Lesson #6: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” -Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s almost New Years which means two things: drunken debauchery and resolutions (an ironic pair, but I’m not complaining). So once your hangover has worn off its time to sit down, reflect, write down that one thing that you have always wanted to do, and attack it. Come January 1st, granted the world is still spinning, it’s finally time to start believing that you have the full potential to make that resolution come true. It’s time to stop saying “I want to…” and to start saying “I will…” Nobody will believe in you unless you first believe in yourself, once we back up our goals with confidence others will quickly follow suit. There is nothing I hate more than people who dilly dally around what they really want, who wait for everyone around them to tell them they can before they take the first step, people who stick with what is safe. If there is anything important I have learned over the past 22 years it is that life is not fun when you play it safe!

If you are looking for inspiration, think like a teacher, and follow the lead of children. Children are smart, smarter than us in a lot of ways, because they are not afraid to take risks and dream big. They still believe that they have the potential to accomplish anything and that the world will support them in their quest. This week I asked my students to write about their futures. Sometimes they were downright foolish (I couldn’t help but chuckle as one 16 year old looked me in the eyes and exclaimed that one day he would be Iron Man) but regardless of what their dreams were everybody in the class wrote with confidence and ease.

I can’t say that the same was true for me. I told my students to write down their biggest dream, but I found myself wanting to play it safe. When I thought about proclaiming that I want to be a writer I became nervous and filled with self doubt. I have nothing to share. I am not clever or funny enough. I ramble. I can’t spell. I found myself needing to take a step back and follow some of my own advice. Believe in yourself first and the rest will follow. So this New Years think like a child and dream big, tell yourself that you can, and do me a favor- believe it!

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