Being a mom to two small, feral boys with another on the way, it often feels impossible to find a few moments that are my own, much less envision a personal dream taking shape. But sometimes (usually while I’m driving) I have grandiose ideas. These epiphanies usually follow a highly caffeinated latte beverage. At one point I thought I might rent commercial kitchen space and start a full-blown meal delivery service. By myself. With zero training or experience other than cooking for my own family. I ventured out in small ways to see if this pursuit was worth the effort and soon found my answer. Um, NOPE. Although a nice idea in theory, the logistics of it all made no sense for me in that season of my life with two small children. But I tried. TWO DIFFERENT TIMES. And I can look back on that idea without regret.
Do YOU have a grandiose idea? A persistent, nagging, unrealized dream that keeps you up at night? Have you started making lists? Reading books and articles? Sought out knowledgeable people that can fill in the gaps? Prayed for clarity and direction? Your vision isn’t going to magically take shape on its own. It needs a designer to create, mold, and shape the hard edges, smooth the bumps, and add life and color. The type of designer you are or will be is determined by your experience and willingness to continue learning. When you assume you already know all there is to know you have doomed yourself to the road of stagnancy or even failure. Learning shouldn’t stop no matter how much you think you know. There is always room for growth!
“Knowledge of what is, does not open the door directly to what should be.” -Albert Einstein
As my new adventure began taking shape, it became clear that there were some serious flaws. An important question that I asked myself, and one that anyone should reflect on when trying something new, is this: How can I do this better? Seems simple enough, right? Well, one of the many things I discovered after considering that question was that I had no desire to do a cost analysis of ingredients and therefore was forced to charge a much-too-high price for my service. No one wanted to pay what I was charging and honestly, I couldn’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to pay that much either. It was ultimately one of the main reasons I chose to let that idea go because I made the decision that it wasn’t worth my time.
Taking a few moments for reflection to determine your motive, ultimate goal, what you’re willing to sacrifice, and level of passion could save you a whole lot of time and frustration. I came to realize that my amount of passion for this particular pursuit did not anywhere near match the required effort needed. So I let it go and allowed my mind and heart to wander to new possibilities and dream new dreams.
Maybe you have already done all of the above, know that THIS IS IT, but are feeling discouraged. Things aren’t happening as fast as you’d hoped, people aren’t responding, or your strategies are proving futile. Sometimes I have found it helpful to do a search for other people’s success stories- ANY stories! It’s strange how we can often feel refreshed and find a spark of motivation in the odd and seemingly irrelevant-to-the-goal narratives. As you read, transport yourself for a moment and imagine the feeling of joy that that particular success or achievement has brought to that individual. Perhaps it will be the ounce of strength you need to propel yourself another step forward.
Try observing your methods from different perspectives. If what you’re doing doesn’t seem to be working, try a new approach, even if it feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first! Research various models of approach to ideas somewhat similar to your own. What seems to work for them? Try putting a few of those methods into practice in a way that makes sense for your idea. Keep a record of your own successes and disappointments (big and small!) as you navigate these new avenues. Get rid of the bad, keep the good, and continue searching for new ones.
You will also need to cope with the knowledge that just about everything takes time… lots of time… to develop into something great. So if you are an impatient person like me, good luck with that.
I have always enjoyed writing (mostly poetry and song lyrics), and reading books. I still maintain my love for traditional book reading, but have also delved into the world of blogs. I have found many of them to be life-giving, informative, and transformational. They are a place where I find solidarity in the writings of others and receive encouragement.
I had a moment one evening when I realized I had things to say and experiences to share that a few people might want or need to hear. The idea emerged in a non-caffeinated state, which told me that maybe this desire ran fairly deep in my subconscious. I know that blogs are a dime a dozen these days, so I hold no illusions of grandeur that my thoughts and opinions will reach millions. In fact, that sounds downright terrifying if I’m going to be honest. But I’m perfectly okay with being a dime if that means bringing a little bit of light into someone else’s dark.
And so I have allowed this new dream to emerge, an opportunity for a grander purpose- perhaps not to the outside world, but within myself. I claim it to be a God-inspired purpose; A way for me to express the truths, grace, and hope that I have experienced (and continue to experience!) through my own life’s journey through darkness and light.
I have gathered resources and begun to research and write. It’s all a process but I’m taking my time. I have decided that it’s worth the effort. Certainly I have my share of fears and reservations about putting my thoughts and experiences out there for the world to see, but I decided not too long ago that I am getting too old to care about nonsensical fluff like that. Life is too short. Another reason to begin forging your own dream! Don’t allow the falsehood of fear to destroy a wonderful opportunity. You are your own biggest stumbling block to the potential that lies in front of you.
“There is no illusion greater than fear.” – Lao Tzu
So pursue the dream. Find new purpose. Just try!
And for those of you that have discovered your fierceness and have already achieved a dream, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Peace & Love, Amy