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The Impossible Dream
What would you dare to dream if you knew you wouldn’t succeed? A few weeks ago I was watching the NFL draft. This is an annual event where the NFL selects the best college football players in America to play professional football at the highest level. While watching this, one player in particular stood out to me. He was six feet five inches tall and weighed two hundred and sixty-five pounds. This was a big tough guy! That’s why his answer to the election caught my attention. He started crying! He was so emotional that he could not stand up when his name was called. What would make this tough guy cry? He made an impossible dream come true.
This was a dream he had had since he was a child. This was the dream that kept him awake at night. This was a dream he thought about every day. What is your impossible dream? I discovered that all impossible dreams have one thing in common. To achieve this, you have to overcome what I call “Stunning Statistics”. The astonishing statistics are in place because often on the way to your dream you come across a large number of people who share the same aspiration as you. This large group becomes a staggering statistic. For example, there are 9,000 people who play college football at the highest level. Of those 9,000, only 215 will be drafted into the NFL. That’s a staggering statistic. Your dream might be to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The average Fortune 500 company has over 100,000 employees, but only one CEO. That’s a staggering statistic. So the question is how do I achieve my impossible dream and overcome the staggering statistics? I’m going to share with you two things you need to make your dream come true. I call this the “two rights” of dream come true.
The first right to the realization of dreams is the right philosophy. True philosophy is the belief that anything is possible. It takes the right philosophy because the staggering statistics will make your dream seem impossible. The key to the right philosophy is to know and accept your purpose. Your purpose is what makes your dream possible. We are all born with a destiny and a purpose to fulfill. You are the only one who can achieve your specific purpose. Knowing and embracing your purpose will propel you forward and allow you to overcome staggering statistics. It reminds me of the experience at the airport when I was trying to catch an early flight. I arrived at the terminal only to find many people in line ahead of me trying to do the same thing I was doing. I was sure I was going to miss my flight! Then I saw my good friend Paul near the front line. He motioned for me to go forward. We hugged, he let me go and I took off. Our purpose is like my friend Paul. Knowing and accepting this will move you to the front of the queue and ahead of others who are trying to do what you are doing. Knowing and accepting your purpose will allow you to have the right philosophy.
Another right to making dreams come true is the right perspective. The right perspective will come from choosing a mentor who has done what you are trying to do. Finding a good mentor has two benefits. First, you benefit directly from the mentor’s experience and perspective. Second, they will help you change your perspective. This is important because sometimes our deferred dreams are a direct result of our failure to change. I remember a YouTube video I saw the other day about a blind man who was homeless and begging on the street. In front of him he had the sign “Help, I’m blind”. People would pass by him every day without giving him money. This became a consistent pattern. One day a lady came up, turned his sign over and wrote something on it and left. Suddenly people would read what she wrote and donate money. His cup was now full of money. I watched this video in wonder and wondered; “what’s on that sign?” Suddenly, the camera panned to the sign, which was changed to “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it.” The lady was an effective mentor to the blind man because she helped him change his perspective. Once he changed his perspective, he could change his score. When we have the right perspective, we will move closer to our dreams.
The first right to the realization of dreams is the right philosophy, the second right is the right perspective. As I finish, I am reminded of a story about a young man named Craig that brings these two points home. Craig had a difficult childhood. He spoke in a whisper and slurred his words. He was constantly teased by the other children because of the way he spoke. Then things went from bad to worse for Craig. When he was ten years old, a friend of his father told him that when he spoke, he sounded like Daffy Duck and that he should be quiet. This event had a dramatic effect on him and he did everything he could to avoid speaking in public. Well, this sad story has a happy ending. In 1999, Craig won the Toastmasters International World Public Speaking Championship, and today, Craig Valentine is a successful motivational speaker speaking all over the world. What was Craig’s secret to success? First, he had the right philosophy. Craig’s dream was to win the world championship and he believed it was possible even when everyone made fun of him. Second, he had the right perspective. Craig wanted to be a world champion so he chose a mentor who was a previous world champion. The mentor helped him change his perspective, overcome the staggering statistics and achieve his dream. I have good news for you today. If it worked for Craig, it will work for you. If you have the right philosophy and the right perspective, you can make the impossible dream come true.
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