It’s not about where you’re from … it’s all about where you’re going.
Another way to think about this – it’s not about your family of origin, where you were born, to whom you were born, etc … it’s about who you walk with! As a young boy I grew up across the river from the Philadelphia International Airport and planes were constantly flying overhead either going or coming from what I perceived as exotic and exciting places from all over the World.
A best as I can recall I was about 9 years old when at the dinner table I exclaimed proudly, “I’m going to be a pilot and fly all around the World.” The conversation seemed to stop, my mother looked at my father and he in turn looked directly into my eyes and replied, “Son, we’re farmers, we’ve been farming here for more than 150 years … you’ve been working on our farm since you’ve been 5 years old and you’re going to be a farmer for a long time to come – so get that silly notion out of your head and finish your dinner.” Let’s just say that that was one of many rainy days in my parade of ideas proffered at the dinner table as a boy. How many parades have been similarly rained on by well meaning parents? My estimate is, ”too many to count.”
How do I know this? In my coaching of Corporations and the individuals within them one of my first exercises is to have my new clients write a list of what I call “Dreams” … in today’s vernacular I’m asking for their Bucket List. I ask them to return to our next session with a list of dreams they wish to accomplish in their lifetimes [for the 30 year olds I coach that’s in the next 55 years!] and sadly I get lists with 10-15 dreams. I send them back for our next session and suggest they should be able to write at least 100 such dreams. I further describe the potential lists as not only containing tangible items, but intangible, becoming dreams … becoming better public speakers, better partners, better parents, etc. It’s a struggle for most people to come up 100 dreams that they’d like to achieve and in contrast, when I ask my young friends (4-5 year olds) they can come up 100’s in a few hours!
These 4 and 5 year olds haven’t been conditioned to expect limitations upon their dreams, but it won’t be long before well meaning parents, teachers, mentors, etc will begin to guide these young minds into safer, realistic paths.
STOP the cycle … allow our younger children to dream big dreams, allow our young adults to dream big dreams and allow our seasoned adults to dream big dreams and just watch the growth in our people, our society and our World. No realistic, well meaning person would have ever allowed the concept of a man walking on the moon back in the 50’s, but I can testify to you that on that fateful day in 1969 I was a 1st lieutenant in the US Marine Corps in Advanced Flight training one month from earning my “Wings of Gold” as a Naval Aviator and launching my flying career that has been World Wide in scope and certainly achieved the dream I had the courage to express at my dinner table as a 9 yr old … and I hope every child can achieve and embrace that same sense of achievement I’m feeling and Dream BIG Dreams.