Why Our Dreams Go Unfulfilled

Dreams, we all have them. We all aspire to reach the highest of heights, whether that be in our professional or personal lives. Dreams are fragile, and a reflection of our inner most self. They are made up of our inner most child and ought to be handled with extreme care. Allowing our inner child to be expressive in our adult life is immensely important but the overwhelming majority of us lose sight of that. The importance lies in the fact our inner child is the most innocent version of ourselves, uncorrupted by the world that we live in.

When we were five years old, we are always asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The answers are always similar- professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, singers, actors, astronauts or artists. The list goes on and on, but how many of us allow our inner child to shine through our entire lives? Not many.

So what happens along the way? For one, some of us are lucky enough to hit the genetic lottery while others aren't as lucky. The fact of the matter is if you are five feet tall, it's going to be much more difficult to achieve being a basketball player than if you are seven feet tall. Does this mean your dreams are unattainable- of course not, you simply have more obstacles to overcome. But what about those of us who want to become doctors or actors? What stops us then?

The number one reason we move away from our dreams is because we don't grasp the concept the fragility of our dreams. I want you to think of a dream as a bubble. When we are young and blow bubbles on a stick, they float effortlessly in the air, with the streaks of colours running through them. But with the slightest touch of a finger, or a gentle breeze of the wind and the bubble bursts, exploding into millions of little droplets, and being gone forever.

Dreams have a similar fragility to them. The bigger the dream, the more delicate the bubble. We must protect those bubbles with our being, otherwise, they become nothing more than an unaccomplished wish.

The question then begs, who, or what, must we protect our dreams from?

The first major threat to achieving our dreams is none other than ourselves. We are the most powerful forces on this planet, and that goes for better and worse. We can accomplish whatever we put our minds too. Think of what was deemed impossible 100 years ago. More over what was deemed impossible at the turn of the century. Cell phones had just began to catch popularity in society, and twenty years later we are able to video call with someone regardless of where they are on the planet. We look at feats in sports, for instance the sub four minute mile. What was a myth and legend, has been bested 18 times since 1999 and 30 seconds has been shaved off in the last hundred years.

On the flip side of that pendulum of self belief is self doubt. They say basketball is 85% mental (I'm sure that's a made up statistic but for those who have played at a high enough level, you will agree completely.) The most difficult part of the game of basketball is mental, can you fight through being fatigued, or will you be able to focus on not making mistakes. What about when you have an off shooting game, will you allow that to affect your overall performance or will you focus on other areas of the game?

Carlie and I recently ran a basketball camp for younger kids in that 10-15 age group and the way they speak about themselves was shocking.

"I am the worst player here."

"I am terrible."

"I can't do that. I suck at this."

The list goes on and on. A Japanese proverb, and a personal favourite, says, "Do not speak badly of yourself. For that warrior within hears your words and is lessened by them."

How often do we make a mistake during our days and tell ourselves how dumb of a mistake that is, or a similar tone, simply out of frustration. Dreams are the same way. If we fail at our first attempt, we often have a negative memory in regards to the goal we hope to achieve. That negative memory, if compounded, can be enough to crush a dream that we are more than capable of achieving.

Similar to the Japanese proverb, is a Cherokee proverb- there are two wolves inside of us, the good and the evil one. The wolf that wins, is the wolf that you feed.

Feed the good wolf, the warrior, or the light inside you, because you can achieve those dreams.

The second major threat to our aspirations, are our peers. As I said, dreams are like bubbles, and if we allow it, others will burst our bubbles. We may not be aware of it, but we may be responsible for the death of someone else's dream. As I said in the beginning, dreams are part of our inner child, and come from the most vulnerable and innocent places. For those of you who have created art and posted it to a public forum, know how much courage it takes to put something of great meaning to yourself out to be critiqued and potentially ridiculed by others. Sometimes, these critiques can come across playfully, however, the laugh at someone else's expense is never worth it nor acceptable. This is something I have had to learn the hard way.

For instance, Carlie was named to her first Australian 3x3 team in 2017. She was chosen by a board of high performance coaches throughout Australia and clearly earned her right. Upon her selection, a coach she knew made a joke how they, "didn't understand how she could have possibly made the team." Good thing Carlie protected her bubble, because she would help bring home a gold medal for Australia and be ranked Australia's number 1 women's player for years to come.

Now don't be misguided, some people will try to bring you down and crush your dreams intentionally. It is imperative to understand these people are doing nothing more than projecting their insecurities on to you. Please, brush this off. Remind yourself these people are not bringing you down, they are telling you that they are afraid to see you succeed at what they think they would fail at.

There was a time I let the opinions of others greatly effect me. I kept my dreams internal, I was afraid to put myself out on a limb to reach my goals, all because I feared ridicule from my peers. Would care what other's thought if it is what makes you successful? Probably not. Don't be afraid of how bright your light will shine and certainly don't let other's dim your light.

The final major threat to our dreams is complacency. We allow comfort and progress to impede our growth. We set out for a million dollar salary and accept a 100k salary. That's a great start and the right direction from our zero dollar salary. However, that 100k feels a lot different to nothing and we settle in to that. We lose the hunger to work for the million dollar pay check, and as time goes by, we become complacent, refusing to seek growth.

Think of how great accomplishing the first step felt, so why not follow through further?

At the end of the day, I hope you do what makes you happy first and foremost. I hope that you find fulfilment in your life. But experience everything that you can on this Earth, because a life unfulfilled is a life wasted.