Updated: Oct 10, 2019
"You want to be a teacher? That's kind of stupid. They don't make much money and well, you just don't seem like you'd be a good teacher."
That's what a friend of mine said to me my senior year of high school. Well, I've just started my 37th as as a teacher of students; I think I've done pretty well and can I just say I'm so glad I did not listen to my friend and chose to not listen to the lies in my head about becoming a teacher and a bit of the garbage that came from a friend. Oh, I chose to pursue and CAPTURE my hopes and dreams!
Unfortunately, just before you take your first step on the righteous journey to pursue your dreams, people around you, even the ones who deeply care for you, will give you awful advice. It’s not because they have evil intentions. It’s because they don’t understand the big picture – what your dreams, passions, and life goals mean to you. They don’t understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk. So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, in effect, also shields you from the possibility of making your dreams a reality.
As our friend Steve Jobs (Apple co-founder) says: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by my way is the only way (dogma), which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and dreams. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is so not important.”
Here are 5 ill-advised tips (lies) people will likely tell you when you decide to pursue your dreams, and why they are dreadfully mistaken.
1. You can follow your dreams someday, but right now you need to buckle down and be responsible.
Someday? When is "someday?" Someday is not a day at all. It’s a foggy generalization of a time that will likely never come. Today is the only day guaranteed to you. Today is the only day you can begin to make a difference in your life. And pursuing your dreams is what life is all about. So don’t be irresponsible. Don’t wait until "someday." Make today the first day of the rest of your new life.
2. You might fail. And failing is not so good.
I get it! I hate when I fail. However, trust me when I say failures are simply stepping stones to success. I've learned that no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win. The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake. If you can’t handle failure, then you can’t handle success either.
3. You will sacrifice too much for too little.
When it comes to working hard to achieve a dream – earning a degree, building a your own business, or any other personal achievement that takes time and commitment – one thing you have to ask yourself is: “Am I willing to live a few years of my life like many people won’t, so I can spend the rest of my life like many people can’t?”
I'll never forget some of my high school and college friends would laugh at me when I chose to practice inspirational speaking for hours and hours and I would relentlessly study and observe the best public speakers. Well, when I spoke at the Superdome to 33 thousand people on the topic of leadership, I did not hear their laughter anymore!
4. Only a lucky few “make it.”
That’s because those lucky few got off their rear ends and did something about it! They had the drive, determination, and willpower that you have right now. You can be one of them. It’s up to you, and only you. Get going and get doing what needs to be done. One small step at a time.
5. Go it alone, you don't need others.
I'm a fan of the saying, "We are better together." Surrounding yourself with positive people will increase your effectiveness and your chances for success. So spend time with people who support your goals, because you are the average of the people you spend the most of your time with. In other words, who you spend your time with has a great impact on the person you eventually become. If you are around cynical and negative people all the time, you will become cynical and negative. We really do become like the people we hang out with and spend our time with.
One of my brand new 8th grade students said this week, "Mr. Brown, I've only got 9 months to be in your class. I want all of what I can learn from you , 'cause I want to capture my hopes and dreams and I believe you are a significant part of my capture."
Can I just say that I was so humbled and blown away by this students comment?!!!
Tell me if you have heard the lies yet from people who say your hopes and dreams are silly.