The Moment You’ve Been Dreaming of All Your Life
What do you envision the moment will look like? The moment when you’ve accomplished something truly great — something you’ve dreamed about and hoped that you’d achieve for a long, long time. Surely you have an image of this in your mind, right? I do. I play it back in my imagination several times each day. Oddly enough — or maybe not so odd — I’m there on my own. Alone.
I raise my arms in exultation to the sky, sun on my face, chills down my body, and it’s there in that moment that it hits me: all the hard work, sweat, tears, moments of anxiety, fear, frustration, doubt, anger, hopelessness, happiness, joy, faith and encouragement were worth it.
These things playback in my mind for what feels like an eternity but it all happens in just a few, fleeting seconds.
I did it.
For me, that moment is having my book arrive on The New York Times “Best Sellers List,” and knowing that my message meant something to thousands of people. That it added value to their lives.
See, what’s funny about life is that we should always look out for our fellow man and woman, and our actions should be altruistic and of value to the world. Yet ultimately, we’re all trying to prove something to ourselves.
The hope is that the dreams of our hearts, the purpose of our lives, and the mission for why we’re here will someday culminate in the realization and self-actualization that we completed part of our destiny. That we lived a life of great worth that benefited others. That’s what it’s all about for me.
I’ve already completed the first parts of my dream. I’ve written two books, I’m in the process of writing a third and I’m continuing to better myself each day and build new relationships.
So, I ask you: what about you? This is your time to think about that big dream and pause for reflection. What will that moment look like?
Your Version of “Miracle”
“It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man (or woman) can sincerely try to help another without helping him (or her)self.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve thought a lot recently about how much I want others to celebrate in my success — not as some form of sycophantic adulation, but rather, to feel — and know — that they have been a part of it with me. I would not be able to write, coach, speak, or spread my message without the support, encouragement and advice of people in my inner-circle OR my virtual friends.
And yet, sometimes, the world feels dark and cold. Sometimes, we celebrate alone. I think about Kurt Russell, from his outstanding portrayal of Coach Herb Brooks, for the movie Miracle. This scene has always given me the goosebumps, not just because of the victory, but because I love his reaction after winning the incredible 1980 Winter Olympic ice hockey match against the Soviet Union.
For some historical background, the U.S. ice hockey team, composed entirely of amateur college students, defeated the world-best Soviet Union hockey team in the semifinal round of the 1980 Winter Olympic ice hockey tournament. It’s one of the greatest sports victories (and simultaneous upsets) of all-time.
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours. It is an amazing journey, and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” — Bob Moawad
Herb Brooks had poured so much of himself into building up the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual chops of this group of 18–22-year-old men, constantly telling them that they could be great if they worked hard and wanted it badly enough.
In this moment, he realizes his dream, and yet he’s literally beside himself. He’s so overcome with joy and pride in his players, he needs time to soak it all in and immerse himself in the exceptional magnitude of this emotional, tremendous accomplishment.
On our journey, both before, during and once we’ve reached our destination, we want others to recognize our successes. We want respect. Respect, not always for the result, but for our grit, verve, and resolve during the process. We yearn for respect because it helps validate what we’re doing, giving us the confidence to become the best version of ourselves — in order to give that piece of ourselves back to the world.
Some of us want congratulations but there may not be adulation or celebration at what we do. That should never matter, anyway. Do it for yourself. Do what you do for those who have meant the most to you during your journey, the people giving you props along the way as you continue to ascend to the top of whatever your profession or success is.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Far too often in advance of our personal journey, we’re sold a script that if we simply take the first step, everything will fall in place, as if we’re all living out some fairy-tale version of the movie, Frozen or (fill in your favorite Disney movie here) ________. Mine happens to be, Aladdin, if you’re keeping score at home.
Taking the first step is essential. Expecting that there won’t be adversity, setbacks, and suffering along the way? Now that’s completely unrealistic.
Suffering is defined as, “the state of undergoing pain, hardship or distress.”
We’re all going to feel vulnerable, at times. I’ve come to accept this with my writing, personal relationships, and career. Navigating through our lives requires an artistic approach, as opposed to a scientifically prescribed methodology to handling life’s choppy waters. We write our own scripts, as we take the initiative and enforce greater control over our direction.
Yet life always teaches us that sometimes, we have to let go of the reins. Anyone who has ever experienced success and failure knows that we cannot control every outcome or have a contingency plan for every wrinkle life throws at us.
This is not to suggest that we shouldn’t be well prepared, just to know that there will be downtimes and periods of suffering — which if we’re willing to ride out, will only make us stronger and wiser for the wear.
Our journeys comprise feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and wonder of whether others care if we’re moving forward, or if we’re just stuck in neutral. I’ve seen friends and colleagues beaten down with sickness, rejection, or lack of recognition and appreciation while they’re already down. As Chris Martin once sang, “Nobody said it was easy.”
Desire, care, faith, hope, and love power us through this negativity, anxiety, despair, and doubt. Mental and spiritual resolve are sometimes all we’ve got! We reach our destiny because we believe it, desire it, and burn for it with passion and love.
We keep going even when the odds are against us, when circumstances are not ideal and when no one seems to believe in us except ourselves. It’s by visualizing the big wins that we further ourselves toward achieving them. Think about your big dream. What does it look like? Craft a vivid image in your mind and keep working toward it.
That’s the moment you’ve been dreaming about all your life. It’s within your reach.