Have you ever asked four or five-year-olds questions like, “Would you like to fly to the moon?” or, “Would like to go to Africa on a safari and see lions and elephants?” How about, “Would you like to be a football player in the NFL?” It seems that most youngsters that age are just full of unlimited energy and enthusiasm to do just about anything and everything.
Try it sometime. Ask if they’d like to climb Mount Everest, or maybe swim the English Channel, or go skiing in the Alps. Well, of course they would!
Now we know all too well that they are much too young to really quite fully understand or grasp these things. I mean, they certainly have no idea of what it would take for them to get involved in something as big and daring as climbing Mount Everest, right?
But they are so full of life and exuberance! They are not afraid to dream big! They are ready to do anything and go anywhere. They really don’t seem to care about any of the details. Those little boys and girls know how to dream big without being concerned with the “how.”
And, that’s the point.
You can ask these same types of questions to older children, and you will get a very different response. Studies have shown that the older the children are, the less energy and enthusiasm they have in their responses.
However, a small number of young people have kept and pursued their childhood dreams. I recently heard four-time Olympic Gold medalist Janet Evans speak about her dream at the age of twelve, to be an Olympian. And, in 1988, at age seventeen, Janet not only made the U.S.A. Olympic Swimming Team, she set a world record, and won three gold medals!
But, sadly, most people get talked out of their dreams at a very early age. Most give up on their dreams long before they finish school. Why is that?
One of the biggest dream crushers is the response from others. A child gets excited and wants to be a racecar driver, and win the Indy 500. He or she is very excited about it at age five. And, at that time, everyone thinks it’s kind of cute.
But when this same child is still voicing it at age ten or twelve, friends and family get concerned. First, they don’t want poor little Johnny or Mary to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Second, it is much too difficult to pursue that kind of goal and dream anyway. All the odds are against you and it really just can’t happen.
The sad part is that most young people succumb to this kind of talk, and then, they repeat that kind of talk back to themselves and eventually abandon their dreams. “I am going to do that,” is replaced with, “I could never do that.”
When George Herman Ruth was a little boy, he wanted to play baseball with the bigger kids, and when they wouldn’t let him play, he cried. So, they called him a baby. But the “baby” kept his dream and we all know what eventually happened to Babe Ruth.
Have you abandoned your dreams? Why? Are you too concerned with the “how?” Do you think that you are too old now? Have others talked you out of them?
It doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks about your dreams. In fact, sometimes it is wise not to tell anyone. Ninety-Nine percent of the time, they will not be supportive. Regardless of the past and regardless of how old you are today, you can still dream.
Keep your dreams alive and pursue them! Forget about past disappointments and instead focus on future possibilities! If you’re lacking some enthusiasm, take some time and have a little chat with a five year old!