What We Can Learn from Tim Tebow in Pursuit of Our Dreams
Tebow defends pursuit of dreams to Stephen A. - ESPN Video
Tim Tebow defends his pursuit of playing professional baseball to Stephen A. Smith by acknowledging that his chances…
“A lot of people just go do what they feel like they should do and live with the status quo…” — Tim Tebow
I listened to the above statement and watched the video exchange between Stephen A. Smith and Tim Tebow, and the first thing that dawned on me was, far too many people live the status quo. I believe the reasons why so many people do are largely predicated on social acceptance and fear.
Statements like Tebow’s — and similarly, the dropping of the proverbial gauntlet from Stephen A. Smith to challenge Tebow’s dreams in the first place — are why the “Self-Help” literature industry exists. Writers, leaders and successful entrepreneurs have lived through the attempts of others to deny them of what is theirs — smashed the rhetoric to the ground and lived to tell about.
I watch things like the above video and realize how much I empathize with Tebow. Naturally — like so many of us — I put his journey in the context of my own. His journey makes me re-assess the reasons behind why I do what I do and why the journey toward my dreams is so satisfying.
My thought process and the thought process of so many other awesome people that I’ve met along my journey is more like Tim Tebow’s — we’re going to give it all we’ve got with full-on intensity. Maybe we’ll succeed, maybe we’ll fail. But at least we’ll know the difference.
Tim Tebow will probably never play Major League Baseball. In fact, my amateur opinion — and Monopoly money — is betting that he doesn’t even come close to wearing a MLB uniform in a real game.
It’s one thing for me or others to feel that way about someone else’s chances. It’s another thing to challenge the dreams that live in someone else’s heart. He’s living out a dream. He’s certainly not hurting himself. Why not give it a shot? And why are others so bothered by this?
I believe dreams are planted into our hearts at varying stages of our lives. Unlike values, dreams do change with time. When I was younger, I obsessed over playing major Division 1 college basketball. Any psychologist who would have been privy to the moving pictures in my mind would have analyzed a perpetual reel of me dominating on the grandest stage of college basketball.
While I never lived that reality, I moved on to other dreams and I no longer work toward that dream today. My dreams are different and my definition for success is different today than it was when I was 20. We as people evolve, mature and develop new passions and interests. Our intuition speaks to us in particular ways at different intervals of our lives.
While some of our dreams are lifelong, some are ephemeral and before we know it, they’re gone. Our values are more concrete and lasting. They should remain the same or be supplemented with new additions over time.
I’m no Tebow fanatic, nor do I take everything he says as gospel. But I believe with deep conviction that we should pursue the dreams that have been planted into our hearts. We can do so intelligently through organized planning, hard work, deep thought and the help of others.
I encourage you to keep yourself open to new opportunities but be self-aware enough to shift course and adjust if need be. As the great military General and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower once said,
“Plans are nothing. Planning is EVERYTHING!”
There’s a fine line between giving up and making adjustments.
Observing and studying role models helps us to realize that people who have come before us have accomplished similar things to what we set out to do. I encourage you to “stick to your guns” and put in writing — in a clear, concise way — what you hope to accomplish. Let the models of others inspire you.
Read more about the lives of those who achieved great things. You’ll find common threads, as well as advice that you can integrate into your path to greatness.
Opportunity and Value Proposition
Tim Tebow is blessed to have the opportunity to pursue his dreams. As am I. Not everyone is. For those of us lucky enough, it’s the only way to live. Surely you’ve read sentences before along the lines of, “At what cost are you living someone else’s life?,” or “Be Yourself” and other empowering, encouraging words of that ilk.
The value proposition is what makes all of this compelling and agreeable to me. I believe that we’re all unique individuals who are blessed with certain gifts in this world. Our talents help us to accomplish extraordinary things if we focus our energy, believe in ourselves and work intelligently and industriously. There is tremendous value that comes in following this path.
Want a few examples? Here you go:
To answer my hypothetical question from above, the cost of trying to live someone else’s life is very well a lifetime of never feeling completely fulfilled. You may not lose money but you’ll lose perhaps the most precious commodity in this world: time.
There are polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Marie Curie that we can point to and say to others— look at the range of their extraordinary achievements! But then there are everyday people that may only be talented at one thing. It may be persuasion. Caring for children. Driving. Or carpentry.
But that one thing is their ticket to a fulfilling life of enjoyment and contribution to society. Whether it’s the singularly talented or the multi-talented, I believe the song remains the same either way — live the life you’re intended to live and you’ll live in spiritual, emotional, mental and physical abundance. The money will come later.
Ya know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
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