“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
– Walt Disney
How many of us have memories attached to in some way to Walt Disney? Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Tinkerbell, Snow White, Cinderella, Lion King, Disneyland, Disney World…and on and on and on…
Is Disney someone you would associate bankruptcy with?
Yes, Walt went through bankruptcy. He had his business taken right out from under him (Oswald the Rabbit). He also gambled nearly everything he had on a dream, an idea more than once. He was ridiculed and mocked, publicly and privately. Still, look at the incredible legacy he left the world. The recurrent theme in Walt's life was "what can we next do?" The title song to the Disney television show was "When You Wish Upon a Star." The lyrics of this song capture the way Walt lived: he always stepped toward his dreams. He believed that whatever is in your heart to accomplish, you can. The most striking thing within his biography is the recurrent comment "he didn't do anything for the money." He did what he loved doing.
Regardless of the phrases wrapped around the various reasons given for not going after our dreams, John Childers states it really boils down to just three basic reasons:
1) Lack of Knowledge (what we don't know)
2) Fear (what or why we don't try)
3) Lack of Financial Means (what we think our limitations are)
This may appear simplistic but consider these phrases you may have heard yourself or others say:
"I don't know enough about how to do that."
"I'm not sure where to begin."
"How could I do that?"
"I'm not sure I could do that."
"What if I fail? Then what?"
"It takes money to make money."
"I don't have the time [freedom]."
"Sure I could if I didn't have these obligations."
"I wouldn't know how to act if I did succeed."
Let's take a look at each of these.
What is lack of knowledge? Silly question isn't it? So, how do you overcome a basic lack of information in any arena? In this Information Age we have access to learning just about anything we could possibly want to. There are books upon books, seminars, workshops, mentors, personal coaches for almost every aspect of life and business, associations, networking groups, the list is nearly endless. It should be obvious that this basic "obstacle" is easily overcome. You just have to do your homework.
“Unless you walk out into the unknown, the odds of making a
profound difference in your life are pretty low.”
– Tom Peters
Fear. Most people never start for fear of failure, some because of fear of success. You may have heard the phrase that "Fear is nothing more that False Evidence Appearing Real." Let me ask another question: Can you recall an event, like diving off the high dive that first time, or stepping up to the plate to bat in baseball, or sitting behind the wheel of a car your first time (or your first driver's license driving test!)? Whatever that event was for you, how did you manage to overcome your fear and accomplish what you wanted to? Once you were on the other side of your fear, the point at which you had done that thing you were once afraid of, how did you feel then?
“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.
If you can dream it, you can make it so.”
– Belva Davis
We each have a reference, a history of overcoming various types and levels of fear to accomplish what we wanted to or needed to. The discovery is that our fears were really based upon what we did not know, either by lack of information (cognitive knowledge) or experience (experiential knowledge). Overcoming fear is nothing more than being willing to learn something you do not know. Lack specific information on any subject? It can be researched. Lack experience in a given field? Be inspired by the biographies and stories of those who overcame; better yet, go meet one and mentor with them. Become their protégé. Almost everyone who has been successful in life has done this. Mimic their success and example, more importantly, their heart.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really
stop to look fear in the face…You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
The importance of experiential knowledge is that it conquers the feeling, the emotion of fear. Having gone through the vale of fear in previous areas you can use that experience to step boldly through the next vale. So overcoming one's fear is also reduced to simply learning. Sort of takes some of the sting out of it, doesn't it?
Lack of Financial Means. This includes the time freedom that comes from having all the money you would need to do something in particular. In truth, this is merely perceived limitations. Yet, this is a half-truth. We've all heard the phrase, "It takes money to make money." Like experiential knowledge, it doesn't have to be your own money. Disneyland was not built with Walt's money! Trump Towers was not built with Donald's money! Even Michael Dell was given seed money to start. And think of the immensely popular "Harry Potter" author's life story.
What has been alluded to throughout this article is one of the key principles of life – LEVERAGE. Archimedes stated that if you gave him a lever long enough and a fulcrum strong enough, he could move the Earth. More can be said, and will be another time, about leverage and the different types. The fulcrum is what gives the lever its power. It must be strong enough to withstand the pressure placed upon it in moving whatever object is to be moved. It must be so placed as to maximize the efficient use of energy so the lever can do its job with the least amount of effort.
So what is the fulcrum? It is your heart, your individual dream and your "why"? In Spielberg's "Hook" Peter Banning had forgotten his true "happy thought", that which brought him his utmost joy, through his daily obligations. Within he was still Peter Pan, but having lost his "happy thought", he could no longer fly. And that is how many live, simply going about their daily routines, but loosing their joy along the way, no longer "flying".
“You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, jump over the hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don’t have that kind of feeling for what it is you are doing, you’ll stop at the first giant hurdle.”
– George Lucas
Life was meant to fly! Recall your own happy thought and dare to fly. What gives you the inner resolve to attain your goals and dreams?
Again I ask, "If you knew you had absolutely no limitations, how would your life differ from how you live today? If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt?"
"I know you can recall the joy of a child
You can still hear him saying, 'When I grew up I'll…'
Awaken the child that's still in your heart
For there's power in doing, magic when you start."
–From "Life's Magic©" William Homeier
Do what you love. Life will surprise you beyond expectation.
Songwriter, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur. William Homeier brings compassion, conviction, integrity, inspiration and encouragement forged in experience of both failure and success, that connects with individuals of all walks of life. His song "Life's Magic" is endorsed by "Chicken Soup for the Soul" co-creator Mark Victor Hansen.