In the Northeast corridor of the U.S., we’ve been battling major weather conditions. In the Washington, DC metro area alone, we’ve seen as much as four feet of snow and thousands of people are currently without power.
Meanwhile, wind gusts are reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, sweeping blankets of snow everywhere.
As I sat inside my home, all warm and cozy, I couldn’t help but compare how life is much like this blizzard. Such as life, weather conditions can suddenly take a turn for the worse, wreak havoc, turn everything upside down, and leave us to clean up the mess (or admire Mother Nature’s beauty).
Remember when you were younger? How you dreamed of one day becoming a doctor or nurse, a big-shot attorney, public figure, a rock star, or professional athlete? Maybe you dreamed of the day when you’d find your dream guy or girl, settle down and have a couple of kids. Have those dreams panned out?
For most of us, unfortunately, our childhood aspirations never made it out (out of our psyches, that is) alive. For many of us still, those once invigorated dreams remain dormant within, sheltered by our own insecure notions that perhaps it’s “too late” to aspire to such lofty goals once again. Maybe those goals just didn’t go as planned, and we’re left to wonder where did we go wrong.
Even for the most detailed of planners, life rarely pans out as we design it.
Depending on your outlook, life can either beat you into shape or beat you to a pulp. When challenges and the monotonous day-to-day strikes, all the good, useful stuff gets buried and all we tend to see is the mess that was made and what sits on the surface. Such is life. And the older we get, the potential for more mess threatens to entomb the positive self-imagery of our youth.
Is it time to resurface your long-held dreams?
By tomorrow, you’ll see some folks start to emerge from their homes. They’ll dig out their snow-packed vehicles and scrape the snow from neighborhood sidewalks.
Similarly, at some point, you’ve got to climb out of all of the mess life’s thrown at you. And start to uncover the dreams (or at least the innocent belief you once had in yourself) to reclaim what’s already within — the endearing self-belief, simmering confidence, and abiding faith which contends that anything is possible.
There’s something special about those qualities. Some might find it annoying and even impossible to live in this manner, but I happen to believe it’s absolutely possible and we need more of it in the world.
Caution: Life. Danger Ahead.
There are some inherent dangers of snow — avalanches, deaths can occur from hypothermia, infections brought on by frostbite or car accidents due to slippery roads. There are also several cases of heart attacks caused by overexertion while shoveling heavy wet snow.
Sounds very similar to some of the risks we take in life, doesn’t it?
For instance, that avalanche represents the proverbial baggage carried year after year. It eventually becomes too burdensome to bear, and comes tumbling down crushing our spirit or faith in the process. It’s important to take some time to off-load. Do the necessary spring (or whenever) cleaning so that personal or professional hangups don’t prevent you from moving ahead in life.
Never achieved your childhood dreams, but you’re still holding out for your big break? A bad job experience has turned you off from the profession altogether? More baggage.
Maybe it’s time to move on. Or maybe it’s time to connect with a more authentic you.
Life is filled with career ups and downs, but that shouldn’t stifle your progress.
So stock up on food, pick up a bag of salt and a sturdy shovel, cause life’s snowstorms are bound to happen.
The good news is that the storm always passes. And hopefully, you’ll live to see another day a little more prepared, more learned, and a bit wiser than the day before.
The dreams of your youth may have evolved and morphed into more realistic, more attainable goals. But I sure hope it’s not a result of you seeing only the traces of an after-storm, and because you’re settling for what seems to be the right thing to do.
On the flip side, the same storms that can turn a life upside down, have the potential to offer some much-needed time of reflection. Got laid off from a job? Lost a loved one? Overcome by illness? That time of stillness can get us thinking about the yester-years and the yester-days when the grass was greener and all of life’s opportunities were plain to see and seemed readily accessible.
Life’s inclement weather, if we allow it, gives us a chance to reflect on where we were, who we are now, and where we see ourselves in the future. It can be a time to rebuild and regain what is destined.
So in light of the frightful conditions outside, take some time to reflect on your childhood dreams.
Have you hit a bump in the road and now realize that something, some quality, some ingredient in your life — something you felt you once had — has now gone missing? Maybe it’s not missing at all. Perhaps you made an executive, unconscious decision to leave something buried because you’re afraid to fail or uncertain about whether a long-held dream of yours is God’s will for your life.
Never let fear master you.
I’ll stop here, but I’d like to know what are your thoughts?
Will you, or have you recently decided to dig up the vision or zeal of your youth?
Have you uncovered or reignited a passion that has lead you to a new, more successful career, or more authentic you?
I’m in the process of digging up some of own childhood dreams, and have vowed to employ the excitement of my youth in my efforts to live a fuller life. Care to join?