Fortune Cookie Friday: Hold Fast to Your Dreams
Today’s fortune is from Langston Hughes’ poem, “Dreams.” Hughes (1902-1967) wrote novels, short stories, and plays, as well as poetry that portrayed black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. His birthday is February 1, and I found it interesting that this fortune was next on my list at this particular time.
What Are Your Dreams?
The dreams mentioned in this fortune are not the type we have while getting our recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. The dreams in this context pertain to our imaginative goals or desires in life. The type of dreams that inspire us to take the journey that could lead us to our successes or failures.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” I believe dreams are like that colorful brochure you pick up at the travel agency. We open it up and peruse pictures of sights to see and things to do. Our dreams can be realistic and down to earth or wild and adventurous. We can enjoy a picnic in the park or bungee jumping from a bridge. We can work in an office or become an astronaut. Our dreams are our possibilities. It’s up to us to choose what we want to achieve.
Achieving Your Dreams
Once we’ve chosen a path to travel, there are a few things that we can do to achieve our dreams.
“Don’t leave home without them” – This was a slogan for traveler’s checks from 1975 and portrays today’s fortune well. Hold fast to those dreams. We should take them with us wherever we go. They are the inspiration that can open doors and map our course.
Discount nothing – Even the most fantastical dreams can come true with a little effort and faith. Even if we don’t achieve them in the way we expected, we can gain great insight from our journey towards that dream.
Write them down – Keeping a journal of what we hope to accomplish in life can not only give you a visual checklist but also makes each dream more tangible.
Break them down – Many dreams can be broken down into steps that are easier to achieve. When we look at our goals in manageable parts or from a different perspective, we can determine how achievable they may be and plan our journey accordingly.
It’s OK to keep it a secret – Our dreams are a very personal thing. They are a view of our heart’s desire. We may not want to subject our goals to the criticism of others. We shouldn’t feel sorry for not sharing them. In fact, psychologists found that telling someone about your goals can cause a “social reality” that tricks the mind into thinking it’s already done.
Inspiration of Dreams
A time will come when we feel comfortable sharing our dreams with fellow travelers. Our stories may even inspire others to join us. Many inspiring dreams have changed our world for the better.Our founding fathers had a dream of an independent nation where all men are created equal and have the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. shared that dream and built an influential movement on the premise that people should be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Thomas Savery’s dream of a steam-powered engine in the late 17th century fueled a momentous technological leap in human history during the Industrial Revolution. Although Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan patented the first light bulb in 1879 and 1880, Humphry Davy’s dreams lit the way towards a brighter future with a safer lamp for coal miners in 1815. Maria Beasley didn’t just have dreams of a better world with her many inventions, but of saving lives as well. Maria wanted to create a better life raft for vessels that was fireproof, compact, and readily launched. Her 1882 invention made for safer traveling of the seven seas. German inventor Karl Benz followed his dream of a horseless carriage back in 1885 that inspired the production of the cars we use today. Without the dreams of John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley in 1947, we wouldn’t have the transistors which are fundamental in electronic devices such as televisions, cell phones, and computers. Stephanie Kwolek’s strong desires to pursue medicine took her on an unexpected journey towards the invention of Kevlar®, along with numerous patents and prestigious awards, such as the Kilby Award, the National Medal of Technology and the 1999 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award.
Imagine where we would be if these great people had not held fast to their dreams. Our dreams are limitless and have so much potential. Grab hold, don’t let go, and take the journey of a lifetime.