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Dreams Are Not Fulfilled in a Vacuum

The shift from doing our work to living our dream often involves connecting with the best in others

My friend sat across from me, and I could tell she had something on her mind. I waited, watching this vibrant, smart, and talented woman wrestle to find the right words. We had been talking about dreams, and she confided she wasn’t sure how to articulate hers.

“It feels bigger than me,” she said, “For years, it’s just been something I envision while I’m working on other things.”   

“If you could have what you dream about, what would that look like?” I asked.

“I can see it,” she said, “I just don’t know how I would do it.”

There was a subtle shift in our exchange. When we feel a lack of resources and clarity, it’s easy to keep doing what we’re doing and lose sight of the dream.

I listened as my friend described how she may one day build her dream by doing what she already knew how to do. Everything was couched in transactional terms of potential income and possible outcomes; yet, every once in a while, I heard whispers of a deeper vision.

When she finished, I asked, “How will doing what you already know how to do help you become who you want to be?”

She thought about it, said, “I’m not sure what you mean.”

I reminded her of something Steve Harvey said at a recent Live2Lead event, “You’re job is what you’re paid for. Your calling is what you’re made for. So, what are you made for? If you are being who you are made to be, what does that look like?”

She smiled, imagining something that clearly brought her joy. After a moment, though, her smile flattened. Quietly, without ever describing what made her smile, she said, “Where would I get the money?”     

“The money for what?” I nudged, gently.

A pause… and she began to share her dream. It came out slowly at first, then, as the joy welled up inside, she became energized, animated, excitedly describing every detail.

“Who have you shared that with?” I asked.

She was still beaming, “Recently? Just you.”

“If you don’t put your dream out there, how will you connect with the resources to make it happen?

“I have always done these things on my own,” she said.

“What if you didn’t have to?” I asked, “What if the knowledge and resources were waiting for you on the other side of a few conversations?” I shared something a mentor of mine had given to me at the beginning of my professional life, “Dreams are not fulfilled in a vacuum. It’s only when we share them that they begin to take shape.”

“What would you attempt to do, that you haven’t already done, if you knew you wouldn’t fail?”

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A version of this article was originally published in the November 2020 issue of Sandpoint Living Local / Coeur d’Alene Living Local.