A girlfriend bought tickets to a series of speakers called Inspiring Lives. There are 4 speakers in this series that have all done some pretty amazing things in their lives that I am looking forward to hearing about. I am hoping to glean some insight, hear some amazing stories on how they got to where they are and just what inspired them to get there in the first place. That is my hope for the next 3 in the series. The first one was a bit of a let down.
The first speaker was Chris Hadfield. Now I’m not going to argue that the man has done some amazing things. And maybe his second go round on the speaking circuit has him a little less inspirational. While his talk was interesting, it didn’t make me want to get up out of my seat and start on my path to greatness. He shared pictures and videos of his time on the space station. Some very amazing pictures if I might add. He talked about the fact that when he was nine and watched the mission that put Neil Armstrong on the moon, that he decided right then and there, he too would stand on the moon. He spoke of watching the mission on a little black and white TV with neighbors then walking outside to look up and be in awe of the fact that right then, there were people on that moon he gazed up at. But he didn’t paint a picture for me. He didn’t embed in my head that I should reach for the stars (ok bad pun)
He told us of the little blue and pink astronauts that were stamped on the adult diapers that he wore on his first mission. He told of orbiting around the earth 92 times in an hour and seeing different countries. He told us of the fact the earth was less like the globes we see in the classrooms or sitting on desks. That it had more depth. More to see than just the surface. He told us of the incredible power it takes to shoot a man out of the earth’s atmosphere and into space. He told us of the nail-biting incidents when something goes wrong. In all this though, he never made it exciting to me. I guess that was what the pictures and videos were for. The evening was a ‘meh, that was interesting’ kinda of evening. And when the MC asked us at the end if Chris had managed to paint a picture of it all for us, I didn’t nod my head in agreement. No, he had not painted a picture of being in space for me.
But all was not lost. I did gain a little something from the evening. He talked of having a goal then working towards it. If you want my opinion, easy for someone who has reached their goal to talk about. I wanted to hear about HOW he did it. The years of sacrifices. The endless times he may have thought his dream was out of reach. The setbacks he overcame. The lessons he learned along the way. Because to me, that is more important if not the MOST important part of a dream. Even more important than the dream itself. How did you achieve what to most of us would be impossible? He touched on it. That’s it, just briefly touched on it.
His advice was to ask yourself what are you doing right now to make your dream a reality. What are you doing this weekend to bring you one smaller step towards living that dream? So that’s what I thought about that on the way home.
I don’t have any grand plans to have myself shot out to space. Nor do I want to run for world leader (though in my mind there are days I know I would do a damn fine job. That’s a joke by the way). So just what are my hopes for the future? What are my dreams? At the very least, where do I see myself next year? 2 years from now? Or even 5 years from now? That was the harder question.
I know I love doing what I am doing work wise. I enjoy my career. I enjoy the people I work with. I love being creative, so it’s a perfect fit for me. Sorry coworkers, but I like it there. You’re stuck with me. I would love to add more responsibilities to my work load. I love the thought of public speaking. I love the thought of writing a book. I love the thought of creating the world, my little space, a better place to be. I love the thought of my kids venturing out on their own and having the confidence to take on the world. So many things I would love to see happen. Now, these are not world-changing events to the guy next to me… but they are to me.
So as Chris Hadfield asked… what am I doing to bring these dreams to life? Well, that is where I falter. I look at it and realize I am not doing all I can to make these a reality for myself. Or so I thought. Let’s break this into baby steps.
1. Work – I have found an amazing company to work for (step 1). I have looked into courses or ways to learn things that will make me better at my job (step 2). I have actually taken a course and downloaded software that will help me with that (step 3). Hmmmm, seems to be a pattern happening here. I AM taking baby steps towards this goal. Yah me! I have no intention of stopping either. I am learning about an industry I never really thought much about till now. Some of the things I read to better my understanding would put most of you to sleep. But I find it FASINATING! (maybe its my love of learning that makes it so. Whatever)
2. Public Speaking – I have never been afraid to get up in front of a crowd and share my wisdom. I love seeing people’s faces light up when I hit on something they find interesting. Granted I have never done this in a huge sold out crowd, but in a small intimate setting. So what steps would I need to take in order to go a little bigger? What would I want to talk about anyway? Maybe that is where the next dream might come in handy.
3. Write a Book – I have always loved to read. I have always loved to journal. I have always loved to share stories with people who will listen (and some that probably didn’t, but sat through my yammering anyway). So when it was suggested to me that I blog, well lets just say, I took to it like a duck to water. All the steps I have taken to get here will lead me to the dream of writing a book. One day… you will see my name on the cover of a book. I just need to figure out what I want to write it on. Then look out world!
Those 3 things above seem more real now that they are written out. I have started a little exercise with my teens. Each night, (that’s the goal but it doesn’t always happen) I ask them to write out some personal goals. Nothing earth shattering! Maybe the goal is to get up with their alarm or score a better grade on a test. Maybe it’s to actually do their chores (a mother can only dream). I don’t actually care what the goal is. I want to see the steps you’re going to take to achieve that goal. The goal is really not important to me (except the doing chores one… that one is REALLY important). It’s the thought process that I am looking for. I wasn’t really sure how this would work with my teens. I am really happy to say, it seems to work rather well. It has given them a sense of accomplishment (yes, I did see that you got out of bed each morning to your alarm! Woohoo for you!!).
Now some lines of thoughts to achieve your goals are to just forget about “it” and “it” will happen. The universe will guide you in the right direction kind of thinking. Other sayings tell you to get up off your ass and make it happen. So which advice should a person listen too!!?? Damn mixed messages! Good thing I am not really one to rely on others to point me in the right direction. Sure I’ll listen to your advice, but I usually end up doing things my way in the end. My way usually consists of finding the most overgrown, difficult path and then I start whacking my way through the underbrush and overgrown weeds. But why stop there… I bring my chainsaw along with me. You know for those big trees in the way. Why go around such an obstacle when I could just cut right through it?
So there you have it. A couple of my ‘bigger’ dreams. For days when I feel like I am not making much progress on them, I sit back and look over just how far I’ve already come. Baby steps have gotten me to this point and will continue to move me forward. Maybe not with the thrust of a rocket ship but enough to land me on target to achieving my goals. So this will not be any “one small step for mankind” but a series of baby step for Debbi.
Either way, I see my dreams within reach. And I am reaching.