Human Interest

The Dynamic Tension Between Dreams & Duty

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The effective pursuit of one’s dream requires belief, commitment, passion and endurance. There is nothing worse than to hear a person complain about how their dreams were dashed, because of something someone else did to them only to learn there was a lack of belief, commitment, passion or endurance on their part. Our dreams and visions for a good life or outstanding accomplishments serve as fuel for making sense of life. Most people pursue their dreams on some level and in some way. Separation begins when we consider whether people engaged in their dream pursuits effectively. Those who want to increase the likelihood of accomplishing their goals and experiencing their dreams operate with a strong belief that it can happen. Dream-livers also seem to have decided to pursue. They are committed with concrete conviction about their pursuits. Passion is evident in the way they go about their work. Many read and study extensively about their area of pursuit. Dreamers who are passionate will engage in conversation or activities related to their goals at the drop of a hat. Rarely are they easily persuaded to quit early or often. These dream-chasers have a stick-to-it attitude with a bounce-back in their spirits. Dreamers are not air heads as some may suppose from time to time. Those who dream are the ones who can see into the future as if it happened last week. They are detailed about where they want to go and certain about where they don’t want to end up. Real dreamers are allergic to nightmares, so they take necessary precautions to avoid permanent failure. In some instances, they fail often because of reaching as far up and out as they can and beyond even that. However, even the best of the best run into life obligations and responsibilities that can prohibit, prolong, postpone and sometimes cancel the possibility of experiencing that coveted dream.

There are times when duty can be a preventative demand against the full manifestation of one’s dream. Duty can take many forms in life. Family obligations are, quite often, the kinds of duty that can create a dynamic tension between one’s dream and one’s responsibilities. Family obligations could be anything from taking care of a sick relative, to working a second or third job to make ends meet. Duty could literally be of a military nature. Many citizens in the U.S.A. serve in military reserve units. At various times soldiers are required to be away from home, work, or other normal activities at inopportune times. Nevertheless, they must fulfill their duty. Duty can be of a spiritual nature as well. Many people serve in their local churches to fulfill their religious commitments. There are times when pursuit of one’s dream could conflict with cultural and community expectations within that local congregation. The best of us are faithful, available, inspired and resilient when it comes to family, faith and finances. However, there are times when it becomes very difficult to do all things well. Being committed to the pursuit of your dream and simultaneous fulfillment of your duties can leave you confused and stressed. No one wants to be miserable or full of regret, because her dream was not pursued or experienced. At the same time, it is not honorable to reach all your goals, accomplish great things, but fail in the essential areas of life that were your responsibility whether you reached your personal goals or not. Many have done great things, but left a tone of carnage along the way.

To ensure we meet our obligations as we fully pursue our dreams, there are a few strategies we should consider.

1. Be sure you have critically examined your dreams.

Not to be a party poop, but every idea we get should not automatically become a goal and certainly not a dream. A dream must be rich and worthy of the time, effort and commitment it will take to bring it to fruition. Therefore, critical analysis of what you suspect to be a dream is appropriate. In my book TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE: 10 Concepts to Consider, I talk about this in greater detail. To claim something as your dream should mean that you have thought about it By Jonathan M. Wynne, M.A., M.B.A., M.Ed. for Fresh Lifestyle Magazine November 2017 and that thing has met and exceeded your standard. Your dream reveals how you see yourself. Ask yourself if your dream is big enough. Can it be done easily? Will you need the help and support of God and others to make it a reality? Don’t be afraid to allow your dream to be as big as an epic film series versus a ten-minute short-film. There’s nothing wrong with short films, if you don’t promote them as full-feature motion pictures and charge full price. Your customers would be highly disappointed. You would be showing a lack of integrity and self-respect. So, dream big, but be careful not to embrace dreams that don’t compliment the kind of person you really want to be.

2. Ensure your dreams are connected to the person you are now.

Your dreams are guideposts to your future. The pursuit of dreams can dictate major and minor life decisions. Some decisions take you to a point of no return. Therefore, it is important to take care to embrace dreams that will enhance the person you are now. Beware of pursuing dreams that require you to be so different until you lose yourself. This is not always an easy task. However, it is very important that you become certain of who you are and who you are meant to become as you embrace and pursue your dreams. In my book R.S.V.P. Receive Salvation and Validate Your Purpose: A Guide to Understanding and Accomplishing Your God-Reason for Living, you will find information and encouragement to help you think more clearly about your purpose in life. Clarity of purpose comes from an understanding of who you are. Once you know who you are you will have a better standard by which to determine the connectivity of potential dreams to be embraced and pursued.

3. Make certain your dreams can be supported by moral integrity.

Let me be clear and direct on this point. There is no point in you pursuing dreams that require you to engage in anything that is morally depraved. I know that sounds old fashioned like something from the 1950’s. However, you are too valuable to invest time and energy into anything that is not worthy of the time and effort you and others will have to invest for successful achievement. When you are clear about who you are, you cannot sell yourself short. There is a way for you to prosper and achieve at the highest levels and do it in a manner that you can be proud of publicly and privately. My dad always told me “Don’t worry about what other people have. You don’t know what they had to do to get it. You may not want to do what they did.” He was a wise man. As I got older, I began to see what he meant. I want to encourage you to make the most of your time. Don’t waste time on dreams that will leave you miserable, because they require you to become another person. I am encouraging you to select dreams that cause you to grow and become a more fully developed person, but not a different person. It takes time to know the difference. Your integrity will keep you while your dream is in process.

When your dreams are filtered to help you maintain your moral integrity and enhance who you are at the core of your being, you will be better able to deal with the tension between pursuing your dream and fulfilling your duty. The idea here is to make sure dreams you go after for tomorrow have room for you to take care of your today. Your dreams and duties should complement one another. It is not always easy to see, but when your dreams are anchored in integrity, they will accommodate your duties. Before investing too much time in the pursuit of a dream, pray about it. Seek God’s wisdom to see if it is worthy of your investment. God has a plan for your life and your dreams, when they fit in with His plan, it will cause your duties and your dreams to dovetail and grow together as you fulfill your God-Reason for living.

I am a speaker, trainer and consultant. *KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Inspiring the Audience to embrace their charge. *WORKSHOP TRAINING: Effectively enhancing the skills of your staff. *CONSULTING SERVICES: Coaching and facilitating your planning and management efforts.

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