“Be careful who you tell your dreams.”
As much as I believe in speaking things into existence, the first time I heard that line it made me pause. I was doing my Sunday morning cleaning with a sermon podcast in the background, trying to figure out how with one week my apartment could go from pristine to shaken inside out. The sermon was about Joseph telling his jealous brothers his dreams and having them throw him in a well. When the pastor said that line, the congregation murmured in that way that is code for “hush, he’s speaking truth.” I wished I could share in their reaction, but as part of the cyberspace congregation could only nod.
One of the biggest shams in every person’s life is the exercise where you stand up in front of your kindergarten class and tell everyone what you want to be when you grow up? In a room of other five year olds, people change their mind five minutes after saying it while your teacher enthusiastically nods along. Today, at any networking mixer or on any profile, we do that exercise without even knowing. And the reactions are very different than they were in our schoolyard days.
Recently, I found myself sitting in a midtown lounge surrounded by skirt suits and cuffed dress shirts. When asked what I saw myself doing in the future, I said that I wanted to write. From the reactions, you’d think I had walked in with a duffle bag of bootleg DVDs, 5 for ten dollars.
Knowing who to tell your dreams is a lesson I am constantly learning and possibly the most difficult one. Often times the very people who should be our support unit are the ones who seek to rip down our dreams the most. It could be a scoff or a weak smile, but even the slightest action from someone who knows us the most can often give us the most cutting blow. While we may not walk around showing our hurt, we often walk away with questions. Questions like: is my dream futile? What if I never get there? What if in the end I can’t prove them wrong?
Like Robert Redford said in Spy Games- the doubt is the hardest part. But sometimes it can also be the motivation we need. When you are seeking to make dreams your reality, onlookers often don’t understand. How could they? Doubters are usually folks who don’t know what it is to have a dream. They don’t know what it’s like to have a passion that feels like it comes from every pore in their body. They don’t know what it is to do what they love and dwell in that flow.
When the dream that are planted inside of us are often the inexplicable to others, do not feel obligated to explain. Keep your head high and straight ahead, going forward in the direction of your purpose.
Today, skip the explanation and stay dedicated to your dreams. Making them your reality will be all the proof you need.