Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about why you should be too. As adults we look at those who dream with a negative lens. The dreamers are the ones who aren’t in touch with reality. They are dreaming when they should be working. They need to grow up. But I’m here to tell you that your ideas need to be dreamed up if you have any chance of making your dreams your reality.
I’m now in my 40’s, and as I look back on my life there was close to a decade when I stopped dreaming and just focused on getting by. And that’s depressing. Luckily we all have the power to choose our futures and when we don’t like where one path in life is headed, we can correct our course and go down another.
Back when I was in high school my dream was to become a doctor. But then in college I decided to switch to education when I saw how many years I was going to have to be in school to reach my dreams. I still graduated in 4 years with a biology degree, went to school another year to earn my credential, and began teaching at 23. And through my 20’s I kept dreaming. Dreaming of taking amazing vacations. Dreaming of living in a big house in the community where I grew up. Dreaming of living the lifestyle that my wife and I wanted to share with our kids (as we discussed starting a family).
Shortly before I turned 30 I realized that while I love teaching, I was going to have to build a part time business to generate the income needed to live the life of my dreams. But it was a struggle. I didn’t know much about business or sales, and I became frustrated. As Seth Godin says, “learning something new is frustrating. It involves being dumb on the way to being smart.”
My 20’s and 30’s also saw me put on about 40 pounds from my high school weight, which added to my depression. So not only was I earning the kind of income and living the lifestyle I dreamed of, but I also looked nothing like the person I wanted to see in the mirror. I had a gym membership, but I didn’t focus on my nutrition and anything I ate more than negated for the calories I was burning through exercise.
Finally I came to the point where I had to fix myself.
The first thing I had to do was dream of the body I wanted to rediscover, and I set the bar high. I wanted to get my six pack abs back that I had in high school. It all started with the Insanity video I bout off an infomercial, but then it moved to P90X (click here to try either of these programs free for 30 days). Slowly but surely I was making progress.
I went through struggles along the way. I tore my patellar tendon (which already was partially gone to to fix an ACL tear when I was 19) and found myself in a full leg brace and out of work for 7 weeks. But this injury actually was a blessing. I knew I was going to reach my dreams. Jim Rohn is quoted for saying “strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” And so I didn’t give up on my dreams, but I simple had to keep working my way down the path to achieving them. I already what giving up feels like. I had been doing it over and over for years. Now I wanted to see what happens if I don’t.
By last summer I had the body I was working towards. I even entered into my first fitness competition. And through helping others lose weight and improve their health, I am also building the business that will let us share our dream lifestyle with our kids.
So if you are still reading this, I’m guessing you have some dreams that you haven’t yet achieved. Are they fitness dreams? Are they financial dreams? Are they lifestyle dreams? Let’s connect and I’d be happy to mentor you. Too many people to mention in this post have been there for me and I would be honored to pay it forward.
Now that I’m in my 40’s, I think it’s time to keep dreaming. Who knows where I will end up in the next 10, 20, or 30 years.
To your health,