Have you ever watched the movie Dreamer? I really like this movie. In it, Dakota Fanning plays the daughter of a couple down on their luck. The father works for this hateful man training horses and the mother is a waitress at a little diner that serves great pie. Together, they live on a horse farm that, over time, has become less of a farm and more of a place to exist than anything else.
Fate strikes and the family ends up with a horse with an injury. The kind of injury that typically means it would be better to put everyone, including the horse, out of their misery. Because the girl witnesses the horse’s bad fall, the father doesn’t have the heart to put her down on the spot. And on the drive from the horse track to the family barn, something must have shifted deep inside that guy because he gets home and decides to string up the horse into a contraption that just might heal the brokenness of the horse. And in the end, might allow the horse to heal the brokenness of the family as well.
During the course of the movie, the father rides an emotional roller coaster. At times he hopes something good will come of it and other times his hopes get crushed by circumstances out of his control. The daughter though, she never stops believing.
I’ve watched this movie several times and it never ceases to amaze me the dedication to hope this child has. She believes in a horse that no one else does and in the process, teaches others to believe in themselves as well.
What about you? Who believes in you? Are you knee deep in the mire of self-doubt and unbelief? Are you unable to take a step forward because others have told you that you can’t? Or are you someone who doesn’t need others to tell you that you aren’t able, because you’ve got that covered all by yourself?
If the above paragraph describes you and you’re still reading this, let me encourage you on your way to being a dreamer. In fact, there are some simple steps you can take to get on the path of dreaming and growing hope.
1. Give yourself permission to dream. It doesn’t have to be about something magnificent if you aren’t quite ready for that. Dream something small first. Imagine yourself taking the first step toward your goal. Envision it, picture it, re-play it in your mind. Dare yourself to smile as you imagine taking that first step toward something big in your life.
2. Stop listening to the naysayers around you. That’s right; you don’t have to listen to those folks who keep telling you that you can’t do something. Instead, walk away, daydream about taking the leap into your dreams while they talk, put in the headphones and turn up the tunes on something positive. Whatever you do, stop listening to them.
3. Once you’ve allowed yourself to dream of hope in the form that best suits you and you’ve stopped listening to all the Negative Nellies in your life, it’s time for step three. This should be easy or at least easier now that you’ve come this far. This is where you take the step. Writing a book? Put pen to paper or sit in front of the computer and type or take a writing course. Want to go to college? Pick up the phone and register, fill out a FAFSA, or choose a major. Interested in getting healthy? Take a walk, ride your bike, or find a healthy recipe to cook for dinner. Do you have a desire to increase the amount of quality family time? Unplug the television, institute family game night, or plan a trip together. Take the first step.
Being a dreamer doesn’t mean you’re always living in this fantasy world in your head. It means you’re envisioning something bigger, greater, or different than your physical world currently is. It doesn’t have to be a lonely journey or a difficult one. Dreaming is about living and smiling and enjoying life. It’s about growing hope from deep inside of you and daring yourself to go big or go home.
The little girl in Dreamer knew what it meant to dream. She spent a lot of time envisioning the dream she had for her family and she spent a lot of time on step three. The actual doing that dreaming requires in order for the dream to take shape, which reminds me that I forgot a step.
4. Keep at it. Don’t give up on whatever your dream is. Just because it doesn’t happen overnight doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Keep practicing, keep trying, and keep believing. Because you’re worth it in the end.
What are your dreams in life? Have you been harboring a dream that hasn’t yet come to life because you are surrounded by naysayers that insist you can’t make it? Do you struggle to keep focused on the dream and practicing what it takes to get there? Share your story. Get inspired. Inspire someone else.