Dreams don’t work unless you do. It’s basically the most cliché thing you could possibly say when discussing this topic, but it really is true.
Lately, I have noticed that as the “participation trophy” kids are discussed and criticized, there is a feeling that the things kids dreamt of being were as ridiculous and pointless as were their trophies. (I hope that this isn’t too disjointed and that I don’t have to write a few extra paragraphs bringing this together.)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with the problems that have been addressed when people talk about the participation trophies. Where I start to disagree however, is in the importance of dreams. Some dreams may be off the walls crazy, and downright impossible. But I firmly believe that those dreams are the seeds of ambition. Ambition in my mind is dreaming that is not only plausible, but has already been achieved in one way or another.
Growing up, I wanted to be a master chef. I wanted to create foods that were so good, they got me fame around the world. My parents fostered that dream, rather than shutting it down. It was crazy. It was impossible. But my parents didn’t let me think that. As I grew up, my love to work with my hands directed me toward the dream to be an engineer that made famous roller coasters. I learned pretty quick however, that those engineers rarely if ever actually did the work with their hands.
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I grew up until I got into high school. I had been introduced to a few bands that have remained my favorite bands since. They were role models for me and got me wanting to be a famous musician. I was going to be one of the greatest rockstars in the world.
With each of these dreams, the seeds that they planted grew into ambition, thanks to the love and support of my parents. When I wanted to be a chef, my mom let me help in the kitchen. When I wanted to be a roller coaster designer, my parents bought me toys that taught me basic physics and math. When I wanted to be a rockstar, my parents bought me a guitar and pairs of skinny jeans.
Never once through all this time did my parents do these things for me however. They always pushed me to learn and grow and chase that dream. They would provide the means for this to be accomplished.
More than anything, they taught me to work hard. They taught me that those dreams wouldn’t mean anything if I didn’t work to get things done. I remember when I would first announce to them what I wanted to be, they would tell me about the education and training that are required for those kinds of jobs, and they’d push me to do whatever I could at that point in time, to be the best I could be.
As I have become and adult and have moved away, I have maintained that love and desire to work and learn. Without it, I would have never started my own business, and if I had, I wouldn’t have gotten farther than completing one job for someone.
The point of this whole post is to say that dreaming is so important. But so is work. The two of them work together to create things in this world. One without the other is a waste of time.