There is a misunderstanding about dream chasers that some non-doers struggle with: chasing dreams isn’t always about achieving the goal. I have received a few emails lately about chasing dreams that seem unattainable or unrealistic. The question that was posed to me concerned whether I would support a friend’s dream even if it was legitimately impossible. I have thought about it and put forth the following thoughts…
First, we have discussed the importance of surrounding yourself with positive, forward thinking, successful people. And this one topic is a perfect example as to why a good support system is essential. You need a solid support group to help you honestly evaluate your dreams versus wishes. I never want to discourage anyone from chasing dreams, but do not want to see people chase wishes. A dream is something that a person is passionate about, cannot live without and wants to possess no matter the cost. For instance, it would be silly for me to set a goal of becoming an NBA player at 42 years of age if I have not spent time determining if this is a passion or a wishlist item. If it is a wishlist then save the time and energy and find a worthwhile activity to focus on. If it is a dream then your support system will help you identify it as such and help you develop a plan. Just because there hasn’t been a 42 year old rookie, doesn’t mean it is completely out of the realm of possibility!
Secondly, sometimes the value of dream chasing is found in the journey not goal achievement. Take our previous NBA dream at 42. If I committed myself to working out, got in the best condition of my life, challenged myself physically and mentally to push beyond all obstacles and made it to a tryout…maybe that is the victory! Not all dreams will be fully realized and that is okay! There is power in trying. In our previous NBA example I may never play in the league, but might achieve a physical fitness level that might launch a new career of training older athletes. Always keep in mind that journeys don’t always end up at the intended destination. And we always get these nuggets of unexpected side effects: greater confidence, strengthened character, stronger perseverance, etc. And these new additions assist and propel us into our next great adventure.
Lastly, if people from the past had listened to those that used the “impossible” word, then we may not have the 8-cylinder engine, flight or electricity! Tesla, Edison, Ford and the Wright brothers were all laughed at and told they were wasting their time. Years of perseverance eventually paid off and they made the impossible, possible. There have been hundreds of examples of the paralyzed walking after being told they would never again stand on their own. Cancer survivors that were told they only had a few months to live. History is full of stories of the impossible being made possible.
My recommendation is to support the friend and help in every way you can. Do not be the naysayer nor the discourager. They may not walk on the moon, but they just might launch themselves into the stars!