Dare to Dream

abundanceAlfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” This statement is often quoted and yet not everyone agrees with it. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, especially recently, you may think this statement is not at all true. But I believe I know what he was talking about. Even if you have lost at love, your life is richer for having experienced it.

I’d like to ask you another question, perhaps much more controversial. Is it better to have dreamed and lost than to have never dreamed at all? For those who have dared to dream of what they’d like to see in their life, some have become embittered. I know of many people, especially older people, who would say that they wished they had never had a dream or set a big goal. They may have been repeatedly hurt, disappointed, abused, or ripped off. They took their minds to great heights only to come crashing down. Sometimes the pain is too much to want to get up and try again.

Let’s look at the story of Joe. (This is hypothetical but all too common.) Joe was a country boy who always wanted to have a farm of his own. However, he was urged to pursue another career path. So he went to school and got a job in the city. It was a good job, but his heart wasn’t truly in it. Finally one day, he decided to pursue his dream. He didn’t just up and quit his job. He worked hard, sacrificed and saved until he could earn enough money for a good down payment on a farm. The day finally arrived when he was able to purchase a farm and move back to the country. It took all of his savings to pay for the down payment on the farm, a minimal amount of equipment and seed to plant. He planted his crop and worked very hard to get it to grow well. His efforts were soon rewarded with a large field of beautiful corn stalks. The stalks were full of ears of corn. It looked like it would be a bumper crop.

Then tragedy struck. A huge storm laid the crop low. None of the corn was salvageable. It was a total loss. Joe’s savings were wiped out. His plans for a great crop that year were completely ruined.

What would you do if you were Joe? Would you sell the farm and go back to your old life? Or would you try again? Should Joe have just settled for his job in the city and never attempted to live his dream? It certainly would have been easier.

The purpose of life is to have joy. Joy comes from relationships and experiences. Unfortunately, relationships and experiences often result in pain. To have neither joy nor pain is to simply exist. That is not living. So I ask again – is it better to have dreamed and lost than to have never dreamed at all? It’s important here to step back and look at the bigger picture. We can ask the question in another way. Is it better to have dreamed a dream, including working hard to accomplish that dream, and lost than to look back on your life and see that it was wasted as you wallowed in mediocrity, too afraid of pain to try for the joy? This could be one of the most important questions that you can ever ask yourself.

I’ve known a lot of joy in my life. However, I have had dreams smashed or just never come to fruition. I’ve worked hard for things only to have them taken away. I’ve been burned a number of times and experienced a lot of pain. How many times should you have to get burned before you learn to stay away from the fire? That seems like a logical question. And yet, is it better to spend your life in the cold and darkness simply because you’re afraid of the fire?

Some dreams take a long time to come true and come with a host of setbacks along the way. Some dreams end in painful disappointment. However, EVERY GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT STARTS WITH A DREAM. Don’t let the fear of pain keep you from reaching for the joy. My wife always says, “the answer is always no if you don’t ask”. You may be afraid of failure. However, failure (the lack of accomplishment) is guaranteed for those who will not try. You’re far more likely to have wonderful things happen in your life if you’re not afraid to dream. Dreams become goals, goals lead to action, action brings results. So dare to dream!

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