Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Evolution of Dreams

While having a conversation about what I wanted to be when I was a kid, I remembered lining up my stuffed animals (and sometimes my less than amused brother) to impart my seven-year-old wisdom. My childhood fascination with teaching was solely based on the perceptions and limited knowledge of a second grader. I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a teacher just so I could write on a chalkboard and tell people what to do.

Our desires are influenced by experience. As we mature and interpret life through a more collective lens, our direction changes. We react and adjust based on history and cognition. When I learned that becoming a teacher required more than writing on a chalkboard and having a captive audience, I no longer wanted to become a teacher. When I was exposed to more career choices and compared them with my natural abilities and interests, I changed my mind. When I was exposed to international travel and developed a love of creative writing, my desires became more complex. All of this—learning, exposure, comparisons, development, and understanding self—combined to create a new dream.

As we grow our dreams grow. However, doubt and discouragement tag along because we assume a change in direction constitutes a mistake or an err in judgment. Change does not equate to an error. We are not designed to be forever satisfied by the same things. When we grow so does our vision and our ability to accept that we have the right to dream.

In addition to thinking that change comes as a result of a mistake we need to correct, we also have to contend with a lack of deservedness. Somehow we have relinquished our ability to accept that we deserve happiness and fullness. The mere thought of taking our lives from good to great—or even from repetitious and bland to exciting and colorful—turns us into self-defeating, overly critical, negative persuaders. We think we're not young enough, not smart enough, not worthy enough, and ultimately, not deserving enough to exist in a world better than our today. Please know that is absolutely not true. You are enough. You are smart enough. You are worth it. You do deserve it. You deserve to grow, achieve more, and step into greater.

It may be late, but it’s not too late. It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. It may require a financial or time commitment, but the way you currently live already requires a commitment. Why not commit to exceptional instead of settling for acceptable? Change is good, but it must begin with you changing your mind. You’ve grown, matured, and experienced life; let your dreams do the same.

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