One of my great joys at this stage in my dream tending journey is influencing today and tomorrow’s influencers. Investing in our future, is one of the ways I give back. High school and college students will soon be in charge, and pouring into them, teaching them keys that have taken me years to gather, makes my heart happy and helps me fulfill my abundant purpose.
This week, I’ve been brought in to speak twice to students. First on career interests and job fits. Secondly, on problem-solving, team playing, self-confidence, positive attitudes, and strong work ethics. Plus, they want a little motivational/inspirational spin on my presentations, too.
After my bio was read, introducing me to the group, I stood in front of the students with red and white banners and posters with motivating quotes surrounding us. Before I began, I scanned their faces and thought back to when I was their ages.
I remember sitting in the bleachers or huddled in classroom circles, trying to appear confident in front of my friends, when inside insecurity and fears battered my mind. I frequently laughed on the outside, hiding the tears washing my soul. My greatest dream at that time might sound silly to some, but it truly was for peace and happiness. I just wanted to feel acceptable in my own skin. I guess that’s why I have such a heart for our young people and finding out what dreams burn brightest at their core.
In the group I spoke to this week, most were at least partially engaged, probably waiting to see if I was worth listening to or not. Some pretended to be checked out, but I know from experience that this can be deceiving. Often, as I present, those who appear the least enthusiastic are often absorbing as much or more than anyone else. I know this, because after I’m done, they approach cautiously with questions or confirmations that something I said made its point. This is also the group most protective of their dreams.
The Dream Collector
After years of speaking at conferences, retreats, businesses, and schools, I’ve met thousands of people. They range from the mature leader with great financial success, to the student preparing to enter the work world for the first time. But they all have something in common. They have dreams. Even if they don’t recognize them for what they are, but instead call them goals or wishes, their aspirations are dreams.
As I began to recognize this commonality between people of different genders, races, ages, and bank accounts, I began to see how precious dreams are to people. Many whisper theirs to me in confidence, saying I’m the first person they’ve told. And I understand why.
I remember what it feels like to have a dream burning inside you, but feeling unsure if it was safe to share. It was scary the first time I spoke some of my dreams out loud—daring to let another human being know what was in my mind. I held my breath, wondering if I would be ridiculed, put down, or simply ignored. Thankfully, there were a couple of people who believed in me and my dreams—but honestly, most people didn’t get them—or for sure, didn’t believe I could do it.
Based on my personal experiences, as well as reflecting on the many people who’ve said they were grateful for the security they felt in sharing their dreams with me, I decided to become the dream collector. Yes, I collect people’s dreams. But only for the sake of allowing someone to get their dreams out of their souls and possibly, into the world. I treasure people’s dreams and treat them as gingerly as if they were my own. And I encourage people to start taking a few brave steps to make their dreams come true.
This week, as I spoke to the students, I asked them to courageously write their dreams down so I could collect them. Some made me smile, some inspired me, and some choked me up. I’d like to share a few of those dreams with you today. My hope is that by hearing how brave these young people were, maybe, just maybe, it will help you put your brave on, so you take the first steps to pursuing yours.
- Do you have any secret dreams?
- If you haven’t shared you dream with anyone, why? Are you afraid of how others might respond?
- If you knew your dream would be treated with as much regard as if it were their own, would you be willing to tell someone?
Would you write your dream down on a postcard and mail it anonymously to me? I promise to protect you fiercely and treasure your dream ferociously. I may write about it in my blog or talk about it on this podcast, but only in the most respectful and dignified way—as a means to encourage other dreamers.
This episode’s Dream Tending Tips:
- Get a notebook or journal and dedicate it solely to tending your dreams. This is your safe place, your private space, where you can let your dreams run wild and free.
- Take courage and put your dream in writing, for yourself first.
- Write your dream on a postcard and mail it to me at: Anita Brooks, P.O. Box 1097, Steelville, MO 65565.
- Now that you’ve taken that giant step of documenting your dream and telling at least one person (me), you’re ready for another leap. At least once a week, read your dream to yourself—keeping it in the forefront of your mind.
- Write the TEND acronym in the front of your notebook or journal. Take courage. Excel daily. Never stop believing. Dare to dream bigger.
- Allow yourself to imagine what it might feel like if you could visit your future. See yourself one year from now, boldly and brilliantly tending your dreams. Now fast forward to three years and envision how different your life might look if you acted on your dreams. Visit year five and see what life will look then.
- Get your Dream Tender Diary and write a letter to your one-year future self, describing your life and all of the reasons you are grateful. Write a second to your three-year future self, and then your five. Remember, this is your safe place. Let your imagination run free.
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You can also get autographed copies of any of my books from my website.
Until next time, remember, your dreams are waiting for you to grab and tend:
Never stop believing.
Dare to dream bigger.
Host Anita Agers-Brooks can be found on various social media platforms, and you can discover additional dream tending tips at tendyourdreams.com.