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2017.08.08, Tuesday
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2017.08.30, Wednesday

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A DREAM AS A YOUTH

Do you know what the youth of today hope for?

I was recently in a classroom in which a basic 4 boy asked, “Why are dreams important?” You should have seen the hands of his classmates shoot up. Here’s what the kids said:

“Having a dream gives you a direction.”
• “It helps you make better choices because you don’t want to mess up your
chances for success.”
• “Dreams help you do better in school because you got to study to get to where
you want to go.”

You see, kids know.

This is the way I see it. Dreams are imaginings of what we can make happen in our lives. We can also call them goals. We might think of them as coming in three major flavors: short-term, medium-term and long-term. For example, in a classroom setting, a short-term goal can be planning the process for completing a book report or science project. A medium-term goal is what they would like to accomplish during the school year, like playing on a team. The long-term goal is the direction they want to take for their big dream in life, like going to college or choosing a profession or trade. Each dream requires small steps and these practical steps build a strong foundation for success.

I like the way Sam Adeyemi said it.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundation under them. Pst Sam Adeyemi

Often, the challenge for a young person is to figure out what small steps of success will help move him toward his dream in the sky. Or, how to attach his dream in the sky with his life down on earth. I think of it as building a foundation of practical measures. Dreaming of the good things that can be acted upon now. This energizes and motivates youths to put together the pieces of the puzzle for a positive future.

Here are a few things youths can do to make it happen:

1) Clarify the dream by getting a sense of how they can live their lives in the big picture.
2) Create the blueprint by mapping their dreams (all flavors) and what steps it will take to build them.
3) Identify the people and resources who will be partners in the dream and in helping them accomplish their goals.

Without a vision, a nation perishes.
Proverbs 29:18

I believe it. More to the point, youth without a vision perish. There is a part of them that dies when they don’t feel they have the chance to actualize their dreams. The results of a study I conducted in my early days in the ministry in 2003 showed that students in secondary school had big dreams, but that by tertiary school many had “netted out” success by having a job and a car and not necessarily their diplomas. So, why did their dreams vanish?

Youths are voicing a sense of hopelessness through their choices. Dropping out of high school, suicide, pregnancy, drugs, and crime. They are not productively engaged in their lives even though they want to be.

The importance of their dreams needs to be of high value to us since it is to our youth that we entrust the future. And, look at the legacy we leave them! War, debt, global warming and all of the fears that come with these challenges. Where is there room for their “castles in the air”?

Sometimes dreams can unwittingly be shot down because we, as adults, see them as “pie in the sky.” It may be tempting to respond negatively. “We don’t have the money.” “You’re not smart enough to do that.” “Don’t get your hopes up, you’ll only get hurt.” But these sorts of messages demote dreams. They can turn a hopeful youth’s life into drudgery. If we don’t encourage their dreams, can we be surprised when youth make the choices they make? Below are reasons why a youth needs to follow their dreams:

The secret of living is giving, if you follow your dreams then you will have something worth sharing with others, hope, inspiration and a meaning to live, and that to me, is a great contribution.
Chasing your dreams will develop your courage. Courage is your fuel to achieve amazing success in life, follow your dreams and exercise courage. In sure enough time you will be unstoppable.
There is a reason why as kids we loved magic and dreams. Stop chasing your dreams and you will forget how it feels to live hopeful and young.
Great dreamers grow to be independent, learning that they can make a difference all by themselves.
Dreams can distract you from the negative events in life. You will weigh up what is more important, your dreams or the drama. Drama seems obsolete when you are passionate about following your dreams.
It gives you something to share and inspire your kids with, you have led by example that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
Through accomplishing your dreams you will come to appreciate the experience of failure and know that failure is just part of success and that it wasn’t really all that bad as it was all worth it in the end.
Regret is a terrible thing, and a dream is powerful enough to bring you regret if you don’t take the chance to at least follow it.
Because you are never too old to dream. Age means nothing when we know what we want.
You become an interesting person, you show others you have meaning, direction and purpose.
The unknown of following your dreams may spark a little fear, this is okay though because a little fear is known to make you feel more alive.
It is fun proving the world wrong, so why would you follow the status quo?
The more you chase and accomplish your dreams the more the lines of the boundaries that the world puts in front of us fade, as we learn that any and everything is possible.
When you accomplish your dream, you are the first to see it happen. You can share your accomplishments with the rest of the world but you were there in the front row on a single chair to experience the magic that unfolded.
Your dreams have no limits; you are the creator of your dreams, big or small. When this is understood, you are able to design a way to favour you plan and accomplish your end goal.
A dream is strong enough to define you, once accomplished you prove to others they have no say in who you can and can’t be.

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