Don’t overthink it
Don’t look for reasons it can’t be done?
Don’t worry about failing?
Don’t ask yourself, is this the right thing to do?
Follow your heart
Believe in yourself
If you fall, dust yourself off and go back to work
It’s your life, your destiny; grab hold of it and let your passion be your roadmap to success.
It really is very simple. If you can dream it and you put the energy into accomplishing it, and you stay positive on the journey to it, you can achieve it.
If you are taught to believe the best way to live your life is to live it in black and white, staying within the lines to fit in, you have not been provided with a roadmap to excellence but directions to a life of the ordinary. Some chose to live their life in full color splashed across the canvass. They have decided to walk the path leading to greatness. They asked why settle? Why paint within the lines when there is so much more I can accomplish by stepping out? They are not afraid of society’s judgemental eye. They refuse to settle and deprive themselves of the possibility that there are limitless opportunities. They will not let society judge them. They wholeheartedly believe that only you can judge yourself. Only you can decide if you have the confidence within yourself to reject fear and open your mind to new possibilities. They understand that with possibilities comes growth, and without growth, there is no reason to dream. Instead, you end up accepting being ordinary neither bold enough to dream of a better future or seize upon the opportunity at the moment. If you had the chance to join them, would you? Could you?
No one can take from you what is truly yours unless you allow them, which applies to your dreams. Too often in life, we let others define who we are and what we can achieve. Carole Mosley-Braun so pointedly said, “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” Yet, it is a challenge we must rise to if we are to reach our full potential. No one knows what is inside us, the desire to be great. It is not uncommon that those that tell us we can’t are themselves afraid of branching out beyond their comfort zone. Then, out of jealousy, some are frightened that you will reach your potential and leave them behind. We can not allow ourselves to be influenced by their negativity; it may even be necessary to assess should these people even be part of our life. Not everyone is meant the path with you. There will be times as you walk that path, you’ll stumble and fail. When that happens, you need people who believe in you and offer you encouragement to get back up and keep moving toward your dreams. Not someone who doubts you and is quick to tell you that you’ll never do it, you know you can, but surrounding yourself with negativity can cause doubt to creep in, and the slightest bit of doubt may be enough to prevent you from achieving your dreams.
You know they’re out there doubting you, laughing at your failures, talking about you behind you’re back while smiling in your face. But no matter how much they doubt you, you keep moving forward in the pursuit of your dreams. The funny thing is none of them ever dared to step off the cliff and believe they could fly. They long ago discarded their childhood’s colorful dreams instead choosing to live a colorless existence as an adult. From afar, many of them appear happy. They have a good job, house, and car, but the truth is that deep down, they despise their day to day life. They periodically think back to those childhood dreams and wonder what if, as they say in Star Trek, bodily went in the direction of those dreams. But you’re not one of them. You see your life as a blank canvass waiting for you to splash those colorful childhood dreams on to it and do what makes you happy. You work hard to achieve that happiness because you know that your dreams don’t merely manifest themselves out of thin air; you believe in yourself and are not afraid to step off that cliff, and when you fly, you know you’ll never have to wonder what if.
As I sat on my deck, I noticed a gentle mist had started, but I didn’t get up. Instead, I sat there admiring the trees and grass. When I was young, there were no trees, no grass to look at. It was just block after block of concrete. That time seems so long ago now, I guess I thought to myself, as the mist turned into a drizzle, I made it. Everyone thought I was living in a dream world, that if I didn’t give up these crazy dreams, I would never amount to anything, and they were all too quick to point out each time I failed, and I failed a lot. But there was one person who believed in me, kept pushing me, and encouraging me never to stop chasing my dreams. That person was me.
For as long as I could remember, I believed that I was born to be unique, to stand out from the crowd. While the masses would march to the drummer’s beat, I would salsa to Tito Puente’s rhythm. Now ironically, the same people who told me I would never make it ask me what my secret of success is. I laugh to myself and tell them I always knew that greatness was in me I just had to work hard, push myself, never give up, reject the fear of failure and not let anyone take away my dreams. Right then, my 6-year-old son called out to me, “Daddy, it’s raining. Come inside.” I looked at him and smiled as I said, “it’s ok, your Daddy never gets caught in the rain because he learned how to soar above the clouds.”
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I love The Matrix, and one of my favorite characters Morpheus, has uttered many quotes that we can use in our everyday lives. Two that I especially relate to are “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” and “You have to let it all go, Fear, doubt, and disbelief free your mind.” In many ways, we know what we must do if we want to make our dreams a reality, but we fail to act. We fear failing, doubt ourselves, and disbelieve in the possibility of success. In many ways, our minds have been conditioned by society to be practical, to color within the lines. Conditioned to believe that if we simply blend in, we protect ourselves. But imagine what we could accomplish if, as Morpheus says, we let it all go and free our mind If we dared to color outside the lines. Suppose we stopped being afraid of failure and embraced the possibility of success. We may just find that we will never again get caught in the rain because we would have learned to soar above the clouds.
Captain James T. Kirk famously said I don’t believe in the no-win scenario. Kirk liked to think there always are…possibilities.
How many times in our life have we given up on or not even tried to accomplish something because our minds have been conditioned to believe it was not possible no matter what we do? That it was a no-win scenario. How different would our lives be if we allowed ourselves to accept the simple concept that there are always possibilities?
Many in society don’t want us to believe that. Be it because they have achieved a level of success they don’t want us to reach, or they are afraid of reaching for the stars. But we deserve success as much as anyone else, and we should not fear reaching for the stars because we may not capture them. We should fear letting the opportunity for greatness elude us because we settled for mediocrity. After all, we’ll never get to captain the Starship Enterprise if we believe in no-win scenarios.
The road to happiness and inner peace begins when you free your mind from the limits that society has conditioned it to believe in and realize when you start following your dreams, your possibilities are endless.