There’s one thing that sabotages my dreams, our dreams. It’s a great excuse that often disguises itself as a legitimate culprit, but it’s a lie. Here’s a hint: it’s not financial, it’s not circumstantial, it’s not experiential, and it’s not age-related. While all of those things can and do come into play, they’re not the reason for your dream remaining, well, just a dream.
And if you’re not careful, this one thing may just keep your dreams paralyzed for life. But there’s good news. Today, we’re going to talk about how you can overcome it.
So what is it?
First, a story.
Looking for Poopie Geese
One of my favorite pastimes with my boys is what we affectionately call, “looking for poopie geese.” When the boys were young, we would consistently tell them to watch out for the poopie left by the local geese at our neighborhood park. Naturally, one day as the geese were flying overhead, one of the boys playfully shouted, “Look, Daddy, poopie geese.”
Much to our chagrin, it stuck.
Now, anytime they want to go feed the ducks or walk to the neighborhood pond, shouts of poopie geese echo through our house. Lord help us when they’re teenagers.
Anyway, for the past few years, multiple times per week, we have gone to see the ducks and geese at the ponds surrounding our home. As I’ve observed these feathered friends on many occasions, I’ve come to disagree with a common conception regarding ducks.
In all of my time watching these ducks, I rarely see them in a row. Even when they’re flying they tend to break formation.
It has led me to consider, why is everyone wasting their time trying to put ducks in a row?
What Are You Waiting For?
In talking with entrepreneurs, salespeople, and dreamers, of all shapes and sizes, I often hear the term, “I’m getting my ducks in a row,” as it relates to progress. Essentially they’re saying, “I’m waiting.”
However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing a book, it’s this: if I had waited on getting my ducks in a row, my book would still be an idea in my head or—even worse—a manuscript stuck on my laptop.
The same is true of your passions, your dreams.
You don’t need approval for your dream to become a reality. You don’t need Oprah to endorse you. You don’t need to dance with Ellen or be featured on Good Morning America for it to be legitimized.
Don’t miss opportunities waiting to put ducks in a row. Ducks don’t even know what a row is. Ducks need herding: massive action in a certain direction.
But here’s the thing, I’m guilty myself.
For the past six months, I’ve felt that this book, this message to Redefine Rich, was much larger than the 192 pages it contained, much larger than this blog, and much larger than me.
In my mind, I felt like that in addition to writing the book, I was supposed to do something with it. Since generosity is a key theme, I felt like I was supposed to use the book as a way to invest in others, a way to pay it forward.
As I pressed into this idea, it began to take shape.
What if I used the proceeds from the book to start an organization founded upon the premise of investing in the lives of others, both monetarily and personally?
But then, the ducks would show up and I would tell myself, philanthropic organizations are started by people in power, people who have made it. I’d have to find some type of corporate sponsor or some famous endorser. I’d have to hit the bestseller list or become an in-demand speaker.
I resolved to believe that this dream is something I would do someday; whenever I got those ducks in that row.
The Waiting is Over
Guess what friends, someday starts now. Someday begins today. For me, it began yesterday.
I did something audacious.
I met with an accountant, began the paperwork, and purchased the domain for The Live Richly Foundation.
What is that you ask?
I’m not quite sure yet, all of those details will come. But I do know this, I’m waiting on those ducks any longer and you shouldn’t either.
Here’s what I wrote in my journal.
I’ve partnered with Gary Weller, one of the key stories from the book, and we’re donating a portion of the proceeds to a scholarship fund in his honor. (Check out our page for Gary’s Scholarship Fund) As of this morning, we’ve already raised $100.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Next week, we’re announcing the Live Richly Challenge, a chance for you to join us. You can find out more by signing up here. (Get more information on the Live Richly Challenge)
I don’t want 2015 to be another year where we hit pause on our dreams for any reason. If my cancer diagnosis last summer taught me anything, it taught me this: life is too sweet to waste it waiting on something.
I dare you to embrace the spirit of my sons and chase after those ducks with arms flailing and voices screaming. The ducks will go crazy and take flight, I promise.
Start living with purpose and perspective, intentional about who you want to become and what you want to do with your life.
A rich, prosperous future awaits, don’t spend it waiting on ducks.
If you’re like me, you’ll need some encouragement along the way. That’s what I’m here for. Subscribe to this newsletter for weekly perspectives for an enriched life. For more on clearly defining your life’s direction, pick up a copy of my book, Redefine Rich. Leave me a comment below. What action will you take, TODAY?