It was during bedtime not long ago, when my eight-year-old son shared his dream of becoming Luke Skywalker when he grows up. It was a fun moment of love + laughter, and a wonderful example of the unbounded, magical dreams of children. It reminded me of the time when I, too, believed anything was possible and the only limits were my own imagination.
How much has changed. I've never stopped dreaming. But somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that achieving these dreams was possible. Somewhere along the way, I gave more power to the roadblocks I encounter than my own ability to overcome. I have personally wrestled with roadblocks of money, time, lack of confidence, and other commitments.
Thanks to my young son and the support of several wonderful friends, I have recently learned several important lessons about dreams that are helping me to see what's truly possible, and to find the courage to achieve those dreams.
First, our roadblocks are truly OUR OWN INVENTION. At some point we gave into the belief that it was too hard, or we would not be not good enough, or the road to success would be too long.
Second, we must change our mindset to overcome these roadblocks of our own invention. If we believe the roadblocks are too many and too large, they are. If we believe there are no boundaries that persistence and courage couldn't overcome, there aren't.
Third, the journey to achieving your dreams ALWAYS starts with that small first step. There are few truths in life, but one is best summed up by Lao Tzu:
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
This simple truth hold true for each of us as we ponder how to achieve a long-standing dream. The core to this lesson, for me, was knowing this first step was small, and therefore achievable, which powered my courage to take the next step, then the next, and so on.
Finally, we must accept that the journey to achieving our dreams is not linear. We will make mistakes and encounter setbacks. This is a powerful reminder that forgiveness and persistence are part of EVERY true success story. This can instill a sense of freedom to act, because you know that every step will continue to carry you forward.
These lessons are, for me, powerful and motivating. Sometimes it takes a child's innocent belief in the impossible to remind us that our reality is our own invention, and the paths to achievement are ruled by our own mindsets about the possible setbacks we may encounter. Believe in the impossible, my friends, because the possible may happen, but you are strong enough to take that next small step!
Paul Feikema (@paulfeik) is Founder + President of Global Delivery at Lionosity (@lionosity1), a learning organization dedicated to helping organizations and individuals harness the courage to achieve the possible. Paul was recently featured in C-Level Magazine with his perspective on Leading Change: Five Extraordinary Habits of Successful Change Leaders.
Action figure photo credit: Erika Wittlieb on Pixabay