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Your Dream

Live-Your-Dream with no regretsEver thought of becoming a builder; personal trainer; becoming a better friend or father; running a marathon; or writing a book?

We all have dreams but too few of us have the faith or fortitude to see them through. Committing to realizing your dream can often be so daunting we relinquish the idea to fantasy – never living our dreams at all. They become the regrets and “what ifs?” of our lives.

Is it the thought “I might fail”, or worse “I might succeed”? Is it you feel you’ve left everything a little too late? Have you procrastinated around your dream? Have your friends, family and loved ones dismissed you and your ideas and dreams as mere fancy? Have you been bullied or manipulated into thinking other people’s opinions are correct? Or is it that you simply doubt your worth and ability? What does your heart tell you? Have you just quit?

The truth is its okay to be frightened. The truth is (from time to time) people will dismiss you and pull you down particularly if you want to stretch yourself spiritually, physically, and intellectually. The truth is its likely you do this to yourself as well. The truth is it’s your dream and no one else’s so it’s likely you will be in it alone.

More than anything ever created, any disease, any famine, or violence. More than any war or any abuse; fear has done more to damage people’s lives (and leaves in its wake mountains of despair and destruction) than any other spiritual or physical instrument imaginable.

Unfulfilled lives cause people to become lost, bitter, and barren.

So how do we win? How do we overcome negative outside forces and our own self-loathing? How do we live a life without regret?

At church, at school, through our parents (if you were blessed), in books, and at motivational meetings each of us has likely to have heard the message “we’re all capable of accomplishing incredible things”.

“Your life, your perfect life is waiting for you.” “The life you want to live, the life you dream of is available to each and every one of us right now!”

I expect the evidence around you tells a different story. Evidence of bad blood between brothers, closed hearts, unrequited love, hopeful careers fallen by the wayside, and lovers and children you don’t know how to communicate with anymore. Resentments unforgiven, a mortgage hanging around your neck, an addiction tearing at your soul, the darkest loneliness, or perhaps it’s as simple as a lie you told your boss that won’t let you sleep at night – the list is endless isn’t it?

So what is the truth? Is the good life merely an un-kept promise? A fable? Something that’s exclusively available to everyone else except you?

Fear some say, is “false evidence appearing real”. Yet if you’ve ever felt fear at any depth you’ll know it doesn’t feel false, it’s about as real as it gets.

The dictionary says fear is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain whether the threat is real or imagined.”

Is there more to fear than our own imaginings? I expect so, because of course there is the seen and the unseen. It is my personal belief that fear, procrastination, and dark imaginings don’t just come from within, they also come from with-out. However, fear does come in many forms, and regardless of the type it insidiously sneaks in to ruin any chance of our achieving our true selves.

I can’t promise you that overcoming fear will suddenly catapult you into a new and grand life, accelerate your sales, or get you the relationship you’ve been dreaming of, but I can promise you peace-of-mind, and perhaps a wiser heart. And for some, this alone would be an amazing life to live, yes?

The biggest problem with self-imposed fear is that it isn’t probably real, but it is a natural reaction to things we perceive as painful or challenging. The trick in overcoming this type of fear is to learn how to remain in the moment. Don’t live in the past or the future, each only exists in our imaginings. If you live in the ‘now’ your fear will be diminished because most self-ignited fear is about something that happened to us years ago, or something we fantasize might happen in the future.

Expect the worst, and the worst is likely to come. Expect the best (not second best) and something better will indeed come. I’ve written much about ‘action and courage’ over the years, two tools that will help you overcome your fears. But its action that’s key.

Success at life is a result of getting in the game. You cannot win by standing on the sidelines watching everyone else play. The fear of rejection, confrontation, loss, and humiliation all keep us from living, and help us build a large pile of regrets. Of course participation in life is not a perfect recipe, there is always the risk things will not go as planned. But that’s the game right?

A dear friend of mine wrote:

Some people spend all of their lives saying “If only”, “I could have”, and “I should have”; but then there is you and me. The ones who dare to jump into the fire, the ones who stand up for one more round with the taste of blood in our mouths.

The ones, who don’t quit, who don’t betray (ourselves or others); and in this resilience find the only reward there is. A life well lived.

Thank you to Michael Tate for this inspiring story.To learn more about Michael, click on his name and it will take you to his LinkedIn profile page.