How many times have you dreamed about winning the lottery? How many hours have you spent fantasising about how you’d spend the money and how you’d help those closest to you? You dream even though the odds are stacked against you. Even though the chances of you actually winning the lottery are as rare as hens’ teeth.
Why? Because dreaming is fun. It gives us an escape from real life and to imagine a world with no barriers.
Sure, not all of our dreams will come true but that doesn’t mean that we can’t – and shouldn’t – dream! Dreams give us hope. They help us to set goals and to find the motivation to get as close to those goals as possible. To dream is to find the excitement in life, to look forward to the future with anticipation and longing.
Yet, it breaks my heart to hear people say that they don’t encourage their children to dream big because it instils in them a false sense of hope that will ultimately end in disappointment and heartache. Why put them through that, they say. Why give them something to look forward to and work towards if they can never achieve it?
Because sometimes, dreams do come true. They might not be exactly as we imagined them but they come pretty damn close and who are we to take that away from any child?
My daughter Sophie has dreams to be a prima ballerina in a world-class ballet. The odds are against her: she’s in the wrong country, competition is high, and there are many who like to remind her that dancing will never pay the bills.
So am I supposed to make her stop dancing? To tell her to stop pursuing the one thing that she lives and breathes every second of every day? Just because there’s a good chance she won’t end up in The Julliard School?
No, I wouldn’t dream of it (no pun intended). Quite the opposite, in fact.
I tell her that, if her dream is to be a professional dancer, then she better start working damn hard for it – both on the dance floor and in school because she’s not going anywhere if she doesn’t have good grades. I tell her that dreams don’t just manifest themselves. They take hard work and dedication and goal setting. I tell her that she will feel like she’s failing all the time but that, if she wants it badly enough, she’ll get up and try again. Maybe she never will dance under the big lights. But maybe she will. And I sure as hell am not going to be the one to stop her or to plant the tiniest seed of doubt in her mind.
If she doesn’t try, she’ll never know.
I’m trying to take my own advice. My dream is to build a massively successful Pilates studio and to be a role model for Sophie and her older siblings. I am living, walking, breathing proof that nothing in life comes easy. I’ve been chasing this dream for years. Maybe I’ll achieve it, maybe I won’t but I’ll never stop trying. I’ll keep pushing for it and one day, when I win the lottery, I’m going to build the biggest, most impressive Pilates studio you’ve ever seen. Just you watch.
It takes courage to pursue your dreams. It takes courage to stand up in the face of adversity and to keep pushing when everyone is telling you to stop. Please don’t ever stop. You might just be one last push away from saying you did it. Won’t that be worth all the sweat and tears?
Happy Mother’s Day to all my amazing mums. You are who I see when I imagine my dream. The ones cheering on all the little people and being their biggest fans, even if they are the slowest on the team. You are the ones carrying the beacon of hope and keeping their dreams alive. And for that, I salute you.