Time capsules. You know what I’m talking about. Those things in your social media that recall what you said, did, or posted on that day in years past. I see them every day when my friends post them, recalling fun times, past friends, marriages, etc. I rarely post mine. Why? Because more often than not, I find looking backward it isn’t nearly as useful as looking forward. But amid the learning experiences of my past, there were a few dreams, things that worked out. I’ve been thinking about some of what those things have in common.
Independent Thought – They were the things I wanted for myself rather than the things others wanted for me. They were things I worked for rather than things that just came to me by hand or Fate. Sometimes, they meant hurting feelings. Sometimes, they meant alienating someone. Always, they meant the feeling of stepping out alone. Always, they meant the feeling of personal accomplishment and the satisfaction of my own success.
Specificity – I didn’t just want to climb. I wanted to climb that mountain. I didn’t just want to create. I wanted to create that work of art. I didn’t just want to have a relationship. I wanted to have that relationship with that person.
Grandeur – I dreamed big. Too big according to most everyone around me. My dreams were’t just good. They were great. They weren’t just petty things my friends could look at and say, ‘Oh, that’s so wonderful! You’re truly blessed!’ They were things that strangers would look at and say, ‘Wow. That’s something you don’t see everyday.’
Risk – My dreams always carried some degree of personal risk. Emotional, financial, reputational, or whatever, there was always something valuable to me at stake. Often, I paid for a dream with a painful price, a price that gave real value and true satisfaction to it when it came.
Dreams do come true. But not to the quitter. Not to the faint of heart. Not to the pacifist. Not to the ordinary. Life yields its most savory delights only to the extraordinary.