Dreams are only an illusion, until you open your eyes and take actions to make them real. -Justin Harmon
Back in the Day
There were many times in my life where I felt like a prisoner. A prisoner of the society I live in. A prisoner of my circumstances. A prisoner of my fears and doubts. A prisoner of expectations and responsibilities.
I felt like I didn’t have a say in how I wanted my life to go. I always had big dreams growing up. As a kid, I wanted to be a professional baseball player so bad.
I had a vision of myself where I would be up to bat for my favorite team, (St. Louis Cardinals) and I would just be soaking up the moment as my family and friends looked on, along with a stadium full of cheering fans, hoping for me to come through for the team.
You know what happened to that dream?
It died inside my mind.
My biggest dream died because I was too shy to join the team when I was a kid.
I’m not saying that I could have become a pro if I would have joined the team and kept playing, practicing, sacrificing, working hard, and believing the rest of the way (I may have).
I could have overcome my shyness though. I could have followed my little heart and just went for it. But I didn’t. Years later I finally joined a summer league for freshman. My family and I just moved to a new town, so naturally I didn’t know anyone.
My 6 weeks with the team, led to 0 games started, 5 at bats, 0 hits, 2 walks, and a run scored.
I wasn’t very good. Then again, I had never played fast pitch before. The practices included the “well known” players that were already established ( 13 year old established, really?) getting all of the coaching. Myself and a couple of the other guys became bench warmers and cheerleaders basically.
Can you guess what I did? … I quit!
Just like that, I quit. Because I wasn’t getting any playing time or attention, I gave up. I gave up because I didn’t think I was good enough. I quit because that is what I was good at.
I could have let go of that self-doubt and shyness and worked my butt off to become the best that I could be. But I didn’t.
That was as close as I got to my professional baseball playing career.
I shared my story with you because everyone has a dream that (they think) is bigger than they are. I am sure you have had some kind of dream that seemed like it was out of reach. I did. I never even thought for a moment that my biggest dreams could ever be a reality. Not once.
I would wish and dream and fantasize all the time, but nothing else.
As I started to get older, I started to become more practical (in my mind) with the way I looked at my future goals and objectives.
Here’s how that turned out. I started and stopped college twice and I’ve had over 30 jobs. Yeah. Looks like being practical worked out real well. All that did was lead me to become unhappy with my life, party more, and care less.
That bothered me. It bothered me that not only did I know that I wasn’t someone who could be happy with doing the “status quo” thing, but I didn’t believe I could do anything about it. I wouldn’t have even known where to start if I did.
Learning and Experience
When I finally realized that I needed something more and it would be physically impossible for me to be happy if I didn’t love what I was doing, I started searching.
I searched high, low, and everywhere in between. I looked on the Internet, reading books and blogs on online business and inspiration. I wasted money on get rich quick schemes. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a purpose. I didn’t have a clue.
Over 8 years of experimenting, trying, and failing to find the golden ticket of my life. To essentially become rich enough to not have to work for corporate America.
I gave up again. I quit.
This time because of many reasons, but mostly because I gave in to what everyone else around me was saying. They told me to just get a good job and stay put. “Plant some roots for your life. You need to settle down and face reality.”
Well, as much as I disagreed with the idea of doing things because, “that’s just the way it is“, I did it.
I moved back to my hometown, started working for a large distribution center in the area, fell in love with the woman I would marry, had a beautiful daughter, and started living the American Dream.
Alright. All of that’s true except for the American Dream part. More like the road to hell! That’s not to say I don’t love and am not thankful for my family, I am. They are my world.
The rest of it…the American Dream, is like diving off a cliff and forgetting that the water is 6 inches deep.
Follow Your Dreams
Suddenly, there I was. 27 years old, married, with a one year old child. I was the only one working because my wife wanted to stay home with our daughter while she was a baby. I didn’t have a problem with that. I had a good paying job for the area and we got by.
I had started re-attending college the year before, starting to plan for the future. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. Because of the baby, school, work, and family life, I was home a lot. I was on the Internet a lot.
I was constantly searching for something new. I found something that intrigued me, only to look for something else a little while later.
I started reading ALOT. I was probably reading between 2-3 hours a night. That was all of the free time I had each day. I must have read about 20 books in 6 months. Not sure if that is considered a lot to you or not, but for me that was unheard of.
I wasn’t just reading to read either, I was reading to learn. I read every book I could find on inspiration, making a difference, online business and marketing, blogging, and overcoming fear and failure.
This led me to others who were living a new version of the American Dream. It was based on helping others, making a difference in the world, and being passionate about what you do.
There was an entire movement of people genuinely trying to make a difference in the world by living their passions and helping others. I was immediately in. I just didn’t know where I would fit in. That is, until I took action.
I started and quit 2 blogs in a year. I then took another 10 months to learn even more about the quest I was about to take. Not long after, Unplugged Recreated was born.
After everything I have learned, I was able to create and design a website, put the message I wanted to give to the world in words, help people, and have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and in my own life.
You Gotta Keep Dreaming!
If you’re like me, then you have no choice but to keep moving forward on your life’s dreams, because you can not see it any other way. If you want to start dreaming again, start to believe in yourself, your abilities, and your experiences.
Use them to be a tool for inspiration and motivation. Not only for yourself, but for others as well.
Dream big. Think Big. Take Big Actions! Follow Your Dreams