This past weekend, I had the pleasure of being a featured speaker at the Idaho Book Extravaganza. And while I went there excited to be a part of the event, meet writers and editors, and talk to the community, I left with something more: a deeper appreciation for what accomplishing a goal can mean to a person.
As I met person after person, and heard about their manuscripts and goals, I couldn’t help but feel moved. Here were people who were taking a step toward accomplishing something they’d always wanted to do, people who were brave enough to approach me and tell me their stories. I noticed how their expressions would change when they started talking about their manuscripts, and I could see that many people were revisiting dreams they’d almost given up on, dreams that are still very, very present.
As I reflected on my many conversations, I couldn’t help but wonder: What is it that causes us to move in the opposite direction of our dreams? Why do we put that half-written manuscript inside a desk that sits in a room no one uses? Why are we so afraid to talk about the things we desire?
Of course, not everyone wants to write a book. Other people have different dreams: climbing a summit, backpacking through Europe, doing a triathlon. But it’s not really the type of dream that matters, is it? The question still remains: Why don’t we spend every waking moment moving in the direction of our dreams? What is it about success that is just so terrifying?
When I was in long distance track in high school, my coach once said to me, “When you run, keep your eyes on the back of the person in front of you. You naturally move toward the thing you’re looking at.”
And so it is with goals. The more we read, talk, think, and write about our dreams, the more likely we are to accomplish them. We must keep our eyes always forward and our bodies always moving in the direction of our dreams.
After all, if we are always looking forward in anticipation of the prize, aren’t we naturally more likely to become victorious?