A Dream Come True
When we are asked what our favorite day of the year is, most of us answer our birthday or Thanksgiving Day or New Year’s Day or the first day of spring or the day we met our significant other. I myself used to say “my birthday” but now I have a different response. Now my favorite day is today.
Today is full of potential. Today, I take action. Today, I get one step closer to my goal. A year ago, my goal was only a dream, the kind we all have but don’t really do anything about. An incident less than a year ago woke me up from my slumber, which eventually got me where I am today, much closer to realizing my dream.
About three years ago, I wanted a better job and better pay, so I decided to go to school and get a degree. I enrolled and scheduled all my classes after work. The long distance between work and school combined with driving during rush hour gave me quite a commute every day. After a couple of semesters, I started borrowing audio-books from the library just to have something to listen to besides music. After I graduated, I wrote about my whole school experience, and a part of it was making a list of all the books I had listened to during my commute the second year of school. I was shocked to see I had listed forty-eight books, great books. This made me realize how much of my time would have gone to waste if I hadn’t listened to those books, and it also made me think of all the other chunks of time I was regularly wasting without even noticing, like while I was cleaning the house, working out, folding laundry, washing the car, and so on. I usually enjoyed listening to music doing these tasks, just as I did during my commute before switching to audio-books. I still enjoy listening to music, but I’m planning my time more carefully now.
Even though we all know that we will die, we don’t like to think about our death, so we rarely think about how limited and precious our time is. Time is our most valuable commodity, and yet we don’t appreciate it as such and end up wasting so much of it simply because we don’t plan to spend it wisely. If wisdom is applying our acquired knowledge to our daily life and we are all in pursuit of happiness, then spending our time wisely would be using our time toward getting closer to whatever makes us happy, toward realizing our dreams.
Sometimes what we once called our dream fades and becomes a distant memory because our values have shifted, our perspectives have altered, or we have simply changed our mind. It’s important to revisit past dreams to see if they are still our dreams and if we still find them worth pursuing. If we don’t find them attractive anymore, we can say goodbye to them while respecting our past selves for creating those visions once upon a time. If we do, however, the logical action is to pursue them and decide to realize them.
Making that decision is taking the first step toward realizing the dream. It’s when we start calling it a goal instead of a dream. Once we clearly envision our goal, we make a plan made of a thousand steps to reach it. The secret to success is to put one foot in front of the other and keep going, starting today, starting now. We can’t go back in time and do something, and we can’t transport ourselves into the future to do something. The only day we can make something happen is today. Whether it’s losing thirty pounds or building a house or writing a book, we can only take one step at a time, so why not take one step today?
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Having a goal to achieve is one of the greatest motivations in life, but our dream won’t turn into a goal without that first decisive step. After that, with each step, we learn something new, we overcome a challenge, we feel more confident, we become more determined, and we get closer and closer to achieving our goal and realizing our dream. After that first step, our dream is not abstract anymore; it becomes concrete, it becomes a goal, and, eventually, it becomes real. Today is the day we make a difference. Taking a single step doesn’t require much time or effort; it’s only one step. No matter how many hours we work and how busy our life is and how many problems we’re trying to solve and how many tasks we’re juggling, we can take one single step today and get one step closer to a dream come true.