It is easy to get caught up in the negative. The reality is we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, and we could focus on that, the news stations do. There are a ton of things wrong with people but there are also a ton of things pretty right about them too.
Having traveled in developing nations, I have found that I can appreciate some of the simpler things in life such as running water, electricity, the kindness of strangers, and clean drinking water. If you live in the United States, own a car, a house or TV, you are richer than 99% of the people of the world.
There is nothing redeemable or justifiable in complaining about the trivial. It is too easy to focus on what we do not have while overlooking what we do have. When we focus and talk about the positive things in our lives, we remind ourselves of all the good in the world; and we allow gratitude in our lives.
Being positive directs our steps. If we say such things as "I'm no good at writing" or "I'll never do anything that matters," then we will probably not be good at writing and we’ll likely never do anything that matters. When we start to speak the positive possibilities into the future, we will begin to see our destiny shape.
In "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn tell a story about a woman named Tererai from Zimbabwe. Tererai grew up in a small village where mostly the boys were the only ones allowed to be educated because of limited resources. Tererai's parents did allow her to go to school for awhile, but then they arranged for her to marry a man when she turned eleven.
The husband turned out to be abusive and forbade her to educate herself anymore. Her life intersected with an organization called Heifer International, an aid organization that is based out of Arkansas that provides cows, goats, chickens, and other animals to farmers in developing nations. The president of Heifer International, Jo Luck, talked to Tererai and told her that things did not have to be the way they were.
She encouraged her to write down her goals. Tererai was a married mid-twenties woman living in Zimbabwe without a formal education, but she dared to dream and wrote down her goals. She wrote that one day she would go to the U.S., earn her bachelor's degree, masters and eventually her PhD.
Admittedly, those were pretty big goals. As the years passed she would cross off the goals she achieved. She began with correspondence classes and eventually got into Oklahoma State University where she earned her degree while working nights to support herself. She would go back home to visit her children and family and cross off her goals.
She received her Masters while living in Arkansas working for Heifer International. She returned back home to her family and crossed off her second goal. She is now in Michigan with her children earning her PhD.
We cannot allow the excuses of life to keep us from our dreams. If you’ve given up on your dreams I dare you to dream again. You are here on the planet for a purpose. If you are living the dream and you're tired and weary, I’m here to tell you don’t grow weary in doing good. You are made for this. You got this and God has you.
Dreams really do come true. They come true when we write them down, when we focus on the positive, when we focus on what we can do, and not what we cannot do. Dreams are achieved when we are content with small beginnings, and when we are patient, diligent and persistent with the little things. Then over time, and really, over some more time (longer than we would all care to admit) we will see the impossible become the possible. We will find ourselves fulfilled as we live out our calling and our destiny.
Pic by Heart Visuals