One unintended consequence of watching the Olympics at prime time is inundation by commercials. I rarely sit through four straight minutes of advertising in a world that has shifted to streaming. Most ads are repetitive and annoying. The more enjoyable ones are either humorous or contain meaningful messages. The best commercial during the Olympics, in my opinion, is Etsy's “Greatness in the Making.” Take a 30-second commercial break to watch it.
“As kids they told us to follow our dreams, but the minute we started chasing them, they told us we were being unrealistic.”
The opening line resonates so well. People are happy to support your dreams…until you grow up. We’ve all heard the bombardment of discouragements throughout the years.
“You are being unrealistic.” “Think about your future.” “It’s too late for you.” “Passions don’t pay bills.”
Kids are dreamers. My wife and I have two creative kids. Let me tell you; they come up with some crazy ideas! They can imagine themselves to be any animal (real or fictitious). Our oldest daughter currently wants to be a ballerina or princess when she grows up. When I was her age, I wanted to be a ninja. Children don’t have to try to use their imagination; it’s their default operating mode.
However, as we grow older, we become more concerned with the way things currently are than how they could be. Bob Goff in Dream Big explains it like this, “Our dreams are birthed in childlike innocence, but as we grow up, we discover more information that can be a buzzkill to our ambitions.” We have too much information and not enough dreams.
Take Time to Dream
If we want to rediscover a sense of possibility, we have to take time to dream.
If you work on a team, you can do this by having an actual brainstorming session. I say actual brainstorming session because we’ve all been in meetings where they say, “no idea is a bad idea.”
Then moments later, everyone is laughing you out of the room or shooting down your thoughts with a machine gun of “what-abouts”? What about this? What about that? Brainstorming is only valuable when everyone can share their ideas uninhibited. The ideas that come up in a meeting like this may not end up being the finished product. But you’ll be a whole lot closer to the finish line than if you only talk about all the ways that your project could fail.
Dream as a Family
We also need to take time to dream with the people closest to us. Every January, my wife and I go on a special date to discuss our dreams for the new year. I’ve found this to be much more helpful than the typical New Year resolutions. We share our goals and how we can support one another on our journey.
Dream on your Own
Quiet time is essential for dreaming. You can’t dream about the future when your mind is preoccupied with the noise of the present. Set down your phone and pick up a journal. Ask yourself the question, “If I could be doing anything five years from now, what would it be?”
Prayer is another excellent way of dreaming. Remember that God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Pray big and dream on. No one ever changed the world by playing it safe. The future belongs to the dreamers.
What encourages and inspires you to dream? Let me know in the comments below!
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