A few weeks ago when my friend Becky suggested that I read Whitney Johnson's new book Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When you Dare to Dream I had no idea what I was signing up for. I thought reading this book was little more than a simple favor for a friend. I assumed that it would be an easy, quick read. I assumed that I would write a nice, safe, blog review and then move forward with my life. I was wrong. Dare, Dream, Do has proven to be anything but a quick, easy favor for a friend.
Dare, Dream, Do has invaded my life and totally messed with my head.
Instead of inspiring a nice, safe blog review, this book and its ideas have engaged my mind and my heart. Truth be told, this book is scaring the poo poo* out of me. This book is encouraging me to do something that I find terrifying. Suddenly I'm dreaming about my future. All of sudden I'm dreaming about a career and not just a job. But what's more terrifying is that I'm sharing those dreams with other people. I'm talking about them. Out loud. And I'm blogging about them differently than I ever have before.**
But let me back up a minute. Back in March, I had the opportunity to write a guest post about my dreams at my friend Jennifer's blog, Simplistic Living. What I didn't realize until I read the comments the post elicited was that my dreams were all about how I'm living today. While I don't think this is a bad thing - I love my life and feel fortunate to be living it every day - I now recognize that there is a bit of unspoken truth behind how I've dreamed in the past.
The dreams I've expressed in the past generally fall into two categories. They are either relatively "safe" or they are completely absurd. They are either safe dreams that I can work to achieve on my own, (IE Learn to share, live like a tourist) or they are crazy-pants. (IE Be Britney Spears, Rule the World - these are two dreams I have admitted to having AS AN ADULT) Those types of dreams are important and funny and serve their purpose. But what if I allowed myself to dream in a more traditional and daring way? What if I allowed myself to dream about more risky goals? What if I dreamed about a career? What if I spoke those dreams out loud and then allowed others to help me achieve them?
For me, admitting to that kind of dream has always been terrifying. Dreams like that make failure a real possibility. Dreams about a meaningful career are a gamble. They may or they may not come true. Speaking that kind of a dream out loud is an act of vulnerability. It makes public a desire in my heart that is unfulfilled. It allows others into an already scary and private place. It, for me, is an act of intimacy. Scary stuff. Up until now, it is fear that has kept me from dreaming that kind of dream. There, I said it. By never speaking aloud dreams about my future, I thought I was protecting myself from letting others know if I failed. The crazy thing is, it has also kept me from the help, support, and encouragement of others.
Lately though, inspired by Dare, Dream, Do, I've been learning that if you speak your dreams out loud, help just might materialize.
... to be continued
* Sorry about the crass language
** Stay tuned.