- There’s a special allure to life in Western Culture, one that calls to us every day, promising, through hard work and dedication, the happiness and freedom we’ve always wanted.
- In a busy life chasing goals and dreams, however, freedom can be elusive and insecurity can be a much-too-close companion. In pursuing achievement, we often think (perhaps rightly), “How will this impact my goals and dreams?” and “What’s in it for me?”
- It’s far too easy to get caught up in ego–concern for self that leads to constant comparison and continual threats, which leads to more busyness, more striving and less freedom.
- The solution is to dream BIGGER dreams. Let go of your little lollipop dreams and grab on to the whole candy store.
- When you dream big dreams, you engage hope, and when hope is strong, vision expands, beauty is more evident and the sky’s the limit.
NOTE: The first ever Inner Excellence YWAM Homes of Hope Retreat starts today. Click here for more details. Armadeli and her four kids (age 5-12) are getting a new home this weekend! ___________________________________________________
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” – John Lennon
Here’s the message of Inner Excellence: You were created for glory (infinite, inherent worth). The biggest obstacle to that glory is your own self-centeredness. The solution is to pursue, with all your heart, to become someone who lives fully because they love greatly… someone who pursues wisdom in order to develop self-mastery, so that every challenge is used to learn and grow and become the person you were created to be.
Most people, however, spend their entire lives chasing the illusion of success and get emptiness instead.
We know we must be confident, so we put up a strong front, but deep inside we want so much more than temporary transactions and fleeting moments of success.
We want to live fully and so we work hard to arrange our lives (and things) so that others respect and honor us. We want real peace and lasting joy, and so we must make changes and be better and be someone the world loves.
The thing is, the world makes it so difficult. With so much out of our control, life becomes one unstable transaction after another. One dream dies and so we shoot for another, (often) smaller one. But things happen and they go wrong and people don’t come through and it doesn’t work out.
Soon life becomes a series of fires that we put out, reacting instead of creating. Dreaming becomes scheming, crafting some shortcut or path to success that might finally work long-term.
It’s a continual search for some thing, some impenetrability that can finally give us that deep rest, so we can fully relax in a world with so much out of our control.
Henri Nouwen asks the question:
“Are you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don’t you often hope: maybe this book, idea, course, trip, job, country, or relationship will fulfill my deepest desire. But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you’ll go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burnout.” – Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved
I’ve seen it over and over, in fact it’s the wide, inviting path and all-too-common route in pursuit of the American dream. We work hard and have strict boundaries and stay positive and listen to the tapes (well, the apps I suppose) and then some thing or some virus shuts the whole world down and and our dreams go down with it.
The solution is to pursue something more stable than “success,” more meaningful than money. We need intrinsic (inner) motivation so we can have the grit (passion and persistence) to keep going when the world shuts us down.
The power is to make your dreams more expansive, and much bigger, because in every dream is hope, and hope is what holds the human spirit together. We need to keep hope alive, because hope is the fabric of love and love is fearless and forever.
Inner Excellence is the path to big dreams that keeps hope alive. Here’s an excerpt:
[Inner Excellence] is a completely different way of seeing the world, one that transforms not just how we think, but what we think about. It’s a different lifestyle, one that revamps our hearts from seeking temporary, surface-level goals to seeking powerful, permanent ones. It completely reverses how we pursue peak performance…
The mindset of Inner Excellence is this: I compete to raise the level of excellence in my life, to learn and grow, in order to raise it in others.
We don’t pursue peak performance for the trophy or adoration, but to discover something within us and experience something we’ve never experienced before. We compete for the competition itself, to fully experience the moment and feel fully alive.
We do this to help others—including our opponents—do the same thing, so we can all learn and grow and raise the level of excellence in our lives. We crave adversity and challenges as a means of seeing the truth about who we are in that moment and therefore who we can become.
We don’t climb mountains to get to the top—we climb to see who we can become in trying to get there. The peak gives us a goal and focus for our behaviors, but the reason for climbing or competing is far more empowering than an expansive view and social media posts.
Consider the journal entry of Olympic speed skater Clara Hughes after winning a gold medal:
“In my heart it is clear to me why I go to the line time and again. I can assure you it’s not a medal hanging around my neck I’m after. Medals are things I send to my mom in Winnipeg, which she in turn shares with friends and family. They are not what provide the deep sense of accomplishment, which fills my sense of self, in turn teaching me how to live.”
Hughes skates so she can learn how to live. The most powerful way to live is to raise the level of excellence in your life, to learn and grow, in order to raise it in others.
When your dream is first and foremost to make a difference in the lives of others, and you use your daily life to learn and grow as a person first (in love, wisdom, and courage), you’ll see much farther than you’ve ever seen before. You’ll see beauty and abundance and the absolute fullness of life you were created for.
When the vision expands, so do the dreams, and with expansive dreams comes hope and hope doesn’t disappoint, because hope is about love and love endures forever.
When we dream big dreams, about making a difference through the person we become, we can work sunup to sundown for years on end, knowing it may not produce what the world deems success… all the while creating something far greater and lasting than anything the world can offer: a wholehearted dreamer, filled with life and hope.
Let me know how it’s going for you!
PS: Want to share this to help other people dream big dreams? Just give them this link: https://innerexcellence.com/newsletter/the-message-every-dreamer-needs-to-hear/
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