Posted by: brandextenders | August 10, 2017

Dreams Do Come True

What is your dream? What is it you seek to achieve above all else? Flying into space as an astronaut, playing a major league sport, writing a book, recording a hit song, finding a cure for cancer or meeting your soul mate?

The dictionary definition of one’s dream is an aspiration, goal or aim and I would add passion to that list. Almost without exception, all of us have a dream of something we want to accomplish in life, but few of us share our dreams with others for fear of having them squashed. We’ve all run into these people before:

You: For years I’ve been dreaming of getting one of the songs I’ve written into the hands of Kenny Chesney. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Them: Kenny Chesney? Do you know how hard it is to get something to a superstar like Kenny Chesney? You need to get real and scale back your aspirations. You’ve got a great job teaching and you should be happy with that.

You: But he gets his songs from somewhere and I wrote something that would be perfect for his voice. What’s the harm in trying?

Them: Well, I can guarantee, you’ll just embarrass yourself and do you really want to be rejected like that? Stick with teaching and let the professionals write the music for Kenny.

What is it that makes people into dream killers? The answer is, as they say, complicated, but at the crux are people’s own fears of failure and perhaps anger at a dream they had squashed.

Willie in the SmithsonianMy passion for close to 20 years has been writing a Broadway play about America’s most iconic clown, Emmett Kelly, Sr. He rose to fame in an era long before computers, the Internet, social media and email, portraying a sad-faced hobo character he named Weary Willie. His most famous routine was sweeping up a spotlight only to be startled by its reappearance, but eventually sweeping it into a smaller and smaller pool and putting it in his pocket or sweeping it under a rug. I’ve shared my vision with friends over the years and am sure most began to think of me as a Don Quixote character, forever tilting my pen at windmills I had no chance of reaching. And there were the dream killers, telling me how impossible it is to get a show produced anywhere, much less on Broadway.

I persevered through it all and met a like-minded soul along the way named Jonathan Cerullo and together we’ve finally completed Willie and Me: The Emmett Kelly Story. We’re holding a reading this fall for a select group of producers and investors and if my dream finally comes to fruition, we’ll see our name in lights on Broadway. We’re also running an IndiGoGo campaign to raise money to fund the reading and while I hate asking people for money, making your dream a reality sometimes means going outside your comfort zone.

Here are five thoughts that helped me overcome adversity and negativity, keeping me on track to reach my goal.

  1. Failure is not the end. In fact, if you haven’t failed at least once, then you probably haven’t really gone for the gold. The list of people who failed, many of them multiple times, before they become successful is amazing. A few you’d know: Colonel Sanders (on social security before he sold his famous chicken recipe), Thomas Edison (failed thousands of times at creating a light bulb before he succeeded), Walt Disney (filed for bankruptcy in his first business venture), Steven Spielberg (rejected by a film school twice) and James Dyson (failed over 5,000 times before perfecting his Dyson Vacuum). Learn from your failures and don’t let them dissuade you.
  2. Have faith, whatever that faith may be. I truly believe there is something more powerful than us running the Universe and I tell myself all the time things happen in God’s time, not mine. Were the reverse true, I would have found success with my play a decade or two ago. Keep the faith your dreams will become reality while taking steps each day to make them into that reality.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people. I can’t stress how important it is for you to have a circle of family and friends who support you and urge you onward. Be around those who give you honest feedback on your ideas while maintaining an upbeat attitude You may have to unfriend people on Facebook and in life, but so be it if you are to succeed.
  4. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Our self-talk, the things we think and say to ourselves every day, can make or break us. As Henry Ford is reported to have said, whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. Believing in yourself and being grateful every day goes a long way toward keeping you in a positive frame of mind.
  5. Exercise, meditate, write, sing, paint or do anything that focuses your mind. It sounds hokey, but see yourself as having already achieved your dream. The mind is amazing and visualizing success will help your brain find ways for you to become successful through inspirations and ironically enough, dreams.

Earl Nightingale, in his, “The Essence of Success” shows how worthless negativity and worrying are:

  • Things we worry about that never happen: 40%
  • Things over and done that can’t be changed by all the worry in the world: 30%
  • Needless worries about our health: 12%
  • Petty, miscellaneous worries: 10%
  • Real, legitimate worries: 8%

In other words, only 8% of your worries are worth concerning yourself about, while 92% are pure fog with no substance at all.

Dreams can come true, but they don’t happen on their own. It takes persistence, focus and determination and a firm belief that no matter what, you will succeed. As Walt Disney said, all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. What about yours?

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