What’s Your Dream?

whatsyourdream“A man is not old until he has more regrets than dreams.” John Barrymore

So you have to ask yourself, how old are you? Do you have more dreams or do you have more regrets?

Youth is typically filled with an abundance of aspirations and an excess of idealistic notions; there is rarely a dearth of dreams.

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew-up? Do remember at age five, twelve, twenty? The possibilities seemed endless, the opportunities limitless. You could be a superhero, an astronaut, or a doctor. I always wanted to be a writer. At five, others perceived my dream of writing as amusing and transitory. At twelve, others perceived my dream of writing as ambitious. At twenty, others perceived my dream of writing as misguided.

My goal to write a book or many books was often met with others’ well intentioned albeit offensive offensive efforts to convert me to teaching high school English classes (not that there is anything wrong with that, it just wasn’t my dream).

So youth’s unabashed conviction in the possibility of any and every dream is often humbled with each passing year. Be it others’ unsolicited opinions or one’s own self-doubt, youth’s boundless belief in dreams and unswerving swagger to make them come true often fade much too fast as the years pass.

For me, when teachers, family friends, and even  strangers tried to convince me of my erroneous career decision, it made me feel my dream wasn’t the right one, wasn’t going to come true, wasn’t worth having.

Maybe someone made you feel as though your dream wasn’t important or possible; maybe that someone was you. And when we feel as though our dream isn’t worth having, sadly we often stop dreaming. And when we let go of a dream, regret is waiting to replace it.

Regret is defined as feeling “sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened or been lost.” The cliche that people don’t regret what they’ve done but rather what they haven’t done holds true. As the years accumulate and dreams are lost, we realize everything we haven’t done. And we feel regret.

What dream did you let go? Why? Fear? Self-doubt?

The easiest regrets to overcome are those for things you haven’t accomplished or even tried. So no matter your age, start today. Dream again, believe in those dreams, and do all you can to make them a reality because while regrets give you only sadness, dreams give you hope.

And remember—when one’s dreams don’t come true; it’s sad.

But when one stops dreaming; it’s tragic.

Thank you for reading. I’m excited to hear what you think.

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About Sherry Parnell

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