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Spots, Sights and Sounds

Learn to pace your dreams

by Christian Michael

December 29, 2013


You haven't gotten that dream finished yet. It's too late, now. You might as well just throw in the towel. I mean, you haven't reached your dream yet. You must be a total, complete failure. I mean, right?

Or maybe you just have an inflated sense of time?

Maybe you aren't supposed to be a 27-year-old rockstar? Maybe your gift is going to be used differently, and in a way with a lot less temptation to abuse yourself, and maybe on a more personal basis.

Maybe that dream to write the great American novel won't lead to fame and fortune, but a way to connect with children?

Maybe that gift of public speaking isn't meant to lead nations and armies, but to help a community come together in a time of distress?

Maybe the way we think our dreams are supposed to come together isn't what we're designed for, and letting life guide us to it will be more fulfilling than otherwise?

And even if we do experience our dreams in a fashion like we think they will be, must they happen right this minute? Perhaps they need to happen when you're ready? And wanting to be ready is not the same as actually being ready. Often we want more than we can handle, and it takes a wisdom and willingness to take things one small bite at a time to see those dreams to fruition, and in such a fashion that the arrival of success won't destroy us in the process as so many experience when success comes too quickly and easily.

I can actually use myself as an example. Not because I've been wildly successful -- though I truly hope that day will come -- but because I'm pursuing my dreams one day at a time and letting my life shape my future. Not letting today prevent tomorrow, but letting each step of the journey mean something more than just an element of progress, but an actual part of the whole.

I'm writing my seventh novel. I've only published one book. Some people might wonder what I'm waiting on, but my decision to wait releasing is paying off, as I'm going back to rewrite large portions of an earlier book in my current series that I hope will make it a much better book and story as a whole. When I do finish the series, I will be satisfied for a number of reasons.

First, I didn't rush through it. I'm taking my time to do it right, and even if I don't experience wild success, I'll be happy that I took the time to do it right, come what may.

Second, I've stopped expecting satisfaction only from some kind of inflated concept of success and instead enjoy each step of the process. The process, itself, becomes one of the greatest joys. Conceptualizing, planning, note-taking, outlining, detailing, writing, editing, rewriting, designing, organizing, finalizing, preparing for publication, sending to print, selling it to others, and, almost as much fun as writing it, telling others about the story!

And then I do voicework. This is slower than my book skills, and isn't as easy to pick up and do since I have to have a particular setup to do it right. But I did two commercials a few weeks ago with a friend's production company and I do stuff for the Air Force. I'm not a world famous cartoon voice or the main voice for a major national product, but I can say I've done stuff most others only dream of.

And then I sing music. I've sung my own music in front of crowds and numerous weddings of friends, the national anthem in front of 40,000 people and various smaller groups all over the world. And I hope to do that professionally, too.

This isn't about patting myself on the back. There are others who have done much more in the same time I've only done these things, but my point is that I've learned to enjoy where I am in life, and while I'm always pursuing bigger and better, I'm still satisfied. I'm content, and I love what I have done, mostly because I didn't wait for success or the guarantee of it to pursue those dreams.

I started small and kept at it. I was willing to step out in small ways that over time have added up. My friends who say they wish they could do what I did weren't necessarily handicapped, but maybe they were hoping for that one perfect idea or opportunity to get it right the first time? You can't wait for such a thing. you gotta take each small step as it comes and learn to enjoy those small steps. They make the difference between a happy and unhappy life, with or without fame and fortune.

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