“We were returning from a cross-country hike to our camp at Red Can Lake. The acres of glaciated granite all looked the same to me but I wasn’t worried. Walt knew the way. All I had to do was stick close. Then Walt surprised me. ‘Want to lead for a while?’ he offered.
‘I guess,’ I said, and took off in the wrong direction.
Walt followed me for a quarter of a mile as I led us further and further off course. Finally, he stopped me. ‘Actually the lake is over there.’
We switched roles.” (Mauryrobertson.com)
People actually perish without a vision, that is, without seeing where they are going (Proverbs 29:18).
It’s amazingly helpful to keep our eyes on the goal.
Maury needed to know where the lake was, and keep looking in that direction (we’ve all done something like that!). Watch the players in a basketball game closely. They have their eyes glued to that ball at all times.
Did you know that over 50 percent of students who start college do not graduate? There are many reasons for dropping out not related to academic performance (like marriage, etc.). Many of these young adults are now working in jobs (not careers) feeling they lost their way and lost their vision.
To help them, a great effort has been made over the last two decades to provide evening adult college degree completion programs. Check out Trinity International University for a fully accredited degree.
For anyone who feels like they desperately need to find their vision again, the following five (plus one) steps can uniquely and powerfully propel them forward!
Create and use a Dream Book
Creating a dream book is easy and fun to do. For example if we dream of being a teacher (or manager, etc.), find a picture of a teacher online and copy it into a personal file. We might surround the main picture with smaller pictures that relate to our dream career.
A more complete dream book includes separate pages of different parts of our life, like worship, family, finances, health and vacation. Then we surround it with smaller pictures of related items.
The way to use it most affectively is to take 5-10 minutes in the morning and evening to thoughtfully look at it and imagine being or having that picture. The first step is just as simple as that: we keep looking at it. The next step brings power to that imagining.
Be a doer more than a thinker.
While looking at our dream book, we ask, “What step can I now take to make that happen?” Important: Don’t over-think all the steps needed to accomplish the dream. It’s far better to keep our eyes on the dream as we take the next step.
Overthinking a plan is deadly; doing a simple plan is better. If our plans change slightly, don’t worry. It’s normal. Plans have a way of morphing into something different as they are implemented. Plans always change in the doing.
Yes, it is necessary to study in advance, but there’s something to be learned in the doing, which cannot be learned any other way. Only training plus experience produces master performance.
Amazingly, taking action steps toward our dream clarifies it. Action makes us more knowledgeable about where our personal journey is going and how to get there.
When we don’t know what to do, that’s not a reason to stop, that’s a reason to discover.
That’s why the next step is so important.
Think while doing
I tried it driving on the turnpike after teaching a late class last night. Gripping the steering wheel to hold it steady in one direction didn’t work. To stay in the lane, it was necessary to make dozens of slight turns to eventually arrive home.
Someone once said, “If you’re not failing, you’re not doing!” Failure is not a reason to quit; it’s a reason to grip the wheel and make another little course correction to stay on path.
The legendary basketball coach John Wooden taught his team, “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” So, today’s success must be won today. Are we still moving forward?
The doing of our talent is all about who we are serving, it’s not about us. We are generous toward them. The more we give, the more likely we will find others giving to us. Whatever a man sows, that’s what he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
Take time to escape the work. Plan and do rest. Escape and have some fun. Enjoy your precious family; they are the second most important part of your life. What’s the first? Well, that’s the ‘plus 1’ on our list.
If someone doesn’t begin at the beginning, they haven’t begun. We read of a man at the ‘Tour de France’ competition, who jumped into the middle of the race. He was not an original entrant and did not start at the beginning. He was caught, ushered off the track and arrested. There was no possibility of winning.
The beginning of true wisdom is the highest respect (fear), worship and reverence for The Lord God. Start there.
So, to get back on track to fulfilling your dream, start with worshipping God, then create a dream book and use it daily. Be a doer more than a thinker, but think plenty while doing. Be conscious of connecting with and serving others and finally, take time to party, rest and enjoy life thankfully. Your dream will start unfolding and surprising you with much more than you ever expected!
Steve Davis, Ed.S is an adjunct professor at Trinity International University. He can be contacted at [email protected]