Who you are hasn’t disappeared over the years; it’s just buried under the weight of events. Disappointments turned to pragmatism and you gathered what was needed for survival around you like a blanket. Survival is good. Survival is wisdom.
My mom is wise and strong, and she called my dream of being a writer a pipe dream. She recommended, wisely and pragmatically that I take a creative writing class. At the risk of violating the fifth commandment, I’m writing, and haven’t yet attended that class.
Mom sat in the passenger seat of the Honda she named The Blue Max. I sat next to her, driving north through downtown Seattle on the 5. The sun was shining. We had slightly less than a half tank of gas. I was disappointed but not surprised when she gave her pipe dream pronouncement. The memory hovers cloud-like on the days when I can’t even figure out how many days are in the pay period at work (it’s my job to know these things).
Do I believe I’ll make a living writing or speaking? Some days yes, some days no. But the truth about myself is that I am a writer, and a speaker, and a person who helps others uncover, defend, and magnify their gifts. Pipe dream or not, I’d rather rest in the truth than pretend.
If this is true for you, I will selfishly ask you to try to remember what it is you’re made of. Have a reunion with yourself.
Jon Acuff, author of Quitter and leader of the Quitter conferences sponsored by the Dave Ramsey organization says this:
“What I’ve realized over the years is that dreaming is not an act of discovery, it’s often an act of recovery, of rescuing something from your past that you loved and was lost. More often than not finding out what you’re called to do isn’t a first date, it’s a reunion.”
If you think you’re called to leadership, think back to the first moment you realized even dimly you were a leader. When was that? How did you know? What did you do with the idea? What will you do with it now?
Or try this: what’s your favorite color? When do you first remember deciding it was your favorite color? Why is it your favorite color, and what does it reveal about who you are?
Finally, how much cynicism erupted reading this post? (If you’re like me, I had to beat back the cynic beast even as I wrote. Memories will do that.)
Strengthen your resolve or just enjoy a great audio interview with Jon Acuff titled “Start With a Dream and End With A Goal” available online (scroll down till you see the title): http://www.daveramsey.com/media/audio/podcast/entreleadership.xml.