Have you ever had your dreams squashed, told they were pie in the sky or that they could never possibly happen? I’m guessing it crushed a wee bit of your soul, left you deflated and maybe even left you wondering whether it was a pipe dream or not.
Do you know what “Follow Your Dreams” entails, or do you skim over it and just think it’s a rainbows and kittens mentality?
I’ve tossed this around for quite some time and am convinced that ‘dream’ and ‘purpose’ are closely linked. While it’s true that a dream without action remains a dream, until we truly understand how dreams unfold it can be very confusing and discouraging. Having purpose drives the dream when it starts to fade into oblivion.
We watched, “We Bought a Zoo” recently – for the second time. Such a great movie with a pretty big message. Benjamin Mee, the main character, loses his wife to brain cancer and is left to look after his 2 kids. Months down the road it became apparent the kids needed more attention than he was giving them so he quit his job and went on a quest to find a different way of living. Having been a journalist for worldwide adventures, Benjamin was constantly looking for that next thrill, the next big thing. When he and his daughter found the property with the zoo, he fell in love with it immediately and it birthed a dream. He wanted to see the dilapidated, run down zoo be restored and open once again to the public.
That’s when the dream got real, really fast! When the restoration was in full force, it took every ounce of willpower, manpower, funds and a whole lot of courage to turn the dream from the dregs to the regaled. His relationship with his son suffered even more at the beginning of this wild adventure. Everyone expected him to give up and cut his losses, but Benjamin had the tenacity rare to most of us.
Seven takeaways from Benjamin’s dream (based on a true story):
1. He was inspired with a vision and had the end in mind.
2. He knew it was beyond what anybody else would think reasonable, indicative of a dream.
3. He wasn’t swayed by the naysayers. He knew he was on his own until he could prove it could be done, and he accepted that.
4. He asked those caring for the animals prior to his arrival for their guidance and assistance in determining a strategy to make it all happen. Recognizing he didn’t have all of the knowledge or skills and asking for help was his saving grace.
5. There wasn’t anything he shied away from. He got his hands dirty, did what needed to be done, led by example. He even picked up escaped snakes! That’s raw courage!
6. When the chips were down, he took time out to regroup. He did not drag down the rest of his team with him.
7. Above all, he was willing to do the learning necessary in order to see it through.
It’s like that saying, it took 30 years to become an overnight success. Having a dream and seeing it come to life isn’t all fluffy and pie in the sky. It’s knowing you can’t put the dream away, it lives inside of you, and until you surrender to it you’re frustrated and unsettled. The reality is, to make a dream come true there is an epic amount of hard work, determination and stick-with-it-ness before the success of the dream is apparent.
Are dreams really overrated? Of course not, but perspective certainly affects the view.
The Real Benjamin Mee: