This past week included one of those moments that sticks in your mind for the rest of your life. My son was completely stressed out the day he would hear from the only college he really wanted to attend. Max applied early decision and was notified that he would find out the decision on Thursday at close of business.
Max is truly an inspiration to me. Yes … The son inspires the father. Ever since he was a preschooler, he has been extremely focused and committed to academics (and any other project he would take on). Max is a top performer … Getting just about straight A’s throughout his 12 years of education. I have never met someone so driven. I certainly was not at his age.
On Thursday, Max was on edge all day. He told me that it was the most important day of his life. After school, he was so worked up that he just had to get out of the house. About an hour later, Max calls me … his friend has a flat tire. I tell them I will meet them to help them out. As I am changing the flat, Max checks his college status online and starts to scream … In joy!
Max had his life long dream come true through hard work, dedication, and focus. But actually it is not a life long dream, it is only one chapter of his life. Granted it is a pinnacle moment. But his life will be full of greater accomplishments that will flourish beyond this moment. And hopefully he will see continued success in capturing his dreams. But does anyone really capture all his or her dreams?
This takes me to another scenario … Me, Social Steve, chasing my dreams. I am at the age when most people stop dreaming. An age when people get complacent where they are. They accept what they have achieved and continue to idle along. But that has never been my style since my post-teen years. The chorus of Victoria Williams’ song Century Planet rings in my ears …
“Do you want to come out and play the game?
It is never too late.
Hey, do you want to come out and play the game?
It is never too late.”
I am still chasing my dreams. I have not reached them. But I still chase my aspirations with the dedication, focus, and commitment my son displays every day. I continue to be led by a line I learned decades ago – “luck is the residue of design.”
This is not to say that I do not have a fulfilling and good life. I have an amazing family that keeps me level headed all the time. Their presence makes me stop and appreciate everything I have. But I do not stop dreaming and chasing. Someone asked me for five words to describe my life. My reply was – “blessed and stressed learning journey.” My life view comes from having a handful of awesome people surrounding me and still reaching for the stars.
So sometimes you chase your dreams and get them. Sometimes you don’t. Another motto I live by is “it takes more failures to succeed than it does to fail.” You have to keep on trying and never have complacency … Even if you have accomplished your dream. If you become content capturing your dream, what are you going to do the rest of your life? The reality is that life is made up of chapters. Is your book of life finished?
My message to you is that you should always be driven and committed to chasing your dreams … At any age. Do not think dreams you attain and ones that elude you define the quality of your life. I think Leo Burnett said it best – “When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
Make It Happen,