July 16, 2012

Is It Dangerous to Dream?

Do you know that feeling inside of you that sometimes makes you hope, and sometimes makes you uncomfortable? It's the feeling that swims around inside your chest, and at times sits heavy on your mind. It's something alive inside of you; it's powerful, a thousand steps ahead of you, one hundred times the size of you, and beyond the capability of your imagination. It's animalistic in the sense that it's wild and you are not confident that you can tame it. In fact, you aren't sure you want it to be tamed, but at the same time you are scared to death to let it out. The fact is that it is trapped inside of you. You are the prison that holds it in. And you hold the key that will let it out.

Many of us will spend our entire lives doing everything we can to keep our greatest dreams locked inside. If we could measure the amount of effort a single person spends over the course of his life working to keep his dream locked away, then we would shed tears. We would become angry, passionate, loud, and feel outrage like we've never felt it before. As we strive to avoid climbing mountains that we'd love to stand on top of, are we unknowingly climbing mountains that we absolutely have no desire to stand on top of? What if avoiding our greatest fears means we are also avoiding our greatest dreams? 

Close your eyes. Just for a moment. Picture yourself living the life that you label "Impossible". For many of us, we're too scared to even allow ourselves to picture it. Why? Because we know that it is dangerous to dream! There are only two possible outcomes: 
  1. We fail. We quit. There are too many challenges. Our hearts lie broken on the floor. Our energy sucked dry. Our spirits have retreated behind multiple locked doors into the back corner of the room that sits tucked away in the basement of our souls.
  2. We face our greatest fears.
Do you know when it stops being dangerous to dream? When you pick up the key, unlock the prison, and allow your dream to be bigger than your fears. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from living your greatest dreams. Write your "reasons" on a piece of paper and then toss the paper in the fire. The reasons don't exist. Only the fears exist. 

What is so wonderful about this life is that we hold the key. Every day we can choose whether or not we'll pick it up and use it. No one can stop us from using it. Nothing gets in our way. The key is always available; it's always sitting on the table directly in front of us. No matter how far we run, how many times we quit, or how big we fail, it's always there. And it all begins with that key. Many people who dig deep holes want to jump out of them in one big leap, but it doesn't work that way. We climb out one step at a time. And once we get out of the hole, then we still have the mountain of our greatest dreams to climb. It's not easy, but it begins with that first step and then another and another. 

Here's the other thing that's always available to us: the prison. Once we unlock the door and let our dreams out it becomes much harder to put them back in the prison, but it's doable. My advice? Destroy the prison. Burn the ships. Don't look back. Your dreams might be wild stallions; enjoy the adventure. 

The most important step that you will ever take is the next one. Be dangerous. Dream.

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