“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt
Recently, I had coffee with a friend. We talked about family and sports and the weather. At one point, he asked what exciting things were happening in my life.
I told him about my dream to build orphanages and become directly involved in orphan care around the world. I had mentioned the idea to a few close family members, but this was the first time I had told him specifically. He became immediately interested.
The topic soon became the focus of our conversation—though not at all like you might expect. In fact, he knew more about the subject than I did.
He asked dozens of questions. I answered most of them by saying, “I’m not sure. We’re still trying to figure that out. For now, it’s just a dream. I don’t know how I am going to get there.”
It’s not always easy to answer, “I don’t know.” But, in that moment, I was content with my response. I don’t have all the answers. For now, it is just a dream. It is definitely an important one for my wife and me; but still, right now, it is just a dream.
All dreams start as thoughts alone in our mind. And too many dreams end there—solitary thoughts that simply fade away.
The quickest and most effective first step to make dreams come true is to share them aloud. (tweet that)
Of course, this can also be one of the most difficult steps.
We often fear:
- Ridicule. We fear somebody will call us crazy for dreaming. And the more specific we get, the more this fear grows. This can be particularly difficult to overcome if our lives are (or have been) surrounded by pessimistic, negative family or friends.
- Exposure. Rarely do we have all the answers when we first begin. Sometimes, we don’t even know how we are going to get started. That’s okay. But this can be difficult to overcome if we are accustomed to being in control or knowledgeable.
- Embarrassment. There are no guarantees that any dream will be fulfilled in the end. And it may seem the best protection plan against embarrassment is to never tell anyone ever about our desires.
But most of these fears are overblown in our mind. In fact, the benefits far outweigh the fears.
Consider how the simple act of telling our dreams to others helps make them reality. It helps us:
Gain resolve. Sharing our dreams helps remind us why we had them in the first place. We speak positively of the accomplishment we hope to achieve or realistically of the problem we seek to solve. This resolve encourages us to press forward.
Find clarity. By articulating our dreams aloud, we find clarity in understanding their uniqueness. Dawson Trotman once said, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” Speaking your dreams brings greater clarity in your mind and the minds of those around you.
Articulate. Effective storytelling takes practice. Every time we share a story with others we get better at telling it. We learn what points resonate with others, what word pictures stir emotion, and which punchlines result in laughter. On some level, every dream worth accomplishing requires the support of others. Learning to articulate your story better is an essential part of its fulfillment.
Uncover help. People are generous, intelligent, connected. And almost all of them are cheering for you. Your friends and family want you to accomplish your dreams and are willing to help you get there. But they can’t help if they don’t know what you are trying to accomplish.
Recruit accountability. It is one thing to go on a diet and hope to lose 15 pounds. It is something completely different to go on a diet and tell your friends that you are hoping to lose 15 pounds. Suddenly, there is more incentive to follow through with your decision. The simple act of sharing with your friends has granted them permission to follow-up with conversations and provide accountability. This is scary, but this is important.
Inspire others. Your dreams (and subsequent action) have the power to invite others to chase their own dreams with greater urgency. To live and dream is to offer hope. Sometimes the only thing somebody else needs to get started chasing their own dreams is to see someone they love chasing theirs.
We are good people. We desire to live lives of lasting significance.
At the very least, we are a community in agreement that our lives are too valuable to waste chasing material possessions.
You are dreaming big dreams. Be bold this week. Take the next step and share them with someone you love.
Okay so this acualy happend less than an hour ago (as im writitng this) but its 3AM and i could not sleep for a while and i finaly said to my self okat you know what im gonna just lay hear and try to sleep and for a minuet andthen i acually started getting tired but
not fully . Then about 5 mins later i started to feel tingaly and thought i just was laying down wrong but i could no move when i tryed then i started hearing an ringing in my ear and the tingaling got worse i opened my eyes and i was seeing stadic and when i tryed to close my eyes i would hear really loud stadic then i starded hearing foot steps and it got to a point whare i tryed to scream but could not then the foot steps stoped and the stadic calmed down and i dident feel the tingaling but i could still hear the ringing and it took a few minuets to calm down and for the ringing to stop and then i could move .
But yeah thats my sleep paralisis story its been probly half an hour sence that happened and i dont want to go back to sleep and onec and a while i will hear the ringing for a few seconds but yeah i dont really care if anyone dosnt beleve me cause thats your opinion buy it has been the scaryist dream i have had in 2021-2022
Tonya Wilson says
I had the strangest dream last night. I had a dream where there was a duck in my house, as if its been there my whole life,and lived with me and my family.But in the dream the duck had babies,and it really didn’t like my brother,but my dream didn’t tell me why. In my dream it was as if the duck was trying to keep my brother captive,and wouldn’t let him go.So in the dream I had to try to distract the duck, by giving it food to eat and share with its babies.Luckily feeding the duck worked and I was able to free my brother, I was able to find a way out away from the duck at the end too.For some reason it was a strange dream that I don’t understand.I haven’t even seen a duck in a long time,not even on TV. Does anybody else understand what this could mean because I am confused.
That was a fantastic post and at the same time inspiring. Although I dont want to ruin the party here, I must say sometimes you can not prescribe the same prescription for different people. I am going to tell my story as an example. I dont know from where and how to start though Ill try. I am a person , a human, living in Iran, a country wuth a lot of limitations and ilogical, compulsory, inhuman, sexist rules which you can not break, and can not unleash yourself unless at your life price that left us bunch of sick-minded people.
This is so sad for me to tell that one of my biggest dreams is to learn English and to live in the U.S. I also have the dream to set up an organization or at least a small place to take care of rescued dogs and dogs with incompetent owners. I WOULD not mention the money that I need so bad to live my own life, let alone the price that I have to pay for following that dream specially with a corrupted governmwnt and burgomaster which themselves are the reason of those poor dogs being existed and being slaughtered. They collect the dogs out in the street and simply kill them.I call my beloved country as the toilet of the blackhole of the universe.
At last Id better to say pardon my dark comment for it comes from a very frustrated and cast down soul who for years happened to have faced close doors one by one after each attempt. U should walk in my shoes to see what kind of life Im living. How can I follow my dreams if there is any left?
Roshan Paul says
Wow!! Joshua..your post encouraged me to live my life and follow my dreams not matter what. Loved it. Thank you so much! I will always be enthusiastic and achieve my dreams.
Kent Julian says
Finding clarity is definitely key to living out our dreams. Not only should we talk about our dreams, writing them down does wonders for focus and achieve. Thanks for the great thoughts here, my friend.
joe wong says
Thanks for sharing. Great post. I love how you teach by personal example. it’s simple and yet very engaging. It’s not preachy.
the topic of dreams can be so out there, but you bring it down to earth with the ‘i don’t know’. yeah, at first it sounds bad. but really, it can move you in the right direction. i’m taking time this off season to do more dreaming and digging into those dreams. it’s a practical time of vetting out ideas and seeing if they have any legs. the parts that stick around become the base for the dream to become reality. thank again, joe