When you are told to ‘follow your dream’, there are some unspoken words behind the phrase. And they are harsh. So I will rant through the article and let you decide if the process is worth your time.
Yes, it’s a rant. And this is why.
Whenever I have to jog, I like starting off at 5.45am. Earlier maybe but never a minute later. But when I have to go with my family, I have noticed that even after setting the time the evening before, something goes wrong. Either, a member of the family wakes up late or delays in their preparation. We end up leaving the house at 6am. 15 minutes late. I hate that!
Anger uncalled for?
Not at all. I just like setting my own clock; doing things my way, keeping to my pace and sticking to it if not pushing it further up.
The same applies when I have to work with others, I insist on them adapting to my time, thoroughness and pace. If not, I pursue the mission alone. The only compromise allowed is one aimed at sweetening the results.
This is the way to go whenever you set your mind to doing something you believe you must achieve no matter what.
How Badly Do You Want to Follow Your Dream?
For a long time I did not understand why I became irritable whenever I had to compromise on time or efficiency. When I planned to do anything, I set apart time for it. I found it difficult to allow a few minutes past in case a partner, family member or friend was getting late. I also hated doing anything just to complete it.
I still do. So last week while talking to my good friend, Ben, I brought up this topic. I needed to hear his opinion on this irritating issue.
You see, while everyone else headed home after schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ben, being a student at a local university stayed. And against all odds he and his friend setup up a business. Neither his parents nor friends saw the sense in this as businesses in Mombasa, like any other town in the country were closing down.
Ben and company heard none of it.
They instead bulldozed through the catastrophe with only a tenth of the proposed capital. That meant negotiating for better payment terms for every item needed for their business.
Needless to say, carrying his own cross and following his dream bore him fruits beyond measure. The stubborn fighter spirit in him led to the realization of his dreams – never to ask for financial support from his parents.
As I chatted with Ben, the agony about time and thoroughness came to light. Here it is.
My Bittersweet Crosses
When I set my mind to pursue something, the thought is grounded on a belief in prioritizing it no matter what.
For example, jogging is important for the relaxation of my brain and increased performance. But so is setting great breakfast for my family, it gives me emotional strength. Then there is my work, where I get my bread and butter.
While all these activities require my attention, they have to follow each other in a certain order, consume a certain amount of time and never overlap.
Meaning, on a day when jogging is scheduled, I must observe time. After the exercise comes breakfast; a sacred one-hour session for discussing family life over the meal. Then I proceed to open my shop; this website, to ensure you have fresh content to build your inborn talents.
These are my crosses to carry.
And since I have chosen to follow my dream, no one is allowed to mess the cross-carrying program. Not even my children; the main beneficiaries of my work.
Your Ambition. Your Cross. Carry It
Your dream, no matter how helpful it is going to be to the mass upon fruition is your personal cross to carry. Nobody needs to believe in it during its tender age but you. You are the air that it breaths, its blood and its life.
So stop trying to tug everyone into it accommodating uncalled-for sluggishness and compromises.
Instead, assume a farmer’s attitude. Believe in your seed; that project born of your inborn talent, and tend to it even when no one cares. And when the harvest is ready, sell the crop at the best price while maintaining the ‘You see, I told you it was worth it’ smile.
There are times I have had to leave the family behind to ensure that I start jogging in time for my peace of mind and efficiency later in the day. It hurts, sometimes, as I enjoy their company a whole lot.
But trust me, your family and friends, like mine and Ben’s will understand when the dream materializes.
Never insist on anyone keeping up with your cross; they neither need to nor have to. They do not even have to like the project you are working on. It is your cross. Carry it and follow your dreams.
How to Carry Your Cross and Follow Your Dream
Now, look into the activities you have planned for this month regarding your dream. Most hindrances you will face come from compromises your friends and family expect you to make. That includes time and change of priorities. If you give in, the maturation date for your dream will delay. Or worse still, never come to pass.
Remember, the results of your dream benefit the same people asking you to relax the rules.
Yes, you need to set apart time for the people you love, factor that in. But when it is time to work, shut everyone out and tackle that activity keeping your dream within line of sight. Do not mix the two nor fear losing any. It is the price you have to pay!
Keep Your Eyes on that Dream. You are Never Alone
During the family devotion session, my daughter took us through four Bible verses that inspired the conclusion of this article. I took them as an inner conversation between me, (you) and God.
He says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”1
In agreement I say “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”2 My mind and heart joins the conversation, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”3
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”4
That inborn talent you are shaping, the business you are setting around it and the exact activity you need to accomplish right now represents your cross. For me, the current activity is writing this article for you.
And your dream is the goal you have set to know when you have done the job the right way. My dream is to ensure every inborn talent in Africa is packaged, ignited into a business creating an exciting life for the bearer.
You are that talent bearer, the dreamer. So here is my gift to you today:
- Have courage: Realize your inborn talent is God-given. It is your assignment and a tool of service to your fellow mankind. God gave it to you expecting that you will put it into use. So as you shape it and coin your dream around it; whatever it is you want to achieve with it, remember, your Maker is with you.
- Be Focused: For your dream to come to pass, you will need to set yourself apart to work on it. Separating yourself from your family and friends allows you to focus on your calling. Your dream.
- Just believe: When you believe in your dream and own it, it grows to maturation, serving the same people you had to separate yourself from while following your dream.
You may seem to walk alone for now, but you are never alone. The God-and-you chat above and these three points will give you strength to carry your cross and follow your dream!
- Joshua 1:9
- Philippians 4.18
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- Jeremiah 29: 11