the excellence of dreams

What is it about witnessing excellence that makes me swell with emotion?

I think  back to seeing Riverdance for the first time.

I could write an entire post on my affection for Riverdance and Celtic music.

This is not that post.

I remember watching mesmerized with my friend Kim and our girls as we

tried to fully comprehend the brilliance of Alvin Alley’s American Dance Theater.

I held my breath until they performed Revelations. (Watch it now!)

I feel it when a gymnast lands triumphantly on two feet or a triple

axis is thrown in the air and slides gracefully back to solid ice.

I venture to guess that excellence is breathtaking for the spectator to watch

because the performer,

the athlete,

the dreamer

has amassed volumes of hidden work.

Those of us in our seats or on our couches are partakers of the thousands

of early mornings, frustrations, falls, injuries and repetition by those

who have honed their craft to such a degree it now can be deemed stellar.

I have thought about this a great deal as I begin to inch towards turning 50.

The Olympics definitely causes my mind to percolate.

Especially when I realize how many Olympic games I have watched.

How many light years since I dreamed of being like Olga Korbut?

I believe I have sat on my couch too often and too long watching and applauding.

It is easier to believe in other people’s dreams rather than my own.

It’s second nature for me to cheer others on or even participate in the realization of

their dreams.

It is harder to admit that I often wonder if my dreams truly matter or if they will

even materialize.

The Olympics provide the grandest parade to celebrate and examine dreams.

When you learn the back stories of many of the athletes, most often there has been

a hardship to overcome.

It could be an injury or family loss.

Perhaps they lost focus and had to rediscover their passions.

Maybe someone told them they were not deserving to be on the team.

Despite whatever setback they persevered.

I would venture to guess the majority of athletes, who competed these past two weeks

in Sochi, fell more than those who stood in triumph.

We commend each and everyone for doing the work regardless of outcome.

This morning I wrote down a few bullet points to get me focused,

once again.

February is almost over and somehow the lull of winter can dampen our resolves.

If you feel like it is time to pursue your dreams or even accomplish a goal or two,

this is a list of reminders. I doubt any of it will be original.

In case you have forgotten, may I remind you?

  • Shower and get dressed
    I have my best ideas in the shower!
  • Pray and stay connected to your Creator
  • Get enough rest and eat the food which fuels
  • Define your dreams/goals
  • Be ruthless with distractions and time suckers
    Social media, television, being overly busy so you “just never can find the time”
  • Schedule time daily or weekly to work towards your dream/goals
    Keep your appointment with yourself.
    Keep your word to yourself as you would to a loved one.
  • Ask for help
    Over the years I have assembled my cheering section, but I have not utilized them in
    a long time. I have neglected an untapped but willing resource.
  • Ask for prayer 
  • Share your dream with someone trusted
  • Write a letter to your future self
    If the thought of sharing your dream with someone else seems scary,
    and it is, write yourself a letter spelling out your dream and encouraging
    yourself to not give up. Put it in an envelope, seal it, address it to yourself,
    put a stamp on it and give it to a trusted person in your life. Have them keep it
    for several months and then mail it to you.
  • Talk to someone who has walked into their dream
    People love to talk about their dreams, especially if they are living in the midst of them.
    Find out their story, it might just inspire you to keep going forward
  • Do the work
    It might mean getting up earlier or staying up later. It may demand saying no to
    some great things in favor of saying yes to you and your dreams. 
  • Take joy/fun/play breaks
    Dreams take hard work but breaks refuel and refocus. They are crucial to help avoid burnout
  • Pray and stay connected to your Creator
    It bears repeating and it is not redundant. It is vital.

I look forward to the day when we will  have done the work long and often enough for others

to stand up from their seats and witness excellence.

I will be standing and cheering too.

I’ll be the one welling up with emotion.

Let’s get to the business of pursuing excellent dreams!

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One thought on “the excellence of dreams

  1. Felicia Gaskins says:

    Thank you Helen for reminding us that it is never too late to realize our dreams. Thank you for the snippet of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Wonderful post!

    Like

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