Welcome to the first edition of Tols Creations 2.0! I am super excited to get this blog going again :-). Although, the idea of starting and maintaining a blog had always been daunting to me, I feel confident and bold enough to take this new and exciting first step. So here goes.
In light of stepping out, I thought it was appropriate to write about something simple and familiar but complicated: DREAMS. The earth holds about 7 billion people of diverse cultures, languages and personalities, with only ONE thing in common: every individual (no matter how young or old) has a dream! We have all heard inspirational phrases and quotes like:
“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up”
“I have a dream…”
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”
These all sound great, don’t they? However, the road to pursuing your dreams is not always as simple as one thinks. For this reason, many people give up on their dreams when faced with challenges that seem almost impossible to conquer. Nonetheless, I think if we can increase our understanding of dreams, then, only then will we be able to remain grounded and in turn focus on achieving those dreams even when we run into major roadblocks.
I would like to share some valuable insights about dreams that I learned several days ago:
- A Dream is a CLEAR picture of a BETTER future (If it is not better than your current situation, it is not a dream!).
Having already established that every human being on the face of this earth has a dream, we can logically conclude that every individual has the capacity to dream. Therefore, it is not a skill to be learned, but rather something that is embedded in you. The difference is the ability of the dreamer to expand in his/her mindset. When it comes to dreams, you have to be “reckless” and unrestrained in your mindset for anything to be possible. Take children for example; have you ever sat down to chat with a 5-year-old? It is amazing what they come up with, isn’t it? They can build you a castle in 5 minutes, just with their imagination. At that age, there is no such thing as impossible; they can really expand their minds as far as it would go. This mind expansion is what gives clarity and allows you to see options for a better future.
- The word D-R-E-A-M-S is an acronym (Discover-Respond-Exercise-Achieve-Maximize-Start Over).
Discover what gives you fulfillment, joy and happiness. What is the one thing you would do over and over again without getting sick of it? This is the easiest part, the beginning of a dream.
Respond to what you have discovered. Take responsibility and ownership for it. This is where research and planning comes in. Don’t just discover, sit there and hope one day your dream will come to life on its own. You have to put in SOMETHING (which is commonly known as ‘WORK’).
Exercise! “Real work” begins here. This is the time to put your energy, money and resources into use. Hence, you are doing something about those plans you have drawn up. Goal Setting is paramount at this junction to keep you focused and encouraged throughout the process. Remember, nothing comes easy especially to those who earnestly want them.
Achieve: This is the phase where you hit a major milestone! It is important to celebrate the milestones along the way as it helps you to be grateful for small beginnings. It can also give you the confidence that you need for the next major milestone. However, this can be a dangerous phase if care is not taken. It is easy to feel like you have arrived and relax after celebrating a major milestone (you just ask Blackberry), but you need to remember that there is still more grounds to cover. As long as you are aware of this, you will do just fine. Celebrate a little and then move on to the next thing!
Maximize: This is the “New & Improved” phase. This is where you push that dream to the limit (if there is one) and kick things up a notch. Take that milestone to the next level. Still not sure what this means? Then, take a look at the progression of the first iPhone to the current iPhone 6, it is still the same phone but with newer and better functionalities (unfortunately, BlackBerry got this memo too late).
Start Over: Notice the difference between DREAMS and DREAM is the unassuming “S”. It seems so unimportant and easily forgotten, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, the ‘S’ is the most important and exciting part because it gives you another opportunity for discovery. Unfortunately, a lot of people stop at M and do not bother to “start over”. This is why you hear of so many “one hit wonder” songs, books and artists; they are the next big thing for a season but quickly fade as soon as they lose their appeal. That singer, artist, or author had a dream, fulfilled it, but ultimately forgot to dream again or in this instance start over. This brings me to the next point.
- Dreams are CYCLIC in nature-you can never stop dreaming.
If you do not remember anything from this whole post, please remember this part: DREAMS have a life CYCLE; as such you can never stop dreaming. The fulfillment of a dream is a continuous process, where dreaming never ends, and there is no such thing as “I am done dreaming.” The moment you stop dreaming is the moment you stop living; you are as good as dead! If you want to live a fulfilled life, make your dreams come alive!
So you see, although the concept of having a dream is simple (anyone can dream), but the paths to fulfilling those dreams are far from simple-it demands active participation, courage & diligence. But what happens when we run into road blocks while actively pursuing our dreams? How about when a particular dream dies? Then what? How do we get back on track and continue to push forward?
The answer is Simple: Control Your Input. Your greatest influencers are the things you HEAR and SEE. Here are a few key points to continually remember and practice (write this on a post-it-note and stick it on your bathroom mirror or bedside if you have to):
- Hear and See the right things so you can DO the right things: Read books about the dream(s) you are pursuing, listen to pioneers and experts in your area of interest, follow them closely (use your social media skills for something beneficial). The first time I heard of this was from my Pastor and I always find reading about my dreams as a source of inspiration when facing challenges while pursuing a goal.
- Surround yourself with encouragers and cheerleaders (people who give you constructive feedback and continually tell you that “you can do it”) and stay far away from discouragers and backbiters (those who put you down and speak spitefully of you).
- Get a mentor: keeps you focused and accountable.
- Always remind yourself that your world needs you! You have something great in you to share with the world but the choice is yours: As the late Dr. Myles Munroe puts it “You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you.”
This concept of dreams really challenged me the first time I heard the teaching, it inspired me to be more intentional and more active in pursuing my dreams. I hope this motivates you to do something about those dreams you have in your heart and mind. My prayer is that your mind will expand and you will be diligent towards pursuing and fulfilling your dreams. I am rooting for you because I know YOU CAN DO IT! I look forward to hearing your good news.
Till then, Never stop dreaming, Dream Big, Dream so big that it overwhelms you; but be prepared to put in the work.
***This post was adapted from Dr. Dayo Adeyemo’s teaching on DREAMS. For more inspirational teachings, please visit http://www.rccgroyalhouse.org***
I would like to dedicate this post to two people who were a source of inspiration for this post:
To Dr. Dayo Adeyemo (my spiritual father, mentor and encourager), who continuously speaks greatness into my destiny and teaches me the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and as well as the concept of dreams.
And the late Dr. Myles Munroe, an exemplary leader, dreamer and kingdom giant who inspired the completion of this post by living an impact life that will forever challenge others to a life of purpose and fulfilled dreams.