Squelching Dreams


Cello (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was talking with an acquaintance yesterday, and he shared a story that broke my heart.

He told me of a co-worker’s son. This boy was already an accomplished musician at the tender age of 14. He plays cello 6 hours a day (including weekends!) in addition to his regular schoolwork. He is almost good enough to play professionally. He’s obviously dedicated to it.

Yet his father doesn’t want him to pursue it. There are no “marketable” skills to be gained by playing the cello. There are only about 6 job openings a year. The excuses go on and on. The boy had even auditioned and been accepted to attend School for Creative and Performing Arts. The father is not going to allow it.

I kept thinking, “The boy is only 14! He loves what he does! Let him continue…he’s got plenty of time for learning ‘marketable’ skills.” I wanted to tell the father that there are so many parents who would love to have a child that is interested in something other than video games. Or plenty of us whose dreams have been crushed by some well-meaning person advising us to take the safe route.

Granted, I heard the story second-hand, but it still rings true. We’ve all heard this story in one way or another. Hell, I’ve even acted like the father, discouraging others from their following their dreams.

I hope the son finds a way to follow his passion, and his father finds a way to help him, however he can. That is my wish for everyone. To have the support you need to follow your dreams.


Let’s Pretend

Let’s pretend that the world really is going to end today.


Awards (Photo credit: pennstatelive)

Take a few moments from your busy day and meditate. Reflect on your life so far. Since we love to do this, make a list of your top 5-10 things you are most proud of. Then list your top 5-10 things that make you cringe.

Now it’s time to daydream. We’re going to pretend that we all wake up again tomorrow. What can you do to add to your proud list? How can you avoid the cringe list? Be as outrageous in your daydreaming as possible. Be sure to write down every idea you come up with, no matter how ludicrous it seems.

English: skydiving photo

Keep daydreaming, but this time list 5-10 things you wish you would have done before the world ended. Again, don’t worry about being realistic. Go into as much detail as you’d like. Ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to do this?
  • What will I gain if I do this?
  • Is there a way I can make this happen?

Tomorrow, when you wake up and find that the world didn’t end, look at your lists again. How can you add to  your proud list? Keep from adding to your cringe list? Do the things you regret not doing?

Here’s something to keep in mind as we clamor for the latest technological toy: we don’t need it!

Life Out of the Box

It’s hard to understand how a little notebook can mean so much to someone, when there are amazing products like the iPhone and computers that can do anything and everything we could ever ask for. But the reality is that not everyone can have these things. Some people, in fact, don’t even know what an iPad is. I remember when I showed a little girl here in Nicaragua some photos on my iPhone one time and she was blown away by the fact that when I swiped my finger across the screen on the phone, that the photo would change to a different photo. She called it magic. And I suppose, it really is magical. But where did this idea come from? Imagination. Creativity.

Life Out of the Box at The Peace Project in Nicaragua

When you live in a place where the average person lives on just $2 dollars a day, computers, TVs and iPhones aren’t even close to being…

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Mind Wasters

Wasting time = wasting mind. Do any of these apply to you?

  • Busy work: the stuff that fills our hours but does nothing to fulfill our existence. Mindless TV, surfing the internet, reading vacuous novels. These are passive activities that occupy our time with mindless entertainment. These things are fine in moderation.
  • Letting others’ wants and needs dictate the path you take. This is ok as long as you are aware of it. If their goals coincide with yours, or at least come close to your goals, then go for it. But if you are just along for the ride because there’s nothing better, spend some time doing a little soul-searching.
  • Not having goals. Set your sites on a goal that you can achieve in a year or so. And then do it. Define your life’s mission, and setting goals will be easy.
  • Not having a life mission. This is the biggest mind waster. If you have a mission, then the previous problems will be nonexistent for you.

Think about where you invest your energy and effort. Is it aligned with your core beliefs and mission? Are you working toward what you want to accomplish? Are you taking the direction you want in your life?

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:34)

Time is your treasure. Where is your heart? Do you need to change it?