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Recently I spoke to a room of close to 75 people about John Maxwell’s book ‘put Your Dream To The Test.” This room was filled with educated and accomplished people: elected officials, business owners, executives and entrepreneurs just starting out. Most of them were securely over the age of 30.
I asked the question “How many of you have a dream?” Almost all hands were raised. Then I asked “How many have a dream that is different from the life you are living now?” Most had their hands in mid-air, that “I think I know the answer” hand raise, but their faces told a different story.
Then I asked, “How many of you could paint me a picture of what life will look like when you have reached your dream? Will it be a picture so vivid that if I were to pass by your dream some time in the near future, I would recognize it as YOUR dream and expect to find you there?”
When the very few raised their hands, they were still not fully committed to the answer.
What about you? Could you describe your home in enough detail for me to find my way there without a GPS? Could you describe your car enough to find it in a parking garage with out setting off the alarm? If your deepest and most meaningful relationship in your life were at risk, could you tell me where I could find you five years from today?
It is my experience that when you live a life outside of your deepest purpose you begin to not really live. When you are not finding true meaning in the work you do, you are already fading away. It is heart breaking to see a loved one in the last days of life listing the things they never got to do or just never got around to. It is one thing when that list consists of the vacation to Maui, or the hot air balloon races in New Mexico.
But when they finally realize that they were made for something more and they abandoned that purpose for the mortgage, the student loans and the car note, there is a hole the size of Texas in their heart and soul and it is now too late to try to fill it.
Take a moment with a pencil and paper and tell me (or you) what your life would be like if you were living your dream. Where would you be working? What would your role be there? What would your education look like? What part of the world would you live in? Does the size and type of house matter to you? What does it look like? What will your mode of transportation be? Who will you serve? What will make your life worthwhile? What gifts and talents were you born with that are being used to their fullest capacity? Which ones are you honing to perfection? Which weaknesses have you abandoned?
I know that is a load of questions. But please, for the sake of those who may desperately need you at your highest calling, take the time to answer them. Sketch an image of that destination that is so detailed and accurate that I will know it when I pass by and I can stop in to visit you.
Please share your sketch in the comments below. The top five most descriptive dreams will be shared in a future post to be voted on by my readers. The best one will win a FREE copy of Put Your Dream To The Test by John Maxwell and my book Live A More Excellent Life.
Perhaps one of the other 2,000 readers will recognize that place and share some shortcuts with you. (If you need a hint of what this would look like written out, check out the lyrics to Paint Me A Birmingham) If I get enough comments requesting it, I will share my dream image in a future post as well.
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