I have a dream today–actually, I have several. One is that I’d like my business to become sufficiently successful to support my family, so husband Karl won’t have to put up with peoples’ drinking, drugging, dysfunctional behavior, and otherwise basic stupidity unless he chooses to. Maybe he’d rather write a book, or sell his paintings, or teach others to do them. Whatever the case, I’d like to make it such that he doesn’t have to work so hard.
I’d also like to become a decent guitar player. I’m not talking Carnegie Hall, here. Being able to perform at church or at my husband’s special worship services that he does at the hospital where he works would suffice just fine, thank you very much.
Those seem like modest, achievable dreams. They’re not over-the-top impossible–they aren’t Mt. Everest, and they don’t require rocket science.
The reality, however, is vastly different. The reality is that my business is struggling just to stay afloat–we’d be on the street if we had to rely on my income– and that I suck as a guitar player. I know precisely 3 chords, and my transitions take eons. If I tried to perform, people would be at the service for a year if they waited for me to get through 3 songs of 2 verses each.
Dreaming is fun. It’s fun to visualize myself performing flawlessly on my guitar, or taking long vacations in the chill beauty of Norway or the pristine beaches of some faraway island. It requires nothing. It’s basically castles in the air, as the old Don Mclean song would have it.
Reality, on the other hand, is a bitch, especially if it’s not commensurate with where you want to be, i.e., your dreams. So what’s the point of dreaming, if the gap serves only as a letdown? Nothing. Absolutely nothing–unless, of course, the gap serves not as a source of discouragement, but as a point of action. In that case, by building a series of action steps, it’s possible to reach from the low point of reality to the high point of the dream.
So, for example, in order to improve my guitar playing, I take lessons with Jeff Thomas (www.jeffrey-thomas.com)–I had my last one on June 29–and I practice. Jeff is a good and patient teacher, and he never tells me I suck, even though we both know that. Instead, he encourages me for not quitting–and I don’t quit because, you know what? Anyone can quit. Quitting takes no brains, no talent, no persistence–quitting’s just the easy thing to do. When you quit, all you have at the end of the day is a life of dreams that never came true. That’s not a legacy I want to leave, and as I rapidly approach my 60th birthday, that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
As for my business, I continue trying to help others to be successful, because I believe that by so doing, I’ll become successful, too. I show my clients I’m serious about their success–1 person at a time. And I believe, with each minute of practice, each website I help build, each computer I fix, each person I assist to accomplish their goals, I take 1 more action step toward closing the gap between my reality and my dreams, until, hopefully, 1 day, the 2 shall meet. But then there’ll be other dreams, and other realities… Because, I think, when the 2 come together permanently, that might be what Heaven is all about.