November 12, 2011

The Kryptonite of Our Dreams

Some time ago, if a customer bought something "on the slate" it meant that the customer would pay at a later time. Whatever he or she owed would be written on the slate. Once the debt was paid, the slate would be wiped clean.

I think to some degree, in order to pursue our dreams we must have our slates wiped clean. Here's the interesting thing: the decision to wipe my slate clean is not solely made by me. If we refer back to the origin of the idiom, we see a situation in which someone's slate is wiped clean only if:

1. He or she pays off a debt

2. The one owed forgives a debt

Either way, it's a transaction.

We actually often use this idiom when we talk about moving forward in a new direction. It's interesting that we consider it important to consider our past as a requirement to move forward. Once someone's debt is paid, the relationship mended, or the mistakes forgiven, we start to see a brighter hope or future for that person. Just think of the scandals we witness all too often through the media of famous movie stars, politicians or professional athletes. Until that person has somehow paid his or her debt or made something right, we really don't see an opportunity or possibility for them to move forward.

It's the same way with us and our dreams. If we struggle with seeing the possibility or the opportunity of an audacious dream, then it could be because our slate hasn't been wiped clean. If we struggle in the pursuit of a dream, then it's possible that the one thing weighing us down is a marked-up slate.

Do you ever find it difficult to dream?

Do you find it difficult to believe you could successfully pursue your most audacious dreams?

Do you struggle with allowing yourself to dream?

Maybe your slate needs to be wiped clean. We often won't allow ourselves to pursue something or become someone because we know we are living with a marked-up slate. There is some debt in our lives that needs to be paid; maybe a relationship that needs to be reconciled. Half of the journey is getting to this point: a clean slate.

When we arrive at that point, then we should pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and smile. All that might have weighed us down, held us back or been waiting to trip us up is no longer on the slate of our lives. We can step forward with resolve -- no looking back and no second guessing. Personally and professionally, we are in right relationship with people. We have humbled ourselves before the "past" of our lives and, in doing so, we face the future with confidence. Nothing is owed, all is forgiven.

Therefore, without restraint we can dream big. We can pursue a dream we never thought possible because before it never really was possible. Without a clean slate, those dreams could not be pursued. But now that it is clean, we can dare to dream beyond the walls that held us in, beyond the anchors that held us back. It's like someone has taken away the kryptonite, and now we can run faster, jump higher, love deeper and dream bigger.

If you find yourself struggling to dream big and/or pursue those big dreams, get rid of the kryptonite -- wipe the slate clean.

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