As long as I can remember, people have called me a dreamer. I don’t think it’s always been a complement nor a positive attribute that was thrown my way. I guess they thought that Kenny Rogers was a prophet when he sang:
“Don’t fall in love with a dreamer, ’cause he’ll break you every time.”
I think people were trying to say that I needed to be more realistic, come down to earth, live in the real world.
Fast forward several decades now – I’m still a dreamer.
- I dream of what could be
- I dream of how things could be
- I dream of better
- I dream of where I have not yet been
- I dream of where I could be
- I dream of who I could become
- I dream because it fills my mind with hope and draws me forward.
- I dream because it stomps out fear
- I dream because it is the antithesis of “how”
I believe this with my whole heart: If you remove the dream in you, you remove hope. Where there is no dream, hope cannot exist.
Show me a person who is burdened with fear, and I will show you a person who has stopped dreaming, who has cast aside their hope.
Over these last 3 years, I have walked with my head down, depressed, struggling just to find the motivation to get out of bed so that I could go back to bed 15 hours later. I was a zombie. I was a hopeless, dreamless, self-absorbed, fearful, angry, sad-sack of a man (this may be a bit of an over-exaggeration, but depression and fear are distant from the dreamer).
Daring to Dream Again
Thank God that the dreamer didn’t die. The glow of hope sparked and began to ignite into a flame. Hope began to swell, and for the first time in a very long time, I began to dream again.
The dreams began to grow in color, vibrance, and detail. My dreams began to grow in frequency and in different areas of my life. What awoke was hope. As hope stirred and began to move freely, I felt more alive than I had in many, many years.
Gary Haugen said, “Fear is the silent destroyer of dreams.”
I can sit back and get fearful over all that is around me. I can fear how I am going to pay my bills and if my business is going to make it. I can fear all the chaos around me. As fear grows, it destroys my dreams, and thus destroys the dreamer.
If I told my dreams to 100 people, 98 of them would ask me “How?” “How are you going to do it?” How, how, how, how, how????
How is always the wrong response to ideas and dreams. Andy Stanley said, “We need to “WOW ideas (dreams) to life. Don’t “How” them to death. We fuel innovation or we shut it down based upon our response.”
I have learned that the how will show up, and the how will be accomplished. But if you want to kill a dream, and thus extinguish hope, dwell on what you believe is being real and practical, and dwell on the how.
Gary Haugen also said, “No good dream of love has been built on the fear of what might go wrong, but on the hope of what might go right.”
I truly believe that the greatest accomplishments came about from men like me – men such as Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Orville & Wilbur Wright, and so many others. They were dreamers ultimately. They pushed aside fear and pursued the dreams that were planted deep within them. The how’s naturally came about – they always do. How’s will chase down a dream in motion.
I believe I have been given a gift to dream. I have new dreams that have been planted within me. Once again, Haugen says, “You have been given everything that you need to lead this dream that you have been given.”
Of course, not everyone can be a dreamer. I’m not saying that. But, the world would be a pretty boring place and we would probably be living in the industrial age right now if it wasn’t for dreamers leading the way.
I prefer that I live my dreams rather than going to the grave with my dreams having been silenced within me.
So yes, I’m a dreamer… thank God.