Are You Hiding Behind Your Dreams?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

In a previous life, I used to sell cars. And I was pretty good at it. Please don’t hold that against me. I wasn’t one of those who swindle everybody who walks through the door. I felt my job was to solve a problem – they needed transportation, and I had the means to help. Some people came in with a chip on their shoulder, but for the most part, we all got along really well.

They taught us a lot in the first few days of training, but the one thing that’s stuck with me through all these years is the simple fact that most people hold their cards close. When somebody says no, we ask why. But the first reason they give isn’t the real reason they won’t buy. You have to keep asking why until they get to that final answer – and that’s what’s really holding them back.

It’s the same through much of life. It takes a certain amount of trust for us to lay our cards on the table face-up. Until then, we put up a façade of indifference. It makes the fall a lot easier when things don’t go according to plan. Or, so we think.

I love talking with people about their dreams. If you’ve been reading these posts any time at all, you’ve already figured that out. There’s something about watching the sparkle in a person’s eyes as they describe a vacation they’d like to take, a place they’d like to live, their plans for retirement, or watching their children start a family of their own. It’s inspiring.

But we don’t always share those dreams freely because to do so means we have to bare our soul. It may mean letting somebody know we’re not entirely happy with our current situation, or that we have visions of a life most other people may not understand. It’s possible they wouldn’t approve of it even if they did understand. And you know what? Who cares? It’s your dream, not theirs!

It bothers me when somebody describes their dream and, before you can respond with a single word of affirmation, they begin listing all the reasons it’ll probably never happen. “I know, that takes a lot more money than I’ll ever make. Besides, it’s not like you can just up and move anywhere you want, right? And my family would never go along with it. But it sure would be nice.”

The problem is we’ve conditioned ourselves to the probability that very few people will share our excitement and be supportive of our dreams. The rest, who think they have our best interests at heart, will try to bring us back to reality and save us from the heartbreak of certain failure. So, before they can break out that laundry list of reasons we shouldn’t even try, we do it for them.

It’s a defense mechanism meant to keep somebody else from making us feel small. But, when the conversation is over and you go your separate ways, their dreams are still intact. Yours, on the other hand, have been diminished by the one person who valued them the most. Nobody has as much to gain by achieving your dreams as you do. So, why tear them down for somebody else’s benefit?

If you’re spending time with people who make you feel uncomfortable sharing your dreams, you may be spending too much time with the wrong people. Practical friends are the kind of people you bring along as a designated driver. They’re good for keeping you out of jail. But they’re usually not the life of the party. You bring along other friends for that.

We all need somebody we can trust enough to share your dreams without shooting them full of holes. Maybe they know somebody who accomplished the same thing and they can offer some meaningful advice. Maybe they’ve got some ideas of their own on how you can attain those goals. At the very least, they can be there to cheer you on when the going gets rough.

If you want to learn how to play tennis, you hang around the tennis court. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, hang around with somebody who’s already doing it. And if you want to build a stronger marriage, spend more time with happy couples. Find people who share your dreams, and you’ll be that much closer to your own.

As a friend often says, don’t ask thousandaires for advice on becoming a millionaire. Whatever your dream, find somebody who’s already there, or who is accomplishing dreams of their own. They’ll understand your passion a lot more than those who are willing to sit around take whatever life throws their way. And they may just have the one piece of advice you need to succeed.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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