Giving up on Your Dreams?

Zechariah Newman —  January 28, 2017 — 9 Comments

This last nine months life has been a whirlwind for me. It has been a mixed bag of everything from a nervous breakdown and health scare, sickness in my family, and more responsibility than time. In the last year, I gave up on my long-term dreams to write a book that people actually would read. My dream that I was shooting for felt like it would never happen and in the end, I laid it down and honestly thought I was done writing on this platform. I became jaded by the whole thing. Thinking things like, “Why was everyone else getting this platform thing to work, and I wasn’t? Why was it easy for them? I don’t want it anyway.” My identity became so wrapped into how many times something got shared. I found myself in comparison mode and depressed. Feeling like a fake and a hack I stepped aside, writing two posts in 9 months.

I think we all have moments of feeling like a failure and questioning our worth. We all struggle, we just struggle with different things in different ways. It is easy to want to be made different, but in reality the desire to want to be different than who we are is a trap to put us on the sidelines. I have never had trouble moving with the end in mind. I can envision what I want and what it will be like to achieve the desire in my heart. However, this can make me focused on what has not come to completion. If you have a dream in your heart, I have a few cautions for you.

Who is your dream for? We can act more sacrificial than we are. The reality is that your dream is a mix of wanting to help people, but also a self-serving portion. The longer I pursued my dream, the less it became about help and the more it became about me. I needed a refocus on who this dream was for, that it wasn’t about me. When you get frustrated, remember it’s not about you. Ask yourself, how can I serve others better?

One is all that matters. If you want to help people you need to treat each customer, email subscriber, or employee as an actual person. Dream big, but never greater than serving one human being at a time. It is tempting to play the numbers game and not the life transformation game. Growth only tells us if we are doing a good job of serving the one person that is listening to us. Ask yourself, how can I serve just one person better?

Priority. Priority is a simple word to write, however, a hard thing to practice. We can become a slave to our dream instead of having it flow out of our lives. There will be a time that you stay up too late, work too hard, and get out of priority, but have checks and balances in place so that out of priority doesn’t become your new standard.

Calendar. If you are going to chase any dream that is in your heart, it will take over. Sit down and calendar out the year. Start with personal days and family vacation days, then move into significant events, and lastly the dream and how you are going to get there. If you don’t put it on the calendar, it won’t happen. My wife and I want to go back to Hawaii and I believe we have said “next summer” for the last four years. Life happens. Plan it or you are lying to yourself and your family about what you are going to do.

At the end of the day, my dream not being comfortable is one of the greatest gifts of my life and it can be that way for you with the right perspective. When your vision looks dead, it will challenge your why and your ulterior motives. Don’t give up, however, you may need to step back and take a break. A new direction may be required. Take some time to yourself and your family. Life is short, but it is also long. Make sure to step back and refuel. Focus on others and run in such a way that honors the dream giver. Be blessed on your journey.

What cautions do you have for dream chasers?

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  • Thanks, Zech. Probably the dominant thought I’ve had the last few months is that I need to stay uncomfortable. I have let myself get way too comfortable the last few years, and not challenging myself enough in various ways. Don’t give up on that book project–you can do it! (If I can do it, anyone can.) Let me know how I can help.

  • As I sit here thinking about what job or non career to stay at or begin new, I remember the words of my coach that my wife reminded me of recently.
    Whenever you find yourself being comfortable. Ask if you are happy. If you are not. Then get as uncomfortable as you can as fast as you can. Kent make that choice today. Zech stay uncomfortable as I know you always are. 🙂

    Keep pushing guys.

  • Thank you for being so transparent my friend. I went through some of the same last year with my writing. Praying for you and your family! Blessings – Keith

  • I know that feeling all too well Zech! While I haven’t stepped aside from writing, I have found myself wondering what I’m doing and why. By focusing on those two areas, I’ve gained some clarity. Keep focused on the WHY. You’re helping people, that’s what matters.