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"The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just."
- Abraham Lincoln

"The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun."
- Napoleon Hill (1883-1970, Writer)

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Your Dreams As Touchstones

Miss Foley sits on the floor in front of a semi circle of six year olds. "What do you dream of being when you grow up?" she asks the pony tail wearing girls and freckle faced boys. Bryan doesn't hesitate, "I am going to be a firefighter like my Uncle Gregg. He is SOOOO brave and his truck is SOOOO cool!" Kayla smiles, eyes clear as a bell, "I am going to be a movie star!" She laughs and adds, "I might be a movie star before I grow up."

The other children respond with their future careers being as diverse as Gold Medal winning figure skater for Charlene and Professional baseball player for Todd.

As Bryan, Kayla, Charlene and Todd grow and develop, they may realize that these dreams are indeed lofty. They may achieve these particular dreams. On the other hand, chances are that these dreams will be out of reach.

Entering adulthood, they have several choices: they can follow the lead of author Napoleon Hill and decide to "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blue prints of your ultimate accomplishments."

They may look deep within their initial dreams and literally give birth to even more powerful, life changing, community and world altering visions.

Or, they can decide that dreams are impossible. Not for them.

Todd is attracted to bravery, physical prowess, adrenalin pumping, challenging experiences. If not winning the world series in the ninth inning of the seventh game, he could follow a career path or create a lifestyle incorporating those experiences.

He could rock climb, or hang glide, or teach rock climbing or hang gliding. He could teach baseball. He could play on a community team. He could work as a Stock broker, or an Attorney, or a Teacher in a tough neighborhood inspiring students to living full and complete lives.

Think for a moment: how could he express the qualities that made him aspire to be a professional baseball player?

As a teen, I had the desire to be the next Carly Simon. As I grew older, I literally fell asleep to that possibility. I would certainly never be as tall as she is, nor would I marry a rock star like her, nor would I form a singing group with my sister.

What I did do, though, is realize what it is about my favorite singer that I could emulate through my life.

Carly Simon had a horrible stutter and awful stage fright. To combat this, she sang.

She started with her sister, Lucy, as the duo "The Simon Sisters." She parlayed this into a solo career, singing her way out of her speech impediment.

She did not rest on the laurels of being heir to a publishing empire. She created her own persona. She was surrounded with successful artistic people.

Her sister Joanna is an accomplished Opera singer, sister Lucy went on to compose music for Broadway musicals and her brother, Peter is a photographer. I can apply these lessons to my life as you can too. I can do those tasks which are the most fear inducing in order to minimize them, eventually erasing them by continuing to meet them face to face instead of running from them.

I can continue to work on my craft, writing even when I don't feel like it, using my eraser a lot, and finding opportunities to meet and surround myself with other people who are writing, speaking, and coaching.

I am now a regular at Open Mic night at Barnes and Noble here in Bakersfield.

This has been an incredibly fulfilling experience: reading my work for an audience gives me that immediate response. Powerful. Life changing. Magnetic. Dreams draw us forward, towards an even more fulfilling, joyful and abundant life.

Dreams build bridges between where we are now and where we can be in the future whether that means tomorrow, six months from now or ten years from now.

Fuelling our inner drive, they make our feet light, our tasks exciting instead of burdensome and our hopes infinitely possible.

Have you revisited your dreams lately? Have you carefully examined what they are beckoning you towards?

In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "Dreams are the touchstones of our character." What are your touchstones calling you to be today?

Julie Jordan Scott

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Last Update: June 21, 2018