Never Give Up

If you could do anything with your life, without worry of financial constraints or fear, what would you do?

This is one of my favorite questions.  Ask it of yourself or someone you think you know, and either way you may be surprised at the answer.  So what is your dream?  Are you doing it now?  Whether your ultimate dream is to become head of your HR department, start your very own company, or buy that sheep farm you pass on your way to work each day, one thing is vital: Never Give Up!

Take, for instance, Nola Ochs of Kansas.  A 97-year-old grandmother, Nola is a college graduate.  She graduated two years ago, earning not only a degree but a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the oldest person to graduate from college.  Her ultimate dream?  To get a job on a cruise ship as a story teller.  And guess what?  She got the job, took the cruise, told the stories… then decided to go back to college to pursue her Master’s.  A perfect example that even achieving your dreams isn’t the end of the ride.

Feel a thousand miles away from your ultimate dream?  Well, we all know it starts with the first step.  Steve Carrell of “The Office” once held a 3rd shift job as a cashier in a 24-hour convenience store.  Johnny Depp?  Sold pens over the phone.  Ozzy Ozbourne worked in a slaughterhouse. (I can’t help the irony here – I’m just reporting.)  Howard Stern drove an ice cream truck, Carrie Underwood worked in a gas station, Albert Einstein was a simple patent clerk, George Washington was a land surveyor, and he never even went to college!  You get the point – achieving your dreams doesn’t have anything to do with where you are now.  But it has everything to do with the direction you’re facing.

Taking one small step every day is important.  If you want to buy that sheep farm, read books on sheep.  Visit sheep farms on the weekend.  Wear wool on every opportunity.  If you’re hoping to write the Great American Novel, write at least one page a day, and allow yourself to write absolute crap.  If you have to rewrite the whole page the next day, you’re still closer to your dream than if you never started at all.

Obstacles?  Yes, there are always those.  Sometimes we can walk over them and sometimes we have to learn to fly first; sometimes they take a day to overcome and sometimes we have to wait a long time, like Nola Ochs, to see our dreams come to fruition.  As difficult as achieving our dreams can be, as frustrating and heartbreaking and seemingly unobtainable at times, it’s a far, far better thing to strive to reach them than to live without them.

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