A man told me a story once. Jack was in a wheelchair, having suffered an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He told me that, after his accident, he became profoundly depressed.
A therapist asked him to remember what his dreams used to be. At first, he couldn’t recall any dreams. Then, at his therapist’s urging, he remembered that many, many years ago he used to dream of learning to fly. The therapist encouraged him to chase that dream, in spite of his depression.
Jack started to take flying lessons even though he had little interest. He just went through the motions at his therapist’s persistence.
Eventually, though, it began to click.
He not only learned to fly, he got his own plane, took folks up in it for discovery flights, served as the president of his local flying group, and founded a nonprofit. In the process, he completely overcame the depression and did not allow his disability to stand in the way of living a life. In fact, he was a very active guy and looked pretty darned happy to me.
I always remember Jack and his story.
Our dreams are so powerful. And yet, we so frequently just shelve them as unrealistic, or too expensive, or ridiculous in the eyes of other people. But we ignore our dreams at our peril – for our dreams are the key to the doorway of our soul, and the secret of making ourselves whole.
I remind myself of Jack because once again I must look at the way I’ve ignored some of my own dreams. They are hard to recall – just like Jack first responded to his therapist’s queries. And yet, I suspect, those hazy, forgotten dreams are just as essential as ever.
I don’t care how kooky they may be, I really have nothing to lose by going for them.
And that would, of course, be the thing, to finally go for them.