You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. —Richard Bach
Dreams can be troublesome things, especially when the only thing we want to do is dream.
Dreams are wonderful action plans that require just that―ACTION!
I worked once with a 15-year-old young lady whose family had fallen completely apart. She was living in a group home and was not doing very well. In the course of doing an assessment with her, I asked her about her plans over the next 10 to 15 years.
“Oh, I’ll be a rock star by then,” she said with much enthusiasm.
“Exactly how is that going to happen?”
“Oh, I’ll be in the house and this fancy car will drive up. A very important person will knock on my door, offer me a contract, and sign me up as a rock star!” She had obviously been carrying this vision around for some time.
“So what is your plan?” I asked. “How do you intend to be sure that happens, the rock star contract and all.”
“Easy,” she replied confidently. “I’ll just wait for the limo.”
I did suggest that, while she was waiting, she might want to think about what she could do to be one day closer to being a rock star.
She looked at me like I had just grown a third eye. Clueless.
Dreams Require Effort
In her defense, the girl was only 15. There are plenty of folks twice her age and more who perhaps don’t even know to wait for the limo. But Richard Bach (he’s the author of the classic, Jonathan Livingston Seagull) was right: Dreams require effort if they are to come true. Big dreams or small ones, young people of all ages need to learn, by example from their parents and other caring adults, how dreams are realized.
A case in point is the story of Chris Gardner, a destitute and homeless man trying to raise his son on the streets under some very difficult circumstances. (Actor Will Smith portrayed Gardner in the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness.) Gardner dreamed of becoming a stock broker. He was given a tiny window, a one-time opportunity to intern with a much-respected firm―without pay. With tremendous resolve, Gardner achieved his dream and more success than he could have imagined.
Fortunately, he DIDN’T wait for the limo.
A nationally recognized child and adolescent psychologist and speaker, Dr. James Sutton is the author of The Changing Behavior Book: A Fresh Approach to the Difficult Child. He is the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network, a popular internet radio program supporting young people and their families, and every month he publishes The Changing Behavior Digest, offering tips on managing difficult children and teens. Both resources (and others) are available at no cost through his website, http://www.DocSpeak.com.