The biggest dream killer is the dreamer. Did you hear me? I will repeat it just in case; the biggest dream killer is the dreamer. You may think that it’s the skeptics or a variety of other obstacles, but that is just not the case. Let’s use your life as an example. Think about a dream you once had, something you desired to achieve but never did. Maybe you wanted to be an NBA player, movie star or opera singer. Now think back to when you decided that was not going to happen. There it is – the death of your dream. You made the decision and the dream died. I will admit that there are times that dreams are killed outside of our control, but most of the time we are the ones responsible for their demise.
Those other things that we so often blame – the critics, our schedules, lack of finances, etc. – may be contributing factors to the dream’s collapse, but in the end the dreamer is the one who pulls the trigger. We accomplish those things we set our hearts and minds toward completing. We too often leave the dream at its conception instead of turning it into a vision. Those people whom we admire – the ones who achieved their dreams – did so because they transformed their dreams into visions. They set about the task of creating goals and realizing what they must do to make the dream a reality. They then worked hard to reach their goals and then made news ones as needed. Rarely does someone stumble into a dream. You won’t find anyone who says, “I realized that I wanted to be a doctor and poof I became one.” It just does not happen that way. Someone who wants to become a doctor realizes that it will take much work to achieve the dream and he/she commits to do the work. Had that same person never gone to school or worked as an intern, he/she would have become a dream killer instead of a doctor.
One very common reason people kill their dreams is because they fear what will happen when the dreams become reality. We don’t like to be criticized and we too often view criticism in a negative light. Criticism is often a good thing. When I wrote my first book I sent copies to other people. I wanted them to read the book and give me honest feedback. I got what I asked for and quickly realized my book wasn’t very good. I could have given up and killed my dream, right then and there. That’s not what I did though. I went back through my book and read it through their eyes. I realized they were right; the book definitely needed a revision. I set about the task of revising the book and repeated the process – only to revise it again. The end result was a book worthy to be published. Even since the writing of the book I have learned from the advice of others. I am now putting that advice to work in writing my second book. Had I decided to give up due to criticism – I would have been the dream killer; not the critics. In reality, they helped make the dream a possibility – they contributed to the life of the dream.
We too often blame the death of our dreams on the very things that can help make them real. If we listen to our critics and try to think of a way we can use their advice to help us better implement the dream, they become a gift instead of a curse. If we look at obstacles like money, for example, we can get creative at finding ways to make the money available. It may require working a second job or tweaking our budget to the point that we sacrifice in other areas. If the dream is worth living, the sacrifice is worth making. Your dream may require practice, reading, vocal lessons, etc. You must look at your obstacles as guides to the pathway of achieving your dream. As long as you see them as obstacles you will stay stalled. I think we all have dreams that we desire to achieve, but the world is full of dream killers. Are you one of them?
Jeremiah 29:11(ESV) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Are you discontent with the life you are living? Do you ever dream of doing something else, but just figure that dream will need to wait until some unseen future date? Are you living paycheck to paycheck and working an unfulfilling job to just pay the bills? Do you spend time at work daydreaming about what you would rather be doing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, today’s blog is for you.
A few years ago Americans got on the purpose bandwagon. We wanted to learn what our purpose was in life and we then sat and dreamed about how great life would be if we lived out that purpose. That’s where many of us stopped. We never pursued that purpose and we never made plans to do so. We just daydreamed about what life would be if we were there. For others, they struggled to even define a purpose. They knew of several things they were good at and other things they enjoyed but defining a purpose seemed too vast of an equation for them to calculate. Still others never worried about it because they were spending all of their time working very hard to just survive. There were a few, however, who decided that it didn’t matter what they had to do, and they were going to achieve their purpose in life. Those people were successful, not because they had knowledge but because they had determination.
I know that not everyone got on the purpose bandwagon. Some thought that it was a method for people to become more selfish (i.e. getting what they wanted in life) or they thought the idea was ridiculous. Many of us, however, do believe that we were created with a purpose. For us that purpose is not a selfish thing because we believe God created us with a purpose that He put into us. Following that purpose is to pursue God’s plan for our lives, not our own. One passage of scripture that sums this up is Jeremiah 29:11-13. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”(Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV)
The God who created you has a blueprint for your life. Learning your purpose is not about fulfilling selfish desires. It’s about fulfilling God’s desires for your life. Here is another passage to consider: Psalm 37:3-5 ESV: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (Side note: I encourage you to read all of Psalm 37. It’s really good.)
Did you see what it says? God will give you the desires of your heart. When we commit our lives to God and follow Him, His desires become our own. Trust Him. Commit your ways to Him. He will give you the desires of your heart. He will make His plans for your life come to fruition. We need to stop trying to make our purpose happen and begin seeking God to see how that purpose will unravel in our lives.
I am personally at a point in my life where I am willing to lay it down and discover God’s blueprint for my future. I can answer yes to almost every question at the beginning of this blog, but something is changing inside of me. I have realized that my happiness is not based on what I am doing but in who I am serving. When my desires line up with what God has placed within me, when I am doing those things for which He has gifted me and when I am following His blueprint for my life, I will live a fulfilling life with no regrets. I am beyond just obtaining knowledge; I now have determination to fulfill my God given purpose.
Are you willing to stop living life just for the sake of living life? Are you ready to put your gifts to work and fulfill the calling God has placed in your life? If so, jump on the train with me and let’s embark in the adventure of living life to its fullest – pursuing our God given purpose.
Do you ever wonder what it is you would do really well? Do you attempt new things in an effort to discover what it is you are passionate about? Are you trying to find your niche in life?
If this describes you, we have something in common. I seem to be constantly searching for my niche. The definition I am using today for niche is: a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing.
In my lifelong search I have discovered many things in which I excel and enjoy: acting, writing, public speaking, leading or even being in nature. I have also found things for which I am not so gifted: singing, playing instruments, math, running, and sitting still during meetings.
I tend to look at life as an optimist with a twist – instead of seeing the glass as half full; I see it as an interesting object that distorts my view of what is on the other side. The water in the glass tends to obscure the objects on the other side of the glass, making them appear different than their natural facade. I look for the humor or distortion in life. “What is it about this current situation that just isn’t right and what is funny about that fact?” That is the thought that goes through my mind. I think it is why I have so much trouble sitting through a meeting. I tend to drift from the topic of discussion and focus on things that will make me laugh. I sometimes forget that everyone else is listening to the presenter and I make a comment to someone nearby. That’s when reality usually strikes.
I know these things about myself because I am always curious. I ask myself questions like “Would I be more fulfilled in life if I were to quit my job and become a professional actor, writer, or public speaker? What would it take to make that happen? Should I quit my semi-enjoyable, relatively easy, flexible job to pursue a new career? Are my and my family’s gifts being utilized to their fullest extent? Would we be better able to use our talents in a different environment, city, state or even country? Where will we be in ten years? Will we be happier when we live in a newer, bigger house and drive a nicer car or will we still feel the same with just nicer stuff? What is my niche?”
I’ve recently written and published my first book and I am now working on my second. This has not given me the flexibility to quit my job and be a professional writer. It is possible that can happen if I write enough books, but there is no certainty in that. It is definitely one of my passions, but I am not certain that writing in and of itself is my niche. If I were to combine it with public speaking and/or acting I believe that I would definitely be on the right track. One of my biggest questions has been whether or not to hold on to the security my fulltime job offers? I sometimes feel like it is holding me back, but it’s putting bread on the table and keeping the lights on. I have committed to stay in my current position until I can transition into something more fitting to my purpose. I do not feel it is wise to just quit a job that I somewhat like just to pursue a dream. I can pursue my dream and find my niche while I work in my current career. When a door opens where I can move into my dream job without bankrupting my family, that is when I will make the move.
In the meantime I just need to find my niche. What about you? – Tim
Jeremiah 29:11-13For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Sarah is a musician that I am helping to promote. She is a very talented high school student who is pursuing her dreams. She is both vocally and instrumentally gifted. She not only plays the guitar but she is even building one of her own.
A local radio station known as WIBI is conducting a type of American Idol contest known as Opening Act. Sarah is one of the semifinalists in this competition. She and the other semifinalists will be in concert tonight (Friday, April 13, 2012) near St. Louis, MO. Here is information about where the concert will be located: Semifinal Event - Church on the Rock, 900 Birdie Hills Rd, Saint Peters, MO. For more information about the concert, you can go here. You can also learn more about Sarah Lannom by visiting and liking her Facebook Fan Page.
Please take time to check out Sarah and the other musicians, authors and public speakers listed on this website. You may want to book one of them for an upcoming event.
I have taken a break from my Supernatural Series in order to make this important announcement. For those who are interested in this series, I will post new content next week and be segueing into a discussion on writing fiction. As always, I will not be posting new material over the weekend. I will be spending much of my weekend focusing on my book. I will post a new blog on Monday. Have a great weekend! - Tim