Hi there again,
We’re back to look at the third line of our quote about striving for excellence.
This line says “dreaming more than others think is practical”
So what has this got to do with the practical task of striving for excellence.
Well for many the response would be, nothing at all.
Dreamers are often disparaged as impractical time wasters. You will have heard the phrase “He’s just a dreamer!” or “You must be dreaming.”
Yet history is paved with stories of men and women who made major discoveries, solved previously intractable problems and achieved greatness in their chosen field based upon their dreams and refusal to settle for anything less.
Look at just a few of the worlds dreamers and the dreams that made them great.
Martin Luther King, civil rights activist spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the 28 August 1963. He called for racial equality and an end to racial discrimination. The speech was voted the top American speech of the 20th century in 1999 by a panel of scholars, but its inspirational power came from an improvised ending where King talked about having a dream, and introduced into the psyche of the world the phrase “I have a dream”.
Important to note that this wasn’t just a speech-writer’s tool. King had referred to the dreams that were shaping his actions for many months.
His dream resulted in sweeping changes to the behaviour and attitudes of millions of Americans. 42 years after his death that dream still inspires many across the world to resist institutionalised racism and fight discrimination.
Mother Teresa believed that there were more souls in the world looking for love in their lives than were looking for food.
She dreamed of showing that love through her work among the chronically poor in India. She wrote “Life is a dream, realise it.”
She spent her whole life dreaming of making a difference in the world. She said “I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”
Whatever your religious beliefs are, history shows she fulfilled her dream.
Albert Einstein Nobel Prize winning scientist produced the famous E=MC2 equation for the Theory of Relativity, which asserts that time travel is possible when energy and mass become interchangeable. Einstein stated that his theory was inspired by a dream where he saw changes to the stars in the sky as he skied faster and faster down a mountainside.
That dream led to a lifetime of research and study to develop his hypothesis.
Mary Shelley The author of Frankenstein, conceived the monster and wrote the book after being entering into an agreement with the Poet Lord Byron, and her husband Percy to write a ghost story.
She dreamed the story after many weeks of effort. The book took three years to write being published when Shelley was 21 years old.
The book was very popular in 1821 and is still published today.
It has spawned over a 100 Frankenstein movies and a whole new and expanding genre in the area of horror/science fiction.
Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus hit a period of poor form in 1964, adding up to ten shots to his average round of golf.
Then one day he appeared on the golf course once again playing inspirational golf. When asked by reporters what had happened, he explained.
“Wednesday night I had a dream and it was about my golf swing. I was hitting them pretty good in the dream and all at once I realized I wasn’t holding the club the way I’ve actually been holding it lately.
I’ve been having trouble collapsing my right arm taking the club head away from the ball, but I was doing it perfectly in my sleep.
So when I came to the course yesterday morning I tried it the way I did in my dream and it worked. I shot a sixty-eight yesterday and a sixty-five today.”
Nicklaus maintained the same swing for the rest of his American Tour career and into the Senior events he now plays.
Finally lets look at Madam CJ Walker, an African American born to freshly emancipated slaves in 1867. Her life was a series of “hard knocks” from being orphaned at 6 and widowed at 20.
She took in washing so she could survive after her husbands death, and raised her daughter to adulthood.
She thought that life was dealing her another blow in 1905, when she suffered a scalp infection which caused her hair to start falling out. She tried everything available with no success and began to pray for some relief.
She says “He answered my prayer, for one night I had a dream, and in that dream a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up in my hair.
Some of the remedy was grown in Africa, but I sent for it, mixed it, put it on my scalp, and in a few weeks my hair was coming in faster than it had ever fallen out.
I tried it on my friends; it helped them.
I made up my mind to begin to sell it.”
She did this initially from door to door, then by employing other women to go door to door.
By 1913 she was employing over 2000 “Walker Agents” and had become a millionaire several times over.
These are six of many dreamers I could have written about, all of whom had a common attribute other than their dream. They each acted on the dream they had. They were prepared to follow there dreams through the indifference and sometimes animosity of others. That is dreaming more than others think is practical.
There is a lot of talk today about set and forget marketing, automatic list building, effortless path’s to achieving your goals.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against efficiency and using technology, but to fulfill your dreams will take blood sweat and sometimes even tears.
Looking at the achievements of these dreamers I think it may be well worthwhile.