I do a lot of workshops teaching about gratitude and I also do workshops on vision boarding/envisioning your best life all around, in a variety of venues and with different groups and ages.
One thing I notice time and again is that everyone has some goal they are working on in their mind, dreaming of, so to speak.
When I was younger, my Mother had a beautiful hand painted and glazed tile on the kitchen stove, that was actually a spoon rest. I think she may have got it at one of the many art fairs in the Twin Cities. It said, “Memo: Time to take dreams off the back burner, do it now.” And in the distance of the scene, was a sign that said “SUCCESS.”
My Mother and I are different people with different sets of circumstances, but the message resonates with me still, to the point that I recently called my parent’s home and said, “Hey Mama, do you still have that tile and if so, could you please have Dad take a photo of it and send it to me?” and he did. I blew it up in color on regular printer paper and framed it. I put it on my desk and will bring it for the vision boarding and goal setting workshops.
Not sure when My Mom got this tile, though the date on the artwork’s corner says ’90. I know she’s always loved it and for me, it resonated for many reasons. My Mother got her college degree the year before I got mine. A lot of other factors were at play in the years after she graduated from high school, not the least of which may have been that she got married and had two kids by the age of 25. I remember sitting in the audience in the graduation auditorium and yelling, “Yay Mom,” as she walked across the dais to get her diploma.
Her story is hers and mine is mine, but the part about dreams and her not giving up resonates with most of us!
Growing up, many of us often hear the refrain to do something practical, to get a skill or a degree or a trade in something so-called-practical, but this doesn’t necessarily fit for everyone.
And also, you can’t necessarily make sense of the way your life goes when you’re living it looking forward. It’s not until you get older and you look back with some sort of both hindsight and insight that you can see how the pieces of practical, non-practical, life experience, relationships, providence, luck, and faith all fit together.
At one point, I had lots of student loans, an impractical undergraduate degree I loved, tons of non-practical study abroad and work abroad experiences in random places, a library and information science degree that afforded a lot of different options and a second degree in creative writing…and none of it ever made sense how it tied together, but it does now to a greater extent. The student loans are no more and it was worth it.
And each time I did something that I knew was freaking me out, but I wanted to do, those fears got really loud! Those fears that hold us back may be things we tell ourselves, we hear from our culture and community, we heard from teachers, parents, friends, or they may be all those combined with our own internalized voices, fears.
But, I speak for myself (and possibly others,) when I say loudly and in stereo, in regards to goals I still have that I want to accomplish, “Sister, Brother, Friend, Neighbor, Colleague, Dear Soul, Stop sitting on it, even if it takes ten years or more.”
The book, the artwork, the marathon, the travel, the goal, the work on the relationship: Working towards these things you dream of may possibly bring you more joy and can bring you more gratitude towards yourself, others, God and the universe for having tried.
The industry and technology may have changed, practical is still there, time in one’s life is still at a premium, money doesn’t come easily, ad nauseam. Still! See if you can give it a whirl, test it out, figure out if it’s something you really like doing. Do it for you if you can, even when it’s not easy.
“Time to take the dreams off the back burner. Do it now.”
SUCCESS, however YOU choose to determine success, lies in your future.