Have you ever had the experience of reading something or experiencing something that stops you in your tracks because it makes you see something in a new way? Those moments are called paradigm shifts. I had one this week and it actually scared me (but in a good way, if that makes sense.)
I subscribe to Jim Rohn’s newsletter. If you are not familiar with Jim’s work I strongly encourage you to investigate. A couple of times a week I receive an inspiring and motivational article in my inbox. As often happens, there are articles included from other motivational speakers.
This week, after I read Jim’s article, The Rose, there was another article by Chris Widener. The title of Chris’ article was Dare to Dream Again. And in reading that article I had my paradigm shift.
He started off by recounting how when we’re all young we dream big. But “Eventually we started to let our dreams die. People began to tell us that we couldn’t do the things we wanted. It was impossible. Responsible people don’t pursue their dreams. Settle down, get a job, be dependable. Take care of business, live the mundane, be content.”
That’s a scary thought but it’s not the one that actually scared me. Chris then goes on to list several areas where we can begin to dream again and the advantages of doing so. Dreaming, says Chris, enables us to avoid regret. Dreaming gives us personal and family fulfillment. Dreaming makes the world a better place. True, true and true!
What he had to say about leaving a legacy is what stopped me in my tracks. This is what he said: How will your children remember you? As one who sought all that life had to offer, using your gifts and talents to their fullest extent, leading the family with a zest for life, or as an overweight couch potato who could have been? Our children need to see that we dream; that we search for something better. They in turn will do the same!
Wow! Who in the world wants their kids to remember them as an over-weight couch potato? Not me. I’m not over weight but I do have five fantastic kids. The last thing in the world I want to be remembered by is that I watched a lot of TV.
If they see you setting goals and pursuing dreams, they’ll do the same. If you are in near-constant motion in pursuit of your dreams they will assume your tempo. If you tell them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, they will come to understand and can even help you in ways no one else ever could. It’s funny. I’ve learned that the younger they are, the more apt they are to understand. My 9-year old daughter doesn’t miss a trick. She doesn’t let anything pass. Everything has to have an explanation. I then get to see the world from her perspective. It is very useful and helpful information.
When it comes down to the choice of how I want my kids to remember me, it won’t be as a couch potato; you can bet your @$$ on that. It will be as a dreamer and goal-setter. The one who helped broaden their horizons by not only teaching them how to dream but having them grow up watching me do it. After all, the best parenting advice I ever read was this: Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.
I can live with failure; knowing I tried and didn’t succeed. I refuse to live with regret.