Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Dare to Dream Big
Our small town schools participate in an annual library event: One community, One book. The kids can read the same book, then enter contests for a drawing, an essay, or a video trailer. This year, the book was THE HOBBIT.
My 13-year-old son read the book, and dreamed of winning all three cash prizes, a total of $300. To myself, I wondered why he'd bother with all three. Why not focus on one contest? How would he handle the inevitable disappointment?
Each day after homework, he worked hard on his drawing, essay, and video trailer. He followed each of the requirements, and turned in his entries with pride. Wouldn't you know it, that boy won two out of three contests--essay and video trailer. Imagine his excitement and satisfaction when he picked up his cash prizes, saw his winning essay displayed on the wall, and had his video played at the award ceremony.
He reinforced a valuable lesson: dream big and go for it.
One of my annoying habits is to think small, and in some cases, dream small. After all, big dreams are reserved for other, more deserving or talented people.
This dream to write for publication is a big one for me. At times, I've wondered if it's too big because heck, I'm an ordinary mother of three. But then I've thought about all the writers of our favorite books. They were also ordinary people, who dared to dream big.
When I start to dream small, what snaps me out of it? My kids. What do I want to teach them? To dream small, and set the bar low? Or do I lead by example and teach them to dream big?
On this journey of mine, I've realized I have a captive audience. Each time I'm disappointed by a rejection, a challenge, or a U-turn, three sets of eyes are watching how I handle it. Do I thrown in the towel? Do I rant and rave and blame everyone and everything else? Or do I pick myself up and move forward?
When we dare to dream big, we're bestowing confidence in ourselves. We're also acknowledging that there will be bumps along the way, which will tempt us to set those dreams aside. Our job is to believe, do our best work, and follow through. Otherwise we'll never know what surprises wait for us on the other side.
Do you tend to dream small, or do you dare to dream big? If you have kids, do they remind you that you have an audience, who watches how you handle disappointments?