I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963.
If Dr. King were alive today, he’d be concerned that his dream is being squashed.
Even if your dreams aren’t as lofty as his, what do you do if you feel close to realizing your dreams, only to have them yanked away from you? What do you do if you have reached an important goal, only to find yourself now taking steps in the wrong direction, undoing all you accomplished? What if you lose hope in being able to accomplish your goals?
Dr. King’s speech has helpful ideas:
1. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
Yes, you feel awful. Frustrated. Angry. You want to start a new project at work, and your boss nixes it. You’re working on a novel, and you break your arm. You’re saving for a new home and emergency after emergency eats away at your down payment.
Don’t despair. Reevaluate. Regroup. Consider a new approach. You’re down, but not out. How you can take a new path to reach your goal? Can you present your project with a new spin on it? Dictate your book using software or a helpful friend? Get a temporary second job to replenish your savings?
What clever workarounds do you have available to you? Take time to consider and reflect on your options. Sometimes the best solutions take time to formulate.
2. …even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.
Just having a dream is powerful. Dr. King recognized that, and so have many others:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead
You’re just one person, and you may not be dreaming about changing the world – or you might be! – but the point is that merely having the dream and moving forward in whatever ways you can, even in the tiniest of ways, will help you reach your goals.
Daily baby steps add up to big accomplishments. You might not ever give a speech to hundreds of thousands of people to encourage history-changing action – or you might! – but you can use that same energy and those same principles, that same passion of knowing what you want and going after it, to succeed with your own goals.
3. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
The ends don’t justify the means. Focus on what you want and where you’re going, but act honorably. Act with integrity. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. After all, if you do, you’re no better than those standing in your way.
Let your heart and conscience guide you to making the choices that help you accomplish your goals in a way you can be proud of. Give your subconscious, your soul, and the universe a chance to guide you in the right steps for you.
How do you handle it when obstacles are between you and your goals? Please let me know below how you deal with your dream squashers.