A couple and their small child lived in a tiny studio apartment in an old, dingy building. They had only the basics in their home: some chairs, just enough food and a bed they all shared. They were content. The mother looked out the window into another building and saw a family throwing a party! They had an apartment full of furniture, a table full of food and all kinds of other goods. She then turned back inside her abode, looked at her life and prayed..
“Lord, may it always be like this. Amen”
Have you ever heard the expression “in my wildest dreams”? It usually implies something inconceivable. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d have kids before I was 30!” Girl, none of us imagined that – you a hot mess. Or, “in my wildest dream, I would be living and working in New York City!” That was one of mine, once upon a time. What’s one of your wildest dreams? You wanna be a rock superstar? Live large? Big house, 5 cars? As time goes by, my dreams get smaller and smaller. Where I once dreamed of giving a TED talk, I now dream of being able to afford a hot chocolate without getting charged an overdraft fee. Our playground is limited as kids, yet we feel so free! Then we grow into adults and the entire world is our playground, but it somehow feels like a trap. There are slides and jungle gyms and basketball courts – but we’re only allowed to swim in the kiddie pool. It’s like an illusion of choice. There are so many dreams to pick from, but few we can actually afford, so we never dream at all.
Name Your Price
At some point, most things come down to money. I had a dream of travelling the world – and I did! The dream was free. The reality was about 13k. Worth it. Everything has a price. Costs include: time, money, loved ones, jobs, relationships, etc. Dreams, however, are free. It literally doesn’t cost you a cent to just… believe. Somehow, we have attached a price to dreaming. The risk of following a dream and failing is too high, so we opt out of dreaming all together. The price is disappointment and we can’t afford it. The chance of the object of your affection feeling the same way about you is 50%, so you opt for the friend zone for life and don’t even entertain the thought of a real conversation about your relationship. The business idea you have is probably not going to pay you the 6 figures that the job you hate pays you, so you avoid developing the idea in the first place. We’re only in the dreaming phase, folks. I’m not talking about the 13k to travel the world; just the glimmer of hope around the possibility beforehand. So, name your price; how much would it cost for you to genuinely flesh out your wildest dream and believe that someday, it might actually happen?
“Hope for the best but expect the worst” If I had a dime for every time I heard someone utter that expression, I’d have $1.30. The spirit of the message is this: Be hopeful and learn to manage your expectations. In the initial story – it’s easy to think of the mother as a humble woman, content with her life. That wasn’t a prayer of humility, though. It was a quiet request rooted in fear. “I don’t want to feel disappointed if I never get a chance at a different life and I’m afraid of losing of what I have now so Lord, may it always be like this. Amen” . That is the dark side of “managing expectations” that I know all too well. We don’t know how to manage them so we eliminate them instead. Can’t be disappointed if you have no expectations! (Expectations will be the subject of another blog as well as my therapy sessions…) I am the praying woman – and if you’re honest with yourself – I bet you are, too. We’re afraid of losing what little (or lot) we have so, we don’t even bother dreaming of something more. Here’s the problem: The world NEEDS our dreams!
One Small Step for Man
I strongly feel that we are a generation that is losing hope and fast. Lucky for me, I have somehow found a well of hope this year and have plenty to share! You, who is reading this, whom I know nothing about – your dreams are too small. I don’t even know you, but I know they are. Life has got you down, and kicked you in the nuts and disappointed you one too many times so you’ve perfected “expecting the worst”; so much so that you believe your dreams are fine just as they are. Trust me, they’re not. I need your BIGGEST dreams! WE need them. We need them like we needed MLK Jr.’s dream of a better world. Or the Wright Brothers’ dream of flight. Or JFK’s dream of putting a man on the moon! Let’s not talk about the reality or plausibility of that dream just yet. One small step for man at a time. I’m not talking about your dream of being a millionaire – that’s a small dream. I’m talking a real dream. A game changer dream. A “change the course of our future” dream! Don’t let the risk or the fear or the expectation or the potential disappointment or the price or anything bog you down. Challenge for the week: search deep into your soul and ask God or the universe to teach you how to dream big. Then come back for phase 2….
“Lord, may you show us what could be… Amen“