I recently attended a leadership/entrepreneurial boot camp and have been devouring business and self-development books one after the other in my pursuit to develop myself both as a leader and entrepreneur, and thereby start realizing my dreams for my family and myself. Last night, I finally decided to seriously review my dream board as the first step to putting the things I’m learning into practice. That’s right, a dream board and I do have one. They say a dream board is important because it’s supposed to guide you, keep you from wandering aimlessly through life. It allows you to picture your goals more clearly, at a glance. Take note, however, that your dreams would just remain dreams in the air if you do not start taking action toward them, which includes planning and setting deadlines.
The first time I made a dream board was last year. In the past, I would only write down my goals and cut out pictures of the things I would like to have, but nothing more than that. (So yes, you can say that nothing happened too.) As I looked up a dream board I made last year, I took a hard look at it, and realized that my dreams have not changed, but only became bigger and more defined. Suddenly, I am filled with desire to get into action and start taking serious steps toward those dreams.
This morning, I had my revised dream board printed. While I was doing it, my 6-year old girl asked me to help her with her own dream board. She and her 9-year old sister also made their own dream boards last year as I made mine, only hers was drawn on paper, whereas her sister has hers on Powerpoint since she already knew her way around Microsoft Office and can Google things online by herself.
As I helped my Little Z look up pictures online of the things she would like to have, do, and be, I was amazed that someone as young as her could have such big dreams! More, I realized that my child is a philanthropist and an entrepreneur at heart. These are the top three things that she wanted to be: a scientist, who would study, take care of animals and help improve their living conditions; a preschool teacher, who would teach little children Math, reading, as well as arts and crafts; and a young entrepreneur who would build business establishments that she believed would make people happy.
She made it clear that apart from being a scientist (or zoologist), she wanted to be a veterinarian who would treat other people’s pets and a zookeeper who would take care of animals from the wild. She said she also wanted to grow up and become a brave firefighter, who would rescue cats that couldn’t get down from tall trees as well as rescue people from burning buildings. As an entrepreneur, she would have a bookshop, cake shop, gift shop, pet shop, and lemonade stands in different malls or neighborhoods. Note that she loves books, cakes, stationery and cute novelty items, animals, and yes, lemonade! Talk about turning one’s passion into cash, eh? Yet she never mentioned money, didn’t even seem to think of it. As far as she’s concerned, she can make a lemonade and start selling them, she can learn to bake cakes and start a cake shop, and so on.
She would also like to be an artist or painter – and she is one, young as she may be, a ballerina (she took lessons one summer), a swimmer (she really loves the water), a guitarist (just like her very talented father, whom she most likely took after), and a soccer player (like some of her female cousins and favorite female cartoon characters). More, all the knowledge and skills that she would acquire, she said she would teach to her future students. She wants to put up a preschool! In addition, she wants to travel around the world and meet children of different nationalities. Lastly, she would like to own a modern beautiful house with a big lovely garden, and a family van.
I helped her Google the things that she wanted on her dream board, and as she chose one photo over the other, I thought I was working with an adult. She knew what she wanted and would explain to me why she wouldn’t go for the ones I suggested. It was only when I asked her if she would love to complete her collection of toys and have the stuff most girls her age would love to have that she added Barbie dolls, Smurfs toys, story books, beautiful shoes and dresses to her dream board and started to sound like the little girl she really is to me. However, I have observed from her facial expressions that those things did not seem to matter to her as much as the ones that first went to her dream board. (In fact, she only added the things to have, e.g., house, car, etc. after I suggested them.) She got excited as I suggested them, but the seriousness and concentration on her face was really different as she inspected the photos that would represent the things that first went into her board. Each time she found the right one, she would exclaim, “That’s the one! That’s the one I like!”
And I knew then that those are dreams that no one can take away from her.
As we finished building her dream board using MSPowerPoint, I couldn’t help feeling emotional. What she dreams of seems huge for a very young child, yet she never sees it that way. Those dreams are real to her! And I strongly believe that they can all come true by God’s grace and with all the talents He has given her. As a parent, I know I am faced with the enormous task of ensuring that she doesn’t lose sight of her dreams and help her start taking baby steps toward them to turn every dream into a reality as early as now. I have to make sure that her strength of character, belief in herself, and faith in God continues to develop each day.
Dream. Set goals. Believe. Take action. Lead. (The Key Success Drivers) I have to do all these things not only for my own dreams to come true, but for my children’s dreams to come true as well. Starting today, I shall be counting the days toward the fulfillment of my dreams. My children’s dreams are now also my dreams. Like what Zig Ziglar said, “I can, I can, I can, and I will.” So help me God.