We all have a dream, some of us two or three. When we were growing up, we dreamed of the day we’d be old enough to do whatever we wanted. We dreamed of being astronauts. We dreamed of meeting our superheroes, heroes, and celebrities. We idolized actors, musicians, and authors. We dreamed of being greater than we are, stronger, faster, better.
I dreamed of being a writer. Since I was about 8 years old I have been writing stories, poetry, and thoughts. I dreamed of writing a novel, something that the world would remember as great literature after I’ve been long dead and gone. I wanted to be Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ernest Hemingway.
I never wrote that novel. Sure, I had dozens of ideas for novels. I’ve written down outlines and timelines. I even dreamed up character names and conjured conflict and settings. I could’ve probably written twenty novels in the time that I procrastinated. What held me up?
I have been afraid of rejection for a long time and so, short of a few poems, I have never published anything anywhere but a blog on the internet. I have published a poem titled “Echoes of November” in Indiana University Kokomo’s literary review titled “From the Wellhouse.” This was the closest I have come to really putting myself out there for the world to view.
So why do we allow fear to control us? We allow fear to lull us into a stagnant existence where we never really put ourselves out there for anyone to see. We get by, we pay the bills, and we call ourselves accomplished. The truth is that most of us have forsaken our dreams in the name of practicality. We convince ourselves that they are unattainable and simply decide not to try.
I spent a great deal of time thinking about this last year and came up with a plan. I decided upon a New Year’s resolution and have held myself to it. My resolution was simply “just do it” and I have held true.
I realized while I was pushing myself to pursue my goals and dreams that we have a limited amount of control over how things turn out in life. We may never become great athletes, celebrities, rich, or any of countless other dreams. We can, however, put ourselves into a position where the outcome we desire is possible. What does that mean?
It means if you hate your job and wish you had a new one, you must first apply for a new job or multiple jobs. You must make connections and associations that will allow you to accomplish this goal. You put yourself out there and hope for the best, fearlessly.
In my case, it means in order to ever have a chance at becoming a writer. I must write. I must submit my writing for approval and publishing. I must, must, complete a novel and send it in. I’m willing to put myself out there and give my dreams a chance. Are you?
What are your dreams? What do you need to do to put yourself in position to succeed?