JKLTip How can you help everyone around you follow their dreams?
Breaking or Building?
I can’t count the number of people I meet who have goals that they quit because they listened to the advice of family or friends. We have the choice to be part of the solution or part of the problem when it comes to building dreams.
It is a choice we make. We can either break or build others’ dreams. But, we can’t do both. With every decision, we help or hurt. It’s really that simple.
I met a new student today. That is a typical occurrence in my daily life. Sadly, so is the next part. The first thing she said was that she hates school. She asked, “why spend all day in a place you hate when you could be doing things you love? The second thing she said was that she loved creating art, making youtube videos and had big dreams until they were crushed. They were crushed by the weight of the teasing she failed to endure for creating content. This is something I hear all the time. Something I hear almost every time actually. Often through muffled, shaky voices of teary-eyed, drug-addicted teen girls.
It brought back memories to another student. She was fifteen, struggling with addiction and social anxiety. She wanted to be a rapper or a spoken word poet. I got excited to help her build a yellow brick road and we got to building dreams. It seemed to be the first afternoon she worked with confidence in a very long time. Afterward, I mentioned the goal to the supposed caring adults in her life and not one of them was able to hold back their laughter.
What Can We Do?
This plays out the same all the time. You have an idea. Perhaps you think it’s silly, or are too naive to know. You try to make it a reality and give it your best shot. As you gain attention, people start trying to get in the way. Devastatingly, it’s often the people closest to you that try to slow you down. People all around start telling you to keep your feet on the ground. Strangers say what you’re doing is silly when they have no clue.
How is anyone supposed to achieve their goals in this environment?
As an adult with many years of experience socially, athletically, professionally and academically, I feel equipped to deal with the hate and criticism that comes from being my best self. Yet, even for me, it’s still tough.
Our youth stand less of a chance, unless they are unique in their confidence, or have a very strong support network. Ideally, they will have both. That is why I have set out on my own journey of content creation to show them that the more we spread our wings, the more others will try to shoot us out of the sky. I want to model and teach bravery and following dreams.
The reality is that our best life, building our dreams is found in our imagination, not in our pragmatic analysis of a paycheque, or bills. So think about your students, your kids, your friends, your partner in life. Are you building or breaking their imagination? What goals do they have? Are you part of the solution or the problem in helping their dreams survive?