Is It Realistic, Following Our Dreams?

This week’s article comes with a visual — the Bold Innocence poster by Steve Henderson that encourages us to Dream Big!

She's small; her dreams are big -- and it's a given that she's going to need some help along the way. Dream Big! poster by Steve Henderson

She’s small; her dreams are big — and it’s a given that she’s going to need some help along the way. Dream Big! poster by Steve Henderson

“Yeah, well I tried to follow my dreams but I got a big fat nowhere,” somebody told me the other day.

“I could follow my dreams,” another person commented, “As long as I had unlimited money and time.”

These statements hide a lot of hurt behind them, the sad remnants of people’s efforts to climb out of the carpeted cubicle world into a place where their talents and passions can be used to make a difference. At the end of the day, they want to feel satisfied that they have done something meaningful beyond earning profits for somebody else.

It’s hard work, following dreams; if it weren’t, most of the world would be ecstatic to start the work week, and as I’m sure you know, most people aren’t excited about the beginning of their individual work week.

Following our dreams implies movement — walking, climbing, persevering, picking ourselves up after we fall. No one said it would be easy, but things worth doing generally aren’t.

If you take a close look at the poster — which is based upon an original painting entitle Bold Innocence, by the way — you’ll notice that a very, very small child is standing in front of a very, very big ocean, and you and I know that she’s not going to conquer anything without some major help.

And so it is in the fulfillment of our dreams — as strong and intelligent and creative and passionate as we may be, we are very small in light of all of the factors that can play against us. Whether we realize it or not, we’re that child, confident yet weak, standing at the edge of a grand place.

We need people along the way to help us along, holding out a hand, pulling us up — and reminding us that there are others behind us who could use our hands, our help, to pull them up as well.

More importantly, we need Someone helping us along — the Creator of dreams and passion and love and meaning. And while it’s not chic or savvy to mention God in polite circles, He’s a primary element in moving us where we need to be, since He’s the one who imbues us with the very talents and abilities that we seek so earnestly to use.

These talents and abilities are gifts, given to us so that we can give to others. The first step in following our dreams, then, is realizing that their fulfillment is not so that we can be rich, or famous, or honored, or noticed at the grocery store, but so that we can reach out to others and give.

And the second step to following our dreams is acknowledging just that — steps. Dreams are not fulfilled quickly or overnight — they are journeys requiring day after day of walking, broken by rest in the evening so that we can prepare to walk the next day. In the process of fulfilling our dreams, we are changing into better people as we in turn work positive change in the world around us.

If you have given up on your dreams — if you have been hurt, bruised, disappointed, and damaged — please, stand up again and start walking. Reconnect with that bold innocent person inside of you, absurdly confident yet simultaneously aware that you are small indeed, and you are dependent upon the bigger people, the Bigger Person, around you.

Dream Big.

This article was originally published at ThoughtfulWomen.org

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
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2 Responses to Is It Realistic, Following Our Dreams?

  1. Carolyn, I just signed up to receive your blog posts. I want to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Mostly what I have read has been on FASO. They are so common sense, informative and encouraging. Many leave me thinking, “OK, so I’m not crazy after all!” I’d really love to have coffee with you; but since distance does not permit that, I’m very much looking forward to reading your next blog or FASO article. Many thanks for a voice of sanity and common sense in a world that has much too little of either.

    Carol Roberts

    • Carol — your warm and gracious comment feeds my soul — thank you. I believe in the power and meaning of common sense, and like you, I see too little of it around. Sometimes, when I write, I think, “People are going to call this dumb because it’s just common sense,” but then I reconsider, and I see the wave of media barrage that hits us from all sides, feeding us information that isn’t true, isn’t right, isn’t honorable — but that is slick and smart and fast and loud — and I think, “No. The messages people are getting are so strong, that they threaten to out shout common sense.”

      Thank you for signing up to receive my blog posts. Welcome. And who knows? We may have that coffee, or tea, yet.

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