Are you a dream stealer or a dream maker? – Jack Canfield
I can’t take credit for this question and the way it has been presented, but I can say that I’ve often asked myself something along the lines of “do I build people up or do I break them down?”
Personally, I like the “are you a dream stealer or a dream maker?” It adds an emphasis to the basic question I’ve often asked. It gives a connotation that makes it hard to let go of the thought. Am a thief of someone else’s dream or happiness? In the same way, it emphasizes and heeds adoration for “making.” Instead of just being a builder and false hype man, we become CREATORS, rather than critics.
Yeah, yeah… thanks for the fluff about why it’s a better question, what’s your point? Simply put:
I believe that I am more often a dream stealer than a dream maker…
That is, at least for 25 of the last 26 years. Over the last year, I have tried to make a conscious effort to build, encourage, and give hope to those I encounter… and especially, myself. With the crisis of mental health, whether self-inflicted or not, a lot of dream stealing or making begins right within ourselves.
My hope is that you’ll recognize this and begin to believe again… in your dreams and aspirations by beginning to create and make your dreams your life.
- The first step is to ask the simple question- only add a caveat to the end: am I dream stealer or a dream maker for others?
The answer to this is going to give you a strong baseline when evaluating yourself. If you’re someone that is constantly finding and pointing out what’s wrong with others jobs, ideas, and aspirations- “that won’t work, here’s why” type responses, your self-dialogue is probably limited in the same way. If you say “wow, what a great idea. I wish I thought of that” or something along the lines of “that’s right. You could definitely do that. Go for it,” you probably have the a similar “go for it” mentality.
If you don’t know or haven’t given any thought to how you’re being perceived or what is coming out of your mouth, just ask some close friends, a spouse, or co-workers. Most will be honest, even though their answers may differ- but you’ll be able to get an intuitive idea by just simply asking. If Suzie at work has some hesitation and then says “err. uh… yeah. You’re mostly positive, I can’t say I’ve heard you be super negative,” then you probably aren’t encouraging others… you get the point.
2. The second step is even easier- ask yourself: what are my dreams? Do I have any? What were my dreams?
Any answer is helpful. If you haven’t had any since the kids were born because they became your life, go back to what they were before. If you have too many, but aren’t doing anything about them, go just do one- the easiest one that can happen tomorrow. There is no right answer, there is no benchmarks, it simply is your list. I’ve overthought it often, so don’t do that- just start writing, reviewing, or reflecting.
You’ll feel something start to mentally tingle and your soul will feel like its thermostat went from 65* to 77* (not quite too hot for the house to overheat, but definitely warm enough where you start to sweat).
The process is over. There’s no secret formula. It’s simply a matter of seeing what you’ve written, feeling the power that you can, and then doing just one thing. One thing that will move the needle. One thing that will keep you motivated. One thing that will start to make that dream a reality.
Example: I want to skydive in all 50 states… *I know I have a trip scheduled to some new states so I researched a little and found places to skydive, hit schedule, paid some money, and will accomplish that on the trip. It’s only 2 states and my total will be up to 3, but that’s one step to making something so simple and erroneous, a possibility.
Oh yeah, before I forget… The real action that can change everything- starting to engage and encourage others on their dreams. Once you start to ask, be intentional, and build up the dreams and goals of others, you will begin to see your own start to multiply and happen.
It’s not karma, it’s not rubbing the bronze calf, it’s simply focusing your energy and time into things worthwhile. Be a creator for others rather than a critic, and watch what begins to create within you.