How often does the opportunity to fulfill a dream present itself? Do we recognize the opportunities when they appear and respond accordingly? Have we learned to frame them in a way that allows us to act upon them? How many of us allow ourselves to have dreams and set goals? Do we understand and acknowledge the power of a dream and what it can do not only to inspire us but to inspire others?
After recently fulfilling a lifetime dream of riding my motorcycle across a large portion of Canada, I’ve taken time to reflect on the power that dreams have in shaping our lives and futures. I’ve asked family, friends and associates how their current lives align with their childhood dreams and discovered that for the majority there is a connection between their early dreams and current reality. Rachel Starkey, one of the owners of CottonTales factory in Egypt and founder of Transformation Textiles, asks new employees about their dreams and/or goals and frequently discovers that some individuals did not know or understand what a dream/goal was. Following are some of those dreams that were shared with me:
- I want to be a good business man.
- I want to organize and work with world orphan group.
- I want to be the manager of a factory in Dubai and a factory in Madrid.
- Always dreamed of being very good in my work…I wished in the future that I will be a small factory which realize my dreams.
- I want to be established by work.
- I want to start a handicraft business in my village for poor women.
Rachel’s dream is “To strategically utilize all useable fabric waste from the Alexandria Public Free Zone transforming it into blankets and garments for refugees.” It is posted with the others around the factory ensuring that everyone is aware and able to provide support in working towards their fulfilment. Inspirational.
One of my hosts during the Unshackled Tour shared that when she was able to visualize the goal, she was able to actualize it. This ability is vital along with the presence of a network of people that believe, encourage and help you work towards fulfilling it. I’d talked about a cross Canada trip for years and posted it on my Vision Board in 2009. I am thankful for the numerous individuals who connected with my vision for the Unshackled Tour and provided the support and encouragement that aided in it becoming a reality. They ensured that I was never really alone on the road, as they travelled with me in spirit and empowered me to complete this journey.
Looking back it is amazing to me to recount how many things fell into place without time for detailed planning. The trip came together over a five week period of time. Accommodations were booked without awareness of their proximity to the roads I needed to travel on yet ended up ideally located for travelling in and out of towns and cities. One example: Despite my extremely limited French vocabulary, Alec, a resident in Quebec City, took time to guide me to chemin Saint-Louis, the road that my B&B was located on. A short distance from the B&B was an entry onto the expressway that took me onto the Pierre La Porte Bridge across the St. Lawrence Expressway and on my way to New Brunswick. I had to address a couple of the fears I had about undertaking this journey: travelling in a large urban centre where I had limited knowledge of the language and roadways plus an unexplainable phobia of crossing long, high bridges. I stepped out of my comfort zone where I could avoid dealing with those fears because it was necessary to arrive at my final destination. In doing so, I faced my fears, learned they weren’t as I imagined them to be and acquired knowledge, confidence and some incredible moments and memories in my journey.
There is great value in responding to our inner voice when it prompts us to take action. Then we need to relax in the flow as we move beyond our comfort zone. When we address the fears that hinder us from moving forward meeting incredible people, having unique experiences and creating valuable memories becomes more than an opportunity. It becomes a reality and along the way not only our lives change but the lives of others. I’m sure the girls in Malawi have dreams that may include completing their education and together we can help them accomplish fulfill those dreams by providing options to barriers they face.
Special thanks to Shane and Kiona Kelly for inviting me to be a part of their special day providing another reason to travel across Canada.
The Unshackled Tour 2012 may have reached its destination but the journey continues. My utmost gratitude to those that journeyed with me and helped the dream become a reality.