All of us have these dreams, those seemingly unimportant things we’d like to achieve some day that bring us a sense of excitement at the possibility of their reality. It could be learning to swim, to play the piano, to speak Chinese, to travel to the farthest continent… the list goes on. Always present in our minds, often springing forth as a remembrance, these “I always wanted to” are written on our far away calendars of days that never come, or perhaps those days showed up but we were taking care of more important stuff, you know… life! We have the kids, the aging parents, the busy jobs, and many other things that demand our time now and in the days after.
And suddenly we feel we are too old, too stiff, too forgetful, too something to get back into those old desires. We realize once again, as we do at the end of every season of every single year, that time truly passes by very fast.
What we fail to see is that those things that tag at our souls every single day, or almost, are part of our calling, part of a purpose not yet unfolded until we carve out the time to help them get born, and given more time, grow and eventually bloom. And as if in an act of gratefulness at letting them come alive in the real world, they create a ripple effect revealing a lot more gifts and outcomes than what we could’ve ever imagined when we first conceived them as simple ideas.
We all say we don’t have the time, I empathize. Yet, guilty as charged, if we examine our daily dealings and schedules, the things that stop us and distract us, we may find conversations, some of the unhealthy kind, air-headed tv/radio/internet shows that pollute us, and unproductive scrolling on social media that serve to only eat out our most valuable asset, time. Don’t get me wrong, I love a long chat, a good dumb comedy, and I enjoy social media, but I too realized I was giving gold away in the form of too much of my time with no value in return. There is so much constantly calling our attention that staying focused has become a very high task to pursue. It seems that being all over the place makes you social, relevant, and even influential, but many don’t seem to know or care of what good influence is actually about. Because being known, having many likes and comments, seems to be the aim in sight for many but much of the content is nothing more than just plain easy to forget information. Yet, your time and mine, are sucked in there never to return and with no good fruit to ripe from it. We have to intentionally find quality information that instead helps us enhance the experiences in our lives and gives return on investment of our time to help us achieve our dreams.
So I ask you, what was that seemingly simple desire tagging in your heart? Is it still there? Is it dormant? or has it passed its time?
Can you take a 30 minute break to write it down? Research it further? and schedule action-taking time to make it become more than a dream, a reality, your reality? You and only you are the true master of your hours and your desires. What will you do today?
We become accustomed to the illusion of these dreams, to their ever present longing but never really do anything, or enough, to help them succeed in their tangible reality. We see them everyday in the back of our heads, the thing we want, but we never let it truly breath out of the head into the hand. We doubt them and ourselves, until the desire may disappear or we simply give up on the possible reality of that wonderful idea. But the idea itself never truly goes away; it is there still waiting still nagging, as if it doesn’t understand the passage of time and the heavy weight of our many other responsibilities. But as Tom Petty once said “It’s kind of like the sailor and the sea; If he never goes back, he’s gonna think about it forever.” are you still thinking about it?
This very painting, unfinished and without a name, represents to me these very things. I began painting it in 2009 to decorate my own home but I often had to stop because as a designer and musician coordinator by profession, I had art to do for others, art that I also loved. And like the painting, due to other responsibilities and personal issues, many of my deeply hidden personal dreams took a back seat in my actions, but never in my heart. Somehow these painting became a representation of those dreams, some I have actually achieved and continue to grow in as represented by the saxophone. Others have been re-started over and over as represented by the discolored guitar that at some point looked more like a banjo. Other dreams are an ongoing process as represented by the bass in the painting that doesn’t look like a bass at all but a big piece of wood (it was almost finished but as I’ve improved as an artist, I decided to give it an overhaul, now it doesn’t even have strings, yikes! but I promise it will look so much better than before). And some dreams I achieved and I’m done with as represented by the two green drums. Every few years I go back to this painting for a very short period of time to fix something, to do something new, but not yet with the intend to finish it because I find it a visual reminder of the many wonderful things I dream about that I want to make true, and as I go about those throughout my lifetime they will be another stroke in this canvas and in others as well as in the canvas of my mind. May be one day I’ll finish it, may be never. Who knows! I enjoy the process as it is.
So I ask you once again, what will you do today, tomorrow, or on a set date this week to get back to that youthful dream that often tags in your heart strings and calls out to your mind?
As long as you are alive and breathing it is still possible. Something, anything about it, is possible. And you, yes YOU, can make it happen!
It all comes down to allowing yourself to accept and love your dream again, find clarity, write it down, schedule it and commit yourself to taking decisive action, non-stop. That means making changes in how you spend your time, but you’ll be glad you did. So glad when your dream is finally your reality and the ripple effect is in motion, because one wonderful thing always leads to more wonder.
One more time, what will you do today?
YOU can make wonders happen!