If you don't build your own dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs." (Tony Gaskins Jr. and Farrah Gray are both credited with this quote.)
This is so true and what most of us are stuck in, building everyone's dreams but our own.
Many years ago when my kids were in the range of grade school and Jr High School, I was working for a mortgage company in the Seattle area. One day the boss had all of us in an emergency meeting. Walking around the room, he spoke about how he felt that the year we were in was going to be a very good year for mortgages, but that the following year would see a downturn in our industry.
Getting more excited as he walked around us, he stated that he was mandating mandatory overtime on weekends. It was critically important he said, that he make as much money as he could that year. The important thing was that he wanted a new Porsche. He felt that next year he wouldn't be able to afford to buy one, so it had to happen this year.
Needless to say, this didn't go over very well with his staff, as we were all looking at him like "what did he just say?". I was floored that he would be so bold as to tell us that the sole reason why we should be working overtime (when we were paid a salary and not hourly) was for his personal gain. He wasn't too happy when I told him, that he could fire me if he wanted, but I was not going to be working every weekend - mandatory or not.
Most of us started working in order to fulfill our dreams. The reality though is that this isn't what happens. We get caught up in the day to day grind of getting a paycheck that always seems to fall short of what we think we need to fulfill those dreams. So the dreams get put into the "someday" pile that becomes buried and becomes the forgotten pile.
For me, I had the dream of writing bestselling books. I would read the mystery, the science fiction/fantasy books or the self help book and think, "I could write this". But I was always so busy working, taking care of the house and children, that I thought, "well, as soon as the kids are gone, then I will write." The kids are all gone, and other than the LemonadeMakers blog and Facebook, my writing the Great American Novel or even the smaller mystery book still isn't happening.
My dream got put on hold, and I can't seem to take it off - I think that the Staples "easy" button isn't working right - who do you call to get if fixed?.
Farah Gray has another quote "You are confined only by the walls you build yourself." This quote got me thinking about how it was never that I didn't have the time. Because if that was all that it was about, I would have written those books.
It was and always has been about the self confidence to put myself naked on the page. It has always been about fear of not being good enough, of failing and being a flop. About what if people picked my stories apart and ridiculed me?
I had built the walls myself that separated me from achieving my dreams, that separated me from even trying to do so. I built in the bricks and mortar and pounded in each and every nail. I think I even reinforced it with steel to make it impenetrable. I have a box of stories started but never completed that range from when my story started, which is over 20 years. Well I am getting ready to tear down those walls of separation.
Through a series of events, I have been getting the message loud and clear, that I need to get out the pen and paper and start writing. I am going to follow the advice of Steve Jobs, "don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice." It is past the time to pour my soul out onto the paper. The worst that can happen is that you throw the paper in the trash.
It would be great if some of you were brave enough to join me as a demolition crew and tear down the walls that we have been hiding behind. What dreams do you have hidden behind a wall? Is it time to start tearing down your walls too?