I had a dream of a man waving to me from the other side of a river. He looked a lot like me, but he was happier, healthier, everything I ever wanted to be. He was calling to me to join him.
I looked up and down the river and saw no bridge for crossing. The waters looked deep and frigid, the current swift. I knew that if I even dared to jump in, there was no way I would make it alive to the other side.
Then I looked behind me, beside me. There sat everything that I am. It was all comfortable. It was enough. My home was more than a shack, my belly was full, my family happy.
My wife came up to me and asked, “Who is that man? He looks quite familiar.”
“I don’t know.” So I called out to him and asked.
“I am everything you could have been!” he returned.
“But how do I get there now?” I asked, the answer obvious.
“All you have to do is cross the river.”
“I would love to, but it’s hard.”
“If it were easy, you would already be here,” he said back.
“I could, but the water is deep and cold, the current swift.”
“If you give it everything you have, I know you will make it! I promise you won’t regret it even for a moment.”
I turned to my wife. “I should have done this long ago. Is it too late?”
“Not only should you, it’s necessary. That man across the river looked familiar because part of him reminded me of you, from when we were younger. And I know that life has made us older, but it’s necessary for you to have that part of you again. Go, and make a way for us to follow.”
So I jumped in and swam with all my strength. And I could hear my wife calling over the waves, “You had it in you all along!”
I know, it’s hard to believe, I finally admitted it.
Maybe you should too.
Whether we like it or not, our opinions and beliefs, heck, our entire lives have been shaped by our environment and upbringing (even if we have since rejected them). We have internal programs running unconsciously at every moment that determine how we feel, how we carry ourselves, and how we view the world around us.
The result is that sometimes we don’t see things as they are (reality), but how we are (perceived reality).
For instance, color blind people do not see some colors in their true form, but how their brain perceives, or translates them to be. In the same way, some of the circumstances in our lives are interpreted by what we perceive to be reality, when what is real is actually quite different.
Facebook is all the evidence we need to establish this point. It’s -20F out and someone posts, “OMG, stepped out the door and my blood froze. 32 days til Spring!” In come the opinion police. Some will agree, others will tell you how ridiculous the others are, some will point out that many in the world have no clothes or shelter so “Be thankful #firstworldproblems.” Then there’s the guy (like me) who loves the cold and winter who who laughs and comments, “I wish I could unlike this.”
Before long, a firestorm erupts of who is right or wrong.
Well, none of them are wrong. Reality is facts, and the fact was constant. It was -20F out. How we view this will determine our reaction.
What’s the point?
Sometimes people see things different than me. Sometimes the facts don’t matter. What does, however, is what will my reaction to others be when what they see is different than me. Will I start a firestorm of OPINION (which people rarely change), or will I be empathetic. Will I chose to put how I feel above someone else simply because it is my belief, or will I choose to suspend my beliefs for a few moments and try to see things from an opposing view.
We can learn a lot from each other if we are willing try and see what they see.
I know, you’re probably thinking, “How can ‘famous failures’ be motivational?”
It’s simple; because I’ve failed. Miserably. I’m writing a book and at times I just want to take my laptop and through it through the window. I repeatedly set writing goals and miss them.
But you know, I just can’t quit on it. There’s something that burns deep inside me to get the words on the page. I have a message buried in the marrow of my bones, and though it aches when I try to extract it, it must come out.
Our youth pastor Joe Gilchrist preached at church yesterday and shared a list of famous people who appeared to be complete failures before they found their way to success. And I loved it. Not in a morbid way where I said, “Ha! You suck too!” but where I could say, “Wow, they overcame so much more than I have to. With God’s strength, I can do this.”
So I found a video with some of these “famous failures” and I hope it motivates you to keep on keeping on.
There’s a reason this video has been seen over 11 million times. It’s awesome.
I’m almost finished writing my first draft of my first book. One of the keys to that progress is answering the question, “How bad do I want it?” When you can answer that honestly, you’ll be a giant step closer to accomplishing your dreams.
I saw this video of Nick Vujicic, a guy with no arms or legs and I had to post it here. This guy is incredible. My assumption would be that if I had no arms and legs, life would merely be existing, but this guy is truly living!
He says that our greatest disability can be our mind, and the choices we make.
What’s keeping you from accomplishing your dreams? Make the choice today that nothing will.
Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, had a great series of commercials awhile back about becoming legendary. Yeah, I think he knows a little about what it takes to be a Hall of Fame player. This one is called, “Maybe it’s My Fault” and has a twist at the end about why we may not become great.
Here’s a ditty by my man Eric Thomas, an incredible speaker and motivator talking about how people who really want to run after their dreams make them more important than everything, including sleep. I picked this one as a result of a comment by my friend Ron.