“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Is a dream also a hope or a potential destination?
A student popped into my classroom to visit at lunch. Being part of this city’s culture he has been raised to love football. He has dreams of playing either CFL or NFL. He’s been talking about this since the first day I met him in Grade 9. Throughout high school it was not just talk. He was on the school team and the city league. He traveled for training camps and games. He was really invested.
Of course, being part of the practical middle class of our city, he was also been raised to have a backup plan for his future. Every project he did was about football, about becoming a paid athlete of the CFL or NFL about living that dream. Unfortunately, too many people told him that it was just a dream, that he should focus on something more practical. So he often did research on the more practical jobs out there.
During our talk that day he said, “I finished another career assignment. It was on banking and investments. And then I threw it away. You know why? Because I want to play football and I think if I think about my second choice it takes my focus off my first choice. So, I did the assignment again—this time about football. We’ll see what happens. I may have to redo it.”
The student becomes the teacher—again
Did I hear that right?
That kid is more self-aware than most adults I know. He’s 100% right. I think it is a disservice to ourselves to not dig deep and go for the things we love. What have we got to lose any how?
In a commencement address by Jim Carrey at Maharishi University he was quoted to say:
“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying, I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it—please!”
He goes on to say:
“My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant, and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
Back to the kid
My student is taking a chance at putting all his energy into the thing he loves. I hope he gets it for lots of reasons, one being that at his age he is so very certain what he wants, which is admirable and rare-and a great reminder for me. Some days I’m tired when I get home from the paying job and want to nap or just veg I owe it to myself to at least try my best to get the thing I want.
He’s been graduated over a year now. Wonder what he’s doing.
One last truth
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”H. Jackson Brown Jr.
I didn’t realize that H. Jackson Brown Jr. wrote Life’s Little Instruction Book, a book sitting on my shelf from many years ago. I guess the lesson was there all along. I should have looked more carefully.