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The Impossible Dream
If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you wish for? A few weeks ago I was watching the NFL draft. It is an annual event where the best college football players in America are selected by the NFL to play professional football at the highest level. When I watched this, there was one player that stood out to me. He was six feet five inches tall and weighed two hundred and sixty-five pounds. That was one tough guy! That’s why his reaction to being selected caught my attention. He started crying! He was so emotional that he couldn’t stand up when his name was called. What makes this tough man cry? He had achieved an impossible dream.
It was a dream he had since childhood. It was a dream that kept him awake at night. It was a dream he thought about every day. What is your impossible dream? I realized that all impossible dreams have one thing in common. To achieve that you have to overcome what I call “Stunning Statistics”. This is a surprising statistic because often when you are on your dream journey you will encounter a large number of people who share the same aspirations as you. This large group turns out to be a staggering statistic. For example, there are 9,000 people who play college football at the highest level. Of those 9,000, only 215 will be drafted into the NFL. This is a shocking statistic. Your dream may be to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The average top 500 company has more than 100,000 employees, but only one CEO. This is a shocking statistic. So the question arises, how can I achieve my impossible dream and overcome the shocking statistics? I will share with you two things that you need to achieve your dream. I call this “two rights” to achieve the dream.
The first right to achieve a dream is the right philosophy. True philosophy is the belief that anything is possible. The right philosophy is needed because the staggering statistics make your dream impossible. The key to having the right philosophy is to know and accept your purpose. Your purpose is what makes your dream come true. We are all born with a destiny and a purpose to fulfill. You are the only person who can achieve your specific goal. Knowing and accepting your purpose will propel you to the forefront and allow you to overcome staggering statistics. It reminds me of an experience I had at an airport when I was trying to catch an early flight. I arrived at the terminal only to find many people ahead of me trying to do the same thing I was doing. I was sure I was going to miss my flight! Then I saw my friend Paul at the front. He motioned for me to go ahead. We hugged, he let me in front of him and I flew. Our goal is the same as my friend Paul. When you recognize it and accept it, you move to the forefront and try to do what you do before others. Knowing and accepting your purpose allows you to have the right philosophy.
The second key to achieving your dreams is having the right perspective. The right perspective comes from choosing a coach who has done what you are trying to do. Finding a good mentor has two advantages. First, you benefit directly from the experience and perspective of the coaches. Second, they help you change your perspective. This is important because sometimes our unfulfilled dreams are a direct result of our failures. I remembered a YouTube video I saw the other day about a blind man who was homeless and begging on the street. He had a sign in front of him that said “Help I’m Blind”. People pass by him every day, they didn’t pay. This has become a consistent pattern. One day a lady walks, turns her tablet, writes something on it and leaves. Suddenly people were reading his writings and paying him. His cup was now full of money. I watched this video with surprise and asked myself; “What’s in that sign?” Suddenly, the camera switched to a sign that read, “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it.” This lady was an effective mentor to the blind man as she helped him change his perspective. When he changed his perspective, he was able to change his outcome. When we have the right perspective, we move closer to our dreams.
The first right to achieve a dream is the right philosophy, the second right is the right perspective. As I close, I recall the story of a young man named Craig that brings these two points home. Craig had a difficult childhood. He spoke in a lisp and slurred his words. He was constantly teased by the other children about the way he spoke. After that things went from bad to worse for Craig. When he was ten years old, a friend of his father told him that he sounded like Daffy Duck when he spoke and that he should shut up. This incident affected him deeply and he tried his best not to speak in public. Well, this sad story has a happy ending. In 1999 Craig won the Toastmasters World Public Speaking Championship and today Craig Valentine is a successful motivational speaker who speaks all over the world. What was Craig’s secret to success? First, he had the right philosophy. Craig’s dream was to win the world championship and he believed it was possible even when everyone was making fun of him. Second, he had the right perspective. Craig wanted to become a world champion, so he chose a trainer who was a previous world champion. The coach helped him change his perspective, overcome shocking statistics and achieve his dream. I have good news for you today. If it worked for Craig, it will work for you. If you have the right philosophy and the right perspective, you can achieve the impossible dream.
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