enjoy and suggest doing so. As we wrap up one month and move into a new one it is always helpful to note our accomplishments or significant things that happened for us or even just how we felt over the course of the month.
My reflection this week brought a particular experience to my remembrance. A while back, I commented to someone in my circle on how talented I thought an acquaintance was. The person shot back at me, “you know what is the difference between you and “X”, you do not believe in yourself.” The remark jolted me like a slap to my face; it stung my flesh. It was certainly not what I was expecting to hear, but I eventually admitted to myself that maybe I needed to hear it. I was forced to introspect and reevaluate how I projected myself. What message I was unconsciously sending to others about my confidence in my abilities, my gifts and my talents as well as my ability to achieve my goals and my dreams? In that moment I promised myself to always believe in myself and never give up on my dreams.
There are times when we have dreams, we have goals that we want to achieve but we doubt ourselves, we question them, we secretly don’t believe that they will happen. As a result, we stall or quit or put aside our dreams. Or we fear getting started, or even sharing with anyone for that matter that we even have dreams.
Hold Fast to your Dreams
As a way to inspire, encourage and motivate myself I began collecting and recording quotes that resonate with me. I write them out in a pocket sized journal that was given to me by an associate. What I also do is write them on pieces of paper and stick them on the wall of my cubicle at work.
This way I easily find moments of inspiration when I need it during my work day. I also have a couple pieces of poetry posted there and yesterday my eyes landed on one of them, which inspired me afresh. I am sharing it with you in the hope that you would also find it inspiring. It is titled Dreams by Langston Hughes.
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.
Like Mr. Hughes, I encourage you to hold fast to your dreams. There are times you may feel discouraged. You may feel like your dreams will never come true but I encourage you to hold fast, do not quit. If you haven’t yet started, get started on your dream.
What’s the Worst Thing?
What is the worst thing that could happen? What do you have to lose? Think about what you will be missing out on if you do not follow you dreams. So what if you do not succeed at your dream? Failure is an event and not an individual. Failure is an opportunity to learn. But what if you do succeed?
By quitting you would miss out on all that comes with succeeding at your dream. More than that you would miss out on the incredible journey of getting there. You would miss out on the opportunities for learning and growth and the opportunity to build strength and character through the pursuit of your dream. You would miss out on the opportunity to bless someone else with your gifts. You would miss out on the opportunity to shine a light for others. You would miss out on the joys, the highs and even the lows.
Don’t let the lows deter you, there is so much more for you to benefit. Don’t let the impending challenges, and there will be challenges, cause you to defer your dream. Don’t allow circumstances, other people or lack of belief in yourself and your dream to cause you to defer your dream. Have you ever wondered what happens to a dream deferred? Well Mr. Hughes asked the same question. He wrote about it in this poem:
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
I don’t want you to have to find out the answer to that question. I want you to passionately and relentlessly pursue your dreams. If you are already on the path, do not give up. Draw on those things that would inspire you and encourage you when you feel tired or discouraged or just need some added strength. It is important to have a plan. Make sure you have a clear plan and clear goals which will take you toward realizing your dream. In my next post I will share a bit about goal setting. For now, you can read more about dreams in this earlier post on the topic.
One piece of advice as you pursue your dreams, watch your relationships. Watch how you treat and relate to others. Let your dreams propel you to help and bless others. The way we treat others and the relationships we develop along the way are important. Do not neglect your personal relationships while in pursuit of your dreams. Help and support as many people as you can.
Support is one of the things which rank high on my list of values. I appreciate the support of those around me and I love to support others in any way I can. We ought to all encourage those around us to step into their greatness, support them in that effort and rejoice and celebrate with them when they achieve. Motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar counsels us by saying, “you can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”
The apostle Paul tells us, “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” I say, support and help others. It does not matter what form that support takes, just do it. It may take different forms depending on the individual and the circumstance, but just do it. There is a blessing there for you.
I want you to know that I am rooting for you. You can do it! Everything you need God has already placed within you, you just have to reach in deep and pull them out. You were created for a purpose and you have greatness within you. Believe in yourself and your dream!