I’ve written about making life an adventure before, and today I am going to build upon some of those other writings. Your life truly can be an adventure; however, it is going to require you to look at your entire life span and put some of the pieces of your life’s puzzle together.
Your childhood existed of two specific components; reality and fantasy. When I speak of fantasy, I am referring to your dreams that stemmed from your childlike faith. The reality component relates to your current life situation and circumstances at that time. For instance, my dad was a football coach, my family was dysfunctional, and we lived paycheck to paycheck. I hung out with my dad as much as possible; although, I never really dreamed about being a football coach. It wasn’t until the last semester of my college career that I decided I was going to be a teacher/coach. I reverted back to my old reality because I had given up on my childhood dreams.
On the other hand, my exposure to shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, Fantasy Island, and other shows like those contributed to my dreams of having a different life. You have to keep in mind that I grew up in tiny remote towns and had 3 basic channels that exposed me to the outside world. To give you an example, my teammates in college were city boys from Austin and San Antonio. They used to call me “Backyard Danny” because they said I needed to jump the fence and get out of the backyard! I was pretty naive.
Because of my limited exposure to the outside world with 3 channels, my childhood dreams were greatly influenced by what I loved to watch on television. My dreams were to get rich, become a movie star, travel the world, and live the life of someone with great wealth. Between the ages of 15-23, I had experienced enough setbacks and misfortunes that had caused me to completely shift my life plan back to what seemed “realistic”. As a result, at the age of 24, I became a middle school teacher and football coach.
The questions for you are, “What were your realities during the first 16 years of your life, and what were your real childhood dreams?” If you can begin piecing these things together, you can gain some clarity on what fuels your passion. Once you gain clarity in these two areas, you can begin to focus once again on the real dreams that you’ve always wanted to accomplish. Those dreams were meant to be realities for you.
When my wife and I come to the end of a vacation, or to the end of a specific travel experience, we don’t say, “Well, it’s time to get back to reality.” No! We are experiencing our reality right then and there! What we go back to is the launching pad for the next adventure, and everything we do is setting us up for the next adventure in life.
Your work is not supposed to be your prison, nor is it supposed to be drudgery. Your work should support or coincide with your dreams in life. Your work should help support your adventure. This is a beautiful world that we live in. Wickedness in people is the only thing that makes our world seem like a bad place at times. Wickedness and wicked schemes are the very things that hold people back and cause them to be “realistic”. Most “realistic” people that I have met are unhappy or financially strapped, or both. You were designed to dream, and even further, you were designed to fulfill those dreams that were put inside of you. You have the potential to pursue and capture so many of your childhood dreams if you decide to take the risks. Nothing great has ever been achieved without risk and pursuit.
Will it be easy? Probably not. In fact, it will be very hard. But will it be worth it? Probably so. What is your alternative? Reality? How’s that working for you? If we want some dreams to come true, there’s a day of resolve that has to take place. In that moment, one has to decide to take action on their better future and not look back. How that happens will look different for each person. But what I do know is that nothing is going to happen if you settle for your current reality.
It’s funny how other people want to define “reality” for us. “Experts” with fancy degrees want to tell us what is realistic and what is not realistic. Some family members who “know what’s best for us” want to tell us what is realistic and what is not realistic. Some coaches who don’t know what is really inside of us want to tell us what is realistic and not realistic. Some teachers who are broke and unhappy want to tell us what is realistic and not realistic.
I’m here to tell you that it is up to you to determine what is realistic for your life and what is not! In this life, you get to choose how you live it once you become an adult. That’s why you have to think back to all of the fantasies and childhood dreams that you once had and reactivate them. If we live in America, and this country is what our founders intended for it to be, there is nothing to hold you back. It is not money that is holding you back. It is not where you live that’s holding you back. It could only be our self-imposed limitations that are holding us back. So, what are you going to do about dreaming again? What are you going to do about living your life of adventure?
You may only be one idea away from your breakthrough. Sometimes ideas don’t come because we don’t have a reason to need an idea. Dreaming will give you reasons to think of better ideas. You may only be one relationship away. Sometimes being open to meeting new people and developing new relationships can become the key to opening the right door to your dreams coming true. You may only one decision away. Sometimes it’s merely the fact that you need to decide that you are going to pursue your dreams with ferocious zeal until they come true, and it all started with a simple decision. Whatever it is, my appeal to you is to just dream again. It’s a whole lot better than sinking in to “reality”.