Chances are, you will remember when you were a kid you had dreams of being an astronaut, president and, in my case, a QVC host.
But why do those dreams shrink?
Why do we settle for a life that is simply satisfactory and chalk up our childish dreams to naivety?
True, we can “grow up” and realize we don’t love risk and shift our dreams—but it isn’t just that, see?
Our dreams don’t just shift, they shrink.
Well, because life happens. Our dreams are like a giant balloon and life is a maze of pins. We learn that the bigger our dreams, the harder it is to navigate through life because of the twists and turns provide the sharp reality of disappointments to burst our bubble. From grades to crushes to tryouts…life’s disappointments teach us that is it easier to deflate than navigate.
Let’s say you’re a young optimistic football player who dreams of making the high school team. People might encourage you, but they know something you might not: life. They know that an NFL career isn’t much of a career at all. Injuries mean that if you make it into the NFL AND make opening day roster, your career is less than 6 years (and less than 3 years by other estimates) (NFL).
But let’s just say that you make the high school football team.
- Only 3-6% of high school football players will see ever the NCAA field—on any level, (D1-JC)
- Only .3% of college players will be drafted (BI)
- And with 32 teams in the NFL, 1 super bowl champion per year, an average of 7 teams winning every 10 years, with a 23% player turnover—only 2.5% of NFL players win a super bowl. (NFL)
- So BEST case scenario you have a .000005% chance of winning super bowl. That means that once you make the cuts for the varsity high school football team, you have less than 1/200,000 of winning a super bowl.
- You are almost 70x MORE likely to be struck by lightening. (National Geographic)
And guess what, since people love you, they don’t want to see you disappointed and hurt, so they will encourage you to become an accountant. Basically what happens from a kid optimistic about being president to him being 25 years in a dead-end job that he doesn’t like is simple: the gap. We learn that there is a gap between what we desire and what happens, ideal and real, our dreams and waking up. Curiosity fades as we find out that magic isn’t real, Santa doesn’t exist and almost everything we thought we could be, doesn’t happen. And if it does, we are convinced that it most certainly won’t happen to us. After all, we’re just not someone special.
But I had the great “luck” and privilege to call my hero, “dad.” He defied the odds.
Living under the same roof as a guy who played professional football for 14 years and won 3 super bowls I learned something…that SOMEone in 200,000 will do it.
Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Why not you?
You know what fills that gap between dreams and reality? Hard work, persistence, dedication, consistency, optimism…and most of all belief.
My mother asked me one day why I didn’t just get a job instead of starting my own company and I told her, “Mother, if I don’t believe in myself, who else will?”
Thomas S Monson, “Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities. You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.” (“Living the Abundant Life,” Ensign, Jan 2012)
So does lightning strike? Ask my dad. And where does it strike? It strikes the place on the earth that is closest to the sky containing the most positive energy.
Put your head in the clouds and see what happens.
Don’t deflate your balloon of dreams to succumb to life’s hard and pointed facts, but rise above with belief! Because if you truly believe that you can defy the odds, chances are—you will.
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