The dictionary defines “Dream” as "an aspiration; goal; aim:”.
The dictionary is great, but digging deeper I'd like to share with you a more detailed description of what it means to "dream"....
Dreams push us out of our comfort zone.
Dreams cause us to aspire.
Dreams take time to acquire.
Dreams are hard to achieve.
I mean lets be honest, if a dream was easy to obtain then we wouldn’t be day dreaming about it. Our mind doesn't waste time on the average. Our mind wishes for things that stretch the imagination. Our mind wishes for things far beyond our current reach.
In order to purchase a dream we must use the currency of work, and at times we may have to pay the sales tax of sweat and tears. Dreams should not only rock the boat we call life, but cause us to sail into unchartered territory. I mean, if you're dreams are smooth sailing for the entire cruise you need to leave the guppy pool and head out to the hurricane waters of the deep sea! Buried treasure isn’t found on the coast of average, but on the island of extraordinary!
For a dream to be a dream, risk must be involved. Risk is the lifeblood of dreams. A dream must challenge your heart, your drive, and your ability to endure. It must scare you and trigger the fear of the unknown. If it doesn’t, your dream isn't big enough. I really do believe that!
With all that said if a dream only triggers fear, you should reevaluate your dream. A dream must fill you with passion, love, joy, desire, and delight. It must give you energy and fill your mind with wonder and excitement. If it doesn’t, your drive will fizzle out among the onslaught of challenges surely to come your way.
Personally my dreams have been a long hard fought road, but a road I would travel again because of all the wonderful life lessons and critical skills acquired along the way.
This road of discovery started during my mission, at which time I learned that I was a teacher at heart. I learned that teaching was the direction I needed to take in my life. My mission was difficult as I had a major stuttering problem, but with a lot of prayer and help from my doctor I was able to control my stutter and was able to focus on the Lords work. Even though it was a difficult time, my mission was the most import period of my life. It wasn’t the best two years “of” my life, it was the best two years “for” my life. It was the moment I laid the chief corner stone of my future, a stone that all the rest of my dreams would be built upon.
After my mission I was hungry to teach, and needed to find a vehicle that would allow me to keep refining my abilities. So after searching for some time, I decided I wanted to be a counselor for a church camp called EFY or Especially For Youth. As a counselor I taught, guided, and inspired youth to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. I loved this summer job so much I remained a counselor for the next 4 years, teaching every moment I could. I even had the session directors of the camp (generally LDS church hired teachers) observe my teaching, always asking them how I could improve. Sure, I was on my way to acquiring the skills needed but since full-time teachers were only hired along the Wasatch Front, I knew I would one day have to move.
So finally after a life changing talk with one of my friends at SVU named Ali, I decided to take the leap of faith and travel to Utah to pursue my dream. On a side note, while parked my car was hit by a semi truck totaling my car in Iowa, stranding me in the Midwest for almost a week. But thats a story for another time. Lets just say, from that event I knew more than ever that Utah was where I needed to be.
As I entered the Seminary Teacher program I was one of 60+ people (in the Salt Lake Valley). Then after almost a year of classroom training I taught for 2 weeks at an actual seminary class, and in that 2 week period I would be observed one time to determine whether or not I was to be hired as a part-time student teacher. It was a daunting task, scary to say the least. Especially since I had reached an age where I was no longer on my parents insurance and could not afford the stuttering medicine I had taken over 12 years prior. It almost seemed unfair how things went down. All of my training and preparation for this dream culminated to one day, one 60 minute class to determine everything!
But... After much prayer, fasting, and trusting in God that things would work out, the day finally came. I taught the class and a few days later was hired. Then for the next 2 years I would teach in the Church Educational System. It was a wonderful experience, one that I will never forget.
Many of you may think to yourself... "cool he achieved his dream and lived happily ever after". On the contrary, my journey was just beginning. I realized after many years of preparation and 2 years of teaching, I only held a few pieces of the puzzle for what my future was to become. I had so much more to learn and endure before I could see what God had in store for me. Looking back on my past I've realized that what I thought was the peek of my mountain, was just another check point along the path to my final destination. I realized that teaching seminary was not my ultimate goal. Rather, it was the only thing God could get me to move to Utah for, to then have me in position to start the next phase of my destiny.
I’m 11 years into discovering my purpose. Its been a hard fought battle and although the war wages on, my journey has been one of great joy and indescribable happiness. Looking back on all the steps I’ve made and all the trials I’ve endured, I wouldn’t change one bit of it. For each step of my journey has gotten me to where I am today.
In summary, in order for a dream to qualify as a dream it must be both TERRIFYING and AMAZING! Then and only then should you pursue the mountain placed before you. Be patient, trusting in God, and all things will be ordered for your good.
I wish you all the best of luck! Find your summit, and then don’t stop climbing until you've reached the top!