Are you a dreamer?
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.” -Harriet Tubman
Dr. Martin Luther King was a dreamer. In 1963, Dr. King proclaimed his dream in front of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Ironically, it was 100 years after the signage of the Emancipation Proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln, who was one of our country’s greatest heroes and eloquent orators, fought to save the Union and end slavery. It is now more than 50 years since Dr. King vividly painted the true potential of America during his “I Have a Dream” speech, and millions of people are still in mental and physical bondage. We are now encountering another Civil War. But as Lincoln once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Dr. King yearned for a better America for everyone. Today, his dream of ending racism and economic stability for all seems nonexistent.
Are you a dreamer? Do you have the courage to dream? Three years ago, I decided that I wanted to become a dreamer. I felt that the walls of my classrooms were suppressing my purpose. After participating in national events, I saw what my future could be, and knew that I did not just want to have an impact locally. I wanted to make changes on a macro level. I saw myself speaking at conferences, and getting involved in educational policy in Washington, D.C.
When I think about the possibilities of my dreams, I get chills up my spine. I consider myself to be a change agent because I advocate for the voiceless, and speak up against education inequity and social injustice. My love for teaching is still here, especially for American History, and I present on cultural competency. I want to make people aware of how their biases affect their relationships with others. As the demographics of America continue to change, it is imperative for our country to become inclusive. I want to use my workshops to teach people that diversity is an asset through expanding their knowledge about different cultures. I’m inspired by the words of Les Brown, who said, “I think of myself as a catalyst of action and a messenger of hope, turning people onto themselves and turning people onto their dreams.” Like Brown, I am on mission to truly make America great again through providing people with the skills to interact with people that are different than them. Through becoming culturally competent, they will, in turn, change their attitudes about different cultures.
The time for you to start fulfilling your dreams is now. You do not want to live your life with regrets. You may be in awe of the fancy clothes and lavish lifestyles of the entrepreneurs you see on social media. However, being an entrepreneur is an adventure, and sometimes it’s unsexy. Jesse Owens is right when he says, “It takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
Remember that you are the navigator of your dreams. Do not allow negative thoughts or people to discourage you from going after what you want.
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” -Langston Hughes
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dreams. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.” -Lao Tzu
What are your dreams for 2018? Don’t underestimate yourself because the sky is the limit. In other words, you should only have God-sized dreams. Make 2018 the year of your dreams:
1. Always stay confident. If you do not believe your dream is attainable, then no one will.
2. Spend every day cultivating your dream (create a blueprint).
3. Review your goals on a regular basis. Monitor your progress and remove any potential barriers that may impede you in achieving your dream.
4. Always maintain a positive attitude.
5. Ensure you address your holistic needs: emotional, physical, and spiritual.
6. Visualize your dream through creating vision boards. How would it look? Who would it impact?
7. Do not let the word “no” discourage you. Be persistent until someone eventually says “yes.”
8. Be patient and stay the course. Understand that not everyone’s journey is the same.
9. Remember that there is never a perfect time, so do not wait for people’s approval.
10. Follow your intuition because those gut feelings are God’s silent whispers informing you if you are making the right decisions or not.
11. Start attaching deadlines to your goals. Read Brian Moran’s “12 Week Year.”
12. Get an accountability partner, someone that believes in you more than you believe in yourself. A person that will serve as a coach, celebrate your milestones, and always be honest with you.
13. Become a risk-taker and get accustomed to being uncomfortable.