Dreams are the fuel of life
“We have no choice” was his matter of fact, statement when I bumped into him at the grocery store. We run a similar type of business, and all I said was “this cold weather hurts my cafe-restaurant, what about yours?”. It was not the first time that he implied that we are just here to survive with little choices to change our circumstances.
The other day I stop for coffee and fresh orange juice, which is a rare commodity in the United States of America, so whenever I have time, I stop by places that will quench my thirst for real fresh squeezed orange juice. I came to a Portuguese/Brazilian luncheonette. I sat by the counter and the man next to me struck up a conversation. I tried to be polite and answer some of his questions until he boldly asked me what do I do for a living? What makes people always want to know what do we do for a living? That’s another story for a different blog. I think they want to place us in a box, as if what we do define us, tells who we are…to be continued
I told him that the job I do is the type of a job I am quitting in the next two weeks. He was flabbergasted. He didn’t understand. In the end, out of kindness I told him that after 25 years of doing the same thing I concluded that it was time to change. It was time to do something that I felt it was pressing against the walls of my heart. Does a heart have walls? I think mine does.
He ended up telling me some of his life story, he told me that he worked at the main Porto in Newark, He is in charge of seating and controlling a forklift as high as 16 story buildings or higher. He said I am very smart to consider changing my life. I told him I am not any smarter than him. But in the end he said “what choice do I have, at my age“. He is barely a 55 years old man. How old Am I again?
A few days later a 22 year-old girl told me about having to take a semester off from going to college because “what choice do I have? I can’t get government loans.” In a different instance another young 23 year-old said: “I would travel the world if it wasn’t for my student loans”.
I also thought I didn’t have a choice but to stay in a loveless marriage. It is easy to fall into this trap. At a young age I was very good at not settling for less until age, marriage, children made me perhaps complacent. Despite it all, I still believe in a dream. Dreams are part of my DNA make up. I did achieve most of my dreams but one needs to constantly create new ones otherwise the fire goes off and you start to drift in the ocean of life.
You always have a choice. It is almost an insult to oneself to say “what choice do I have“, in other words you are giving away the control that belongs to you alone, as the poet W.E. Henley wrote “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.
It is with great interest and intensity I study great men and women such as President George Washington, President Roosevelt, Henri Ford, Thomas Edison and the modern ones such as Maria Bartimore, Steve Jobs, Jenna Lyons and many more. Unanimously I find that not only those people had to fight adversity, push beyond their negative thinking, their negative inclinations, their internal voices telling them “what choice do I have” but they made a positive impact in their life’s and the life of others. Those people are not better than you and I. They come from similar back grounds. The only difference is that they refused to set for mediocrity, they refused to accept “what choice do I have as their excuse”
It all starts in the head, with a mind set. It starts with a decision. Wayne Dyer wrote about “The power of intention”, nevertheless I prefer the writings of Napoleon Hill, a man born to poverty, with many adversities, yet become an attorney and a journalist and a close adviser to President Roosevelt. He wrote “The successful person knows precisely what she desires, has a plan for getting it, believes in her ability to get it, and devotes a major portion of her time to acquiring it”. It all lays in the single focused goal. Napoleon Hills’ books are very inspiring and some are NY best sellers.
Jesus said: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be open onto to you”. When defining what is truly important to you, what matters the most, what is that you want more than anything else, things change. If it is to go to college and finish your education, forget about seating around and waiting for government help, that may or may not come. Wake up early, get another job and go to school part-time but don’t take a semester off. Don’t give in to your circumstances. Fight.
If sitting at a forklift 16 stories high is not what you truly desire, make a plan and start to execute it or go cold turkey. Quit your job. If your dream is to travel the world, do it. You can travel, work and send some money to pay the loans and still continue to travel. I did it. I traveled abroad and worked without working permits. Doors open if you really knock at it. The greatest man and woman started their greatest years at the age of 50. You can’t even be president before been at least 35 years old.
One of the reasons I love football is because coaches always have a game plan – You can’t enter the game of life without a game plan, further you can’t even consider winning the super bowl if you don’t even know what is that you want. It all starts with a vision, with a dream and a raw idea of how to go about it.
Your dream may be buried like my was and if so reach out to people that can help you uncover your dreams. In my case it was the constant time I took off to walk in nature, the constant prayers, the conversations I had with good friends, my time away from text, phone, music or nonsense that helped me get back in track.
Once the mind decides enough is enough then you see God or the universe aligning the necessary pieces for your dream to come true. We are here to thrive not barely to survive.
Happy dreams and happy new grounds in 2014
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