Updated: Aug 1, 2019
“Make no mistake, there is always a lie lingering in between a dream and too many excuses. And the lie is you lying to yourself.”-Marc Chernoff
I’ve noticed something. In my life, I’ve come up with a lot of excuses and threw out a fair amount of explanations as to why I did not reach a goal or do what I said I was going to do.
I’ve also discovered that the excuses and explanations have never done me any good. They have not added any value to my life or improved the quality of my life by even the slightest amount.
You’ve got hopes and dreams. I do too. For you and me to get where we hope to go in life requires more than just thinking and talking. Capturing hopes and dreams require focused and sustained action. The good news is, you’re perfectly capable of taking whatever actions are necessary. You just have to choose to actually do it. John Maxwell calls it “Intentionality” or being intentional.
My stepdad told me years ago, “Michael, no one else can succeed for you on your behalf. The life you live is the life you build for yourself.” Thanks dad, awesome advice!
Think about it, there are so many possibilities to choose from, and so many opportunities for you to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be someday. However, now is the time to actually step forward and begin to be intentional and move closer to capturing your hopes and dreams!
Remember, excuses are lies!
3 Little Wake-up Calls You Need To Receive...
1. Take charge of your life
I have spent most of my life in southern California and I would go to the beach a lot. I learned something about waves. Waves on the sea are blown and tossed by the wind. Waves don’t get to choose where they go. The wind chooses the destiny of the waves.
I remember taking about 30 students to the Newport Beach, CA right before sunset. We had a balloon and we all wrote a prayer or a hope and dream we longed for in our lives. I ventured into the water and let the balloon fly up to the sky.
So many people live their lives like a wave of the sea. They are blown and tossed and go with the ebb and flow of life. But wait! You and I have what the rest of the 7.5 billion people on the planet have…free will and the amazing power of choice!
One day, I’ll never forget being the only person at a check-out line at Walmart. The cashier seemed so bored. I asked her how her day was going, and she said, “Oh you know, same ole’, same ole’.” I noticed that no one was line behind me, so I did something a bit crazy.
“I’m a school teacher who teachers life skills. Would I be able to interview you for about 5-7 minutes regarding your job at Walmart?” I asked.
She said, “Sure, I go on break in 2 minutes.”
We sat down in a Subway sandwich shop and began to chat it up.
I asked her, “How long have you worked at Walmart.”
“I’m celebrating 5 years. Well, not really celebrating. You see, I got pregnant at age 16, dropped out of high school, got my job at Walmart at age 17 and that was 5 years ago.” She said.
I asked, “Do you like working at Walmart?”
She gave me an emphatic “No! This, Walmart is all I can do. I did not graduate from high school; I live with my mom who babysits my child.”
I asked, “Did you ever have hopes and dreams? You know, something you really wanted to do when you were in high school?”
Now, she gave me a very emphatic “Yes!” She continued, “I always wanted to be an esthetician but I kind of blew that by not graduating from high school. However, I’m going to take my GED in two months, and I’ve saved a lot of money to go to esthetician school. Finally, I see a light of hope!”
My friends, this is exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to taking charge of your life. This young woman had hopes and dreams like many and most of us do in junior high or high school.
Listen, there is not one thing wrong with working at Walmart. However, there is everything wrong if you just go with the ebb and flow of life and get into a job just to make some money and get by.
I tell my students all the time that if they can figure out what they love to do, they will never work a day in their lives. I’m preparing to work with students for my 37th year! My Monday-Friday has not been “work”, it’s been 36 years of joy, laughter and well, very meaningful “work”, very meaningful!
2. Map out a plan
I live in Colorado. I like to hike. Before I go deep into the Rocky Mountains, I make a plan, make sure I’ve got all the supplies I need and then I check out a map to get a clear idea of where I’m headed. This strategy usually means a very successful and safe hike.
If it makes sense to map out a safe and successful hiking plan, doesn’t it make sense to do the same thing regarding your life? I know not all things in life go as planned. Man, do I ever! That’s why I wrote my blog called, “4 Insanely Popular Ways To Problem Solve.”
I love what the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden says, “Preparation is the separation between winning and losing.” Just like preparing to go on a hike in the wilderness, it's a really good idea to prepare for the rest of your amazing life.
I spent the early days of my life dreaming, planning and then doing. Not everything has been perfect. Remember, I live on planet earth…Murphy’s Law lives on earth too. However, I’m so grateful for the life I’ve lived. A lot of my success is due to mapping out a plan and trying to move forward bit-by-bit.
You see, I never wanted to chase my hopes and dreams as a teenager. I wanted to CAPTURE them, and I have. Now, I have new hopes and dreams! You know what? I’m going to capture them too!
3. Get to work and start building
Get the hammer and nails out and start building. Once you decide to take charge of your life, map out a plan, now it’s time to build!
As I have said, capturing your hopes and dreams require focused and sustained action. Key word…ACTION!
Remember the young woman I chatted with at Walmart? She had hopes and dreams. Well, she had a few challenges in her life while in high school but then she realized that she was perfectly capable of taking whatever actions were necessary to capture her hopes and dreams. She was now choosing to take charge of her life, mapping out a plan and was on the verge of the beginning of the capture. The capture of her hopes and dreams!
Take a little bit of time to dream. Ask yourself, “Self, how well have I done and am currently doing in the area of taking charge of my life? What’s holding me back?
Lastly, ask yourself, “What lies do I tell myself that need to stop?”
Hit me up with your comments. What encouraged you in this lesson? What excuses need to go away so that you can begin the CAPTURE? 😊