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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Why we shouldn't stop dreaming

Illustrated by Robert Labayen


Walter Elias Disney was fired from a newspaper because the boss didn’t find him creative enough. He put up his own animation studios and he got bankrupt at least 2 times. He was cheated by his business partners and was abandoned by some of his artists. He is said to have been driven by poverty to eat dog food and he almost went to jail,too. Today, we can no longer imagine a world without Disney movies, Disney cartoons and Disney princesses.

Oprah Winfrey was born to an unwed mother. They were so poor she had to wear potato sacks to school. She was molested, too. After she became a small time tv journalist, she was assigned to a poorly performing show. This program later on became the Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah is now considered as one of the most influential women in America ever.

J.K. Rowling was divorced and left to take care of her daughter. But she was so broke, she depended on government welfare. Twelve publishers rejected her manuscript for Harry Potter. Today, Harry Potter, a world of magic for millions of people, is worth $15 Billion.

Steve Jobs was fired by the company he founded before he bounced back and regained top leadership of Apple.

Thomas Edison famously failed 10,000 times before he was finally able to invent the electric light bulb!

If you think about it, the things we enjoy in life are creations by people who have failed miserably ! Our beautiful world and pleasurable lives are a creation of people who have once been total failures ! Artists and scientists rarely become successful on their first attempt. If they didn’t persevere, we will all be probably dead by now or living dull lives.

In the book The Miracle Morning, bestselling author Hal Elrod mentioned a finding by the Social Security Administration ( United States ) that after working for 40 years, 95% of people are NOT living the life they had wanted for themselves. These are people who probably didn’t get the lucky breaks, were diverted into a different career, or those who gave up trying to make their dreams come true.

Bronnie Ware is a nurse who worked in a ward for the terminally ill. After talking to the dying patients, she learned that their biggest regret is not having lived the life they wanted for themselves.

We don’t need to accept what has happened to the majority as our own fate, too. For as long as we live, we can keep taking a crack at that elusive dream.

We have a duty to never give up. I believe it was God who planted the seed of the dream in our heart. That’s because He wants our talents for a purpose that serves Him. For example, if you’re dreaming of becoming a great musician, that’s because God wants you to use that gift to touch the hearts of millions.

But God doesn’t give us our success just like that. He wants us to work hard for our success because it is in our struggle that we acquire wisdom and shape our values. If our triumph was given to us on a silver platter, we might not be able to handle it well.

I remember back in 2005 when our media company lost the battle for ratings after 17 years of solid leadership. Our Chairman said “I am not in a hurry to be number one again. We have to learn our lessons first before we reclaim success. “

Dreams are killed by the voices of some people around us. They tell us we will never make it. But the deadliest killer is that small voice in our head. It has no respect for our talent.

If God is speaking to you through this article, He is telling you to never give up. The success that God will give you may not be 100% exactly like how you envisioned it but it will be the same in essence, and surely even better in every sense. When you are failing in one thing, it is very likely that God has another plan.

Take the case of Pia Wurtzbach. She did not make it big as an actress. She turned to beauty contests. At first try, she didn’t make it. She tried a second time and still didn’t win the title. On the third, she became Miss Philippines. Possibly because of the experience she has acquired over the years, it was easier for her to become Miss Universe in 2016!

Some of us are dreamers but not doers. So, time management consultant David Allen advised in the book Making It All Work that we should have the creative perspective of a dreamer and the task-focused control of an organized person.

The Bible tells the story of a young man named Joseph. His brothers hated him because he had a dream that he will someday lord it over his brothers. The brothers threw him into a pit to die. But at that time, a caravan passed and the brothers decided to sell him to the caravan leader named Potiphar.

Joseph became a servant of Potiphar. But falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife, he was thrown into jail. In prison, he interpreted the dreams of a fellow prisoner. Later on, this prisoner recommended Joseph to interpret the dream of the Pharaoh. The grateful Pharaoh rewarded Joseph with the second highest rank in all of Egypt !

Preacher Joel Osteen said that if you think you have been thrown into a pit to die, a caravan will pass by to pick you up.

When I was in college and getting initiated by a fraternity, the “masters” asked us to recite a poem when we were tempted to give up and walk away. The last two lines of the poem by an anonymous poet are these “So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit; It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

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