Dreams Do Come True*
*If you build your life on values and game plan for your present and future.
Ahhh! That darn asterisk! There’s always a catch, isn’t there? There sure seems to be when we start talking about our dreams coming true. For most of us that means finding the loved one we’ve searched for, finding the job we’ve always wanted or maybe our dream home. Well, what about simply living life on your terms, according to your guidelines, with no regrets? Lofty, right?
What does that even mean, anyway?
Living life on your terms means deciding the values you want to guide your life. It means processing your thoughts, taking the ideas that have power and converting them into plans that you put into action. Oh, you want an example? Well, here’s one:
A very good friend of mine growing up is the longtime drummer for the rock band, Taking Back Sunday. From the time he was very young — he wanted to be a great rock n’ roll drummer. He had the idea. He had the passion. He dreamed about it and believed in it more than anything else in his entire life. He started writing and speaking those dreams over his life.
He had a goal of joining a rock band and by God, he sure did. Multiple gold albums with millions of records sold worldwide, and I think we can all agree that Mark and the boys from Taking Back Sunday found success. Mark believed in himself. He believed in his dream. He’s a guy who loves his friends and family more than anything in the whole world.
He prioritized his values, put together a plan and began living his dream. He embraced the success that came because he waited his whole childhood for it to come. He wasn’t afraid.
The reason so many people walk away from their dreams is because they’re afraid they may actually live to see them. One of the craziest things I’ve found on my journey in life is that so many of us are afraid of success. We’re afraid because we get anxious about a future of unknowns. We can’t possibly know what the future will bring without giving things a shot.
Staying right where we are is easy. Staying right there, stuck in neutral, is actually comfortable. It’s the path of least resistance. Because it doesn’t require us to take any chances! It literally requires no risk at all! And because so many of us are risk averse and afraid of what we’ll find out when we take a chance, we find ourselves ensconced in the friendly confines of the status quo.
In other words — not moving forward, yet thinking we’re not moving backwards (even though we are).
“Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.” — Khalil Gibran
When you choose to forfeit your chance at living life on your terms, you’re forced to live by the rules of other people. Forever. And boy does that suck, let’s face it. We all start out that way. For those of us who figure out how to think, control our thoughts, build a life on values like love, hard work, faith, perseverance and gratitude, we recognize that “just getting by” simply won’t cut it.
We want much more than that. And as long as we’re willing to plan, set goals, embrace the process and love our work, then we’ll climb the mountains that previously seemed far too high, and much too distant. Life begins to come more naturally when you choose to live boldly. When you build on values, formulate a game plan and commit action every day.
As I sit here now, I write to tell you that one of my dreams came true today. I’m now a bestselling author. The Value of You currently places in the top-100 e-books for two different Self-Help categories on Amazon. I can assure you, I never would have been able to do this if I didn’t dream big, base my life on values and commit to a game plan that I’m constantly building on and living.
I hope to someday stand in the winner’s circle and become a New York Times bestselling author. It won’t be easy, but I know it’s possible. But my real dream is to help people live a bold, confident life that blends their enthusiasm and passion with their natural, God-given ability. I care about this so passionately because I tend to find one common theme among us humans: so many of us are living day-to-day with their hopes and dreams.
Millions of people struggle to get by because they refuse to take up the gauntlet of living life on their terms.
“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.” — Dr. Stephen R. Covey
I hope you’re willing to do the work like I did nearly eight years ago. I remember sitting down at my kitchen table and deciding “enough is enough.” I was no longer willing to put up with mediocrity. So I started to plan. I started to make peace with my past and began buillding my life on values. I began planning out my life. I realized I wasn’t as lazy as I thought. I just needed a plan, then I could execute off it.
I have a long way to go, and by no means am I finished. I’ve become addicted to the process and the pursuit of sustained success. The rewards are nice, and I’ve come to value the importance of celebrating the small wins. But we all have to keep going. I care most about living in the moment with the process and embracing it.
Dreams do come true. It’s not what we’re show in saccharine Hollywood scripts or fantasy Disney films. Dreams come true for those who are willing to use their powerful brains to formulate ideas, hope, believe, plan and act. Just ask my friend Mark. And you can ask me, too. I’m happy to help.
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