Dream a Little Dream of You

dream big

“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” ~ A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Special Note: I am honored to have Doug Sandler, professional speaker, author and blogger as a guest contributor for “Zen Beginnings.” I am sure you will enjoy his message, so please feel free to share the post with others. 

I’ve always been a dreamer. Maybe it’s because I thought everyone else was a dreamer as well.

Even when I was a little boy growing up in suburbia, I dreamed of bigger things for myself outside of my hometown. I’d dream about the places I would go, the people I would meet. The dreams I had manifested themselves in a variety of ways as I sketched them out, doodled, wrote lyrics and sang songs about my life to be.

These were big dreams, very grand for a nine year old. It wasn’t until many years later, when I entered the business world that I discovered those things I dreamed about, slowly came true, one by one. By no coincidence either. I dreamed my goals into existence, visualized them until they came to life and became a part of my reality.  You can achieve your dreams too. I kept my dream alive all those years and it’s not too late for you to do the same thing as well, no matter your age. It’s time to dust off the dreams you once had and put them back into play.

What are you doing to keep your dream alive? If the two of us met at a networking event tomorrow and I asked you about your dreams, what would you say? So, what are you doing to keep your dream alive? It’s never too late.

Mother Teresa won the Nobel Prize at 69 for her missionary work. Colonel Sanders was nearly 70 when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. Never give up and never let a stumble take you out of the game. Apple Founder Steve Jobs flunked out of school and kicked out of the company he founded before his dream of running a company of visionaries came true. Abraham Lincoln had many failed attempts at public service before rising to the presidential office. Most importantly, you deserve to live your dreams. Lincoln, Jobs, Sanders and Teresa were all dreamers.

Anyone with a dream deserves to achieve their dream if they work hard enough. Success and greatness are within you and the decision is yours. The problem is most people are not willing to take the first step. The first step is change. Are you willing to change in order to achieve your dreams?

You dream for a reason and that reason is not so you can escape. You dream for the same reason we all dream, you want more out of life. You also dream so your brain can help you take the needed steps to achieve more and as you change. The human brain is an amazing thing. Words like hope, faith, belief, sit on a shelf until the fuel of motivation comes along. Motivation has some pretty long arms and pulls those words down from the high places in your mind. It is also the gasoline that lights the flame of hope, faith and belief, turning them into action, burning bright.

Take a reality check. If you are not where you want to be in life, instead of giving yourself a hard time, give yourself a dream. Allow yourself to take some “you” time to think about your dreams again. If you have kept your dreams away long enough, they may be tough to recall. Start by saying these words to yourself. “What would I do and where would I be if I knew I couldn’t fail?” Napoleon Hill, a great businessman and author of “Think and Grow Rich” said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Find support from those around you. Your supporters want you to be happy and they will be cheering you on every step of the way. Surround yourself with people that believe in you, embrace positivity and welcome your dreams back into your life.

Dream a little dream of you.

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

Struggling? It May Be Time to Surrender


How lovely life can be when all seems to fall so perfectly in place. One finds that perfect mate, lands that perfect job—life is perfect. When life suddenly throws you that unexpected curveball however, would it be easier to give up or can one surrender to it?

In this ever-evolving age of social media (or what some might call “anti-social” media) one can find it difficult to be in a state of pure contentment. With endless and tired distractions, hundreds of millions of people have now attached themselves to one another to hopefully secure their online celebrity status, or more frighteningly, their happiness. And now that many of these methods seem to exit from our lives more quickly than ever, there is an overwhelming sense of loss, sadness and devaluing of our culture.

“Knowledge is learning something every day.
Wisdom is letting go of something every day.”
~ Zen Proverb

So, how can one surrender to circumstance?

In a previous post I mention how I decided to block social media sites for 12 hours a day. I found myself in the midst of an inner struggle, spending hours upon hours looking for uplifting articles and photos to share. My ego was hustling to build more Facebook fans, likes to posts and more Twitter and Instagram followers, while beneath it all was the one thing I wanted so desperately to do, and could do at any time. That was to surrender the need altogether.

Many grasp so tightly to the reasoning (or excuses) behind the challenges they face, yet there is a way to surrender the cursed hows, whats, whys, wheres, and whos of yesterday. Once I chose to fully let go of the egoic perception of my outer world, I found the way to live simply; without attachment.

“To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.” ~ Lao Tzu

I had to wholeheartedly accept the ups and downs of life as part of the experience, not the circumstance. Nothing is ever permanent, and once I began to repeat this thought as truth I could no longer listen to the deafening, unavoidable lies that I wanted more of anything.

Some might argue that surrendering means giving up or giving in – to reluctantly raise that tattered white flag and wave it in despair. On the contrary, To surrender is not to give up the struggle, but finding peace within the struggle. Within every trial and tribulation there is a lesson; a way to see beyond the struggle and let go of the emotion attached to it. By realising this as the utmost truth, moments that once seemed chaotic and inevitable become weightless and less significant. Surrendering is about completely letting go of the self-imposed expectations and limitations of Self.

The more one becomes attached to memories of the past, the more difficult it is for our mind to be in the present.

By taking the time to be still and sit in silence, one can finally surrender the resentment, anger, dishonesty to humanity and oneself. Inner strength will gently unfold, and embrace a new beginning.

It’s your turn. Have you found a way to surrender to the challenges you face? Please share your comments below.

photo credit: HckySo via photopin cc

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