Recognize the things that trap our dreams—and overcome them.
1. We have been discouraged from dreaming by others.
We have to pilot our own dreams; we cannot entrust them to anyone else. People who aren’t following their own dreams resent us pursuing ours. Such people feel inadequate when we succeed, so they try to drag us down.
2. We fall into the habit of settling for average.
Average is the norm for a reason. Being exceptional demands extra effort, sustained inspiration and uncommon discipline. When we attempt to give flight to our dreams, we have to overcome the weight of opposition. Like gravity, life’s circumstances constantly pull on our dreams, tugging us down to mediocrity.
3. We are hindered by past disappointments and hurts.
In the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a young, talented and cocky aviator who dreams of being the premier pilot in the U.S. Navy. In the film’s opening scenes, Maverick showcases his flying ability but also displays a knack for pushing the envelope with regards to safety. Midway through the movie, Maverick’s characteristic aggression spells disaster. His plane crashes, killing his best friend and co-pilot.
4. We lack the confidence needed to pursue our dreams.
Dreams are fragile. They will be buffeted by assaults from all sides. As such, they must be supplied with the extra strength of self-confidence.
5. We are missing the imagination to dream.
For thousands of years, mankind traveled along the ground: by foot, by horse-and-buggy, by locomotive and eventually by automobile. Thanks to the dreams of Orville and Wilbur Wright, we now hop across oceans in a matter of hours. The imaginative brothers overcame ridicule and doubt to pioneer human flight, and the world has never been the same.