“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman
In my book, A Joy Filled Life, I have a chapter titled “Follow Your Dreams.” It is one of the “Seven Pillars” that I highlight when I travel around the country to speak. it is a concept I heartily believe in, one that I can attest can make or break your spirit when it comes to living a thriving and joyous life. Too many people lose sight of their dreams. Some people can’t even remember what their dream was in the first place. The lack of a dream leaves people discouraged, depressed and often resigned to living out their life feeling as if they have missed out on something better.
I had a dream as a little girl of becoming a music teacher. I was willing, even at a young age, to practice for hours, to learn and work hard in every way I could think of to make that dream happen. Even having the chance to go to college was no small feat for a tenant farmer’s daughter! Our poverty could have impeded me, but I was blessed with parents who brought their children up to believe in themselves and more importantly, to relish hard work. To follow your dreams doesn’t mean to wait for them to come and find you! It means to seek out the pieces of the puzzle that are needed to make your story come alive. I was willing to do whatever it took to get my degree and earn a position teaching music in a public elementary school. I saw my dream come true!!
Now those of you who haven’t heard my story or read my book are scratching your heads. Elementary school music teacher? What about becoming the CEO of the largest real estate company in the world? Well. my friends, that’s the second half of the story! As much as I adored teaching, when faced with financial hardships, Richard encouraged me to put my tenacity to the test and become a licensed real estate agent. I threw myself into that new venture with the same gusto I’d had working to become a music teacher. Our livelihood depended on it!
After several years of seeing the fruits of this new work paying off, I was approached by Gary Keller to join with him in a new real estate venture called Keller Williams. I realized that there was another dream just beginning to light a fire in my heart: the dream to establish a unique company that would build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving. And you know the rest of that story!!
My point here is this: I became the CEO of Keller Williams when I was 56 years old. It fulfilled a dream I didn’t even know I had until I was well past turning forty. Take stock of where you are right now. Take a look at where you want to be. It may be that your ship is sailing on the right course and you are on your way to seeing that dream come true. Or it may be that you see a glimpse of a new dream on the horizon: one that will require you to make a complete shift in career!
Find your dream. If you don’t have one, ask God to reveal the dream inside you. God has put dreams into the DNA of every single person. And when you know what that dream is, don’t let anything stop you from giving it everything you’ve got!
(adapted from A Joy Filled Life, Chapter 2: Follow Your Dreams)