Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, September 19, 2013
My roommate freshman through junior years in college knows how to dream big and chase down crazy adventures. In college he was the one who ended up in Alaska during the summers removing barnacles from boats. Last year his holiday email started with “I thought I’d share a bit about this year’s adventure, a backpacking trip. I had always wanted to visit China. I also dreamed of hiking the Himalayas. With scores of frequent flyer miles, and ample downtime, the timing seemed perfect.” That was the start of a 2-month solo trip through many countries. Once he got back to the states he started his own consulting company (“I don’t have much more than a nifty logo and generic web content at the moment. I’m hopeful, nonetheless.”). Soon after that he got the urge to help a friend raise some money which started an 8-week, 4000 mile solo bike ride across the country from San Diego to Virginia Beach. Similar to Forrest Gump, once he reached Virginia Beach he said “I’ve always wanted to see Maine…”, so he biked up the coast…and then decided since he’d made it that far he might as well bike back home to Indiana. Finally, this week ended his 4 1/2 months, 7,000+ miles of biking solo around the U.S.
When I hear about people and dreams like this I tend to have a moment of self-doubt that my dreams are way too boring and safe by comparison. Are his dreams better? Do great dreams require adventure and risk and spontaneity and pushing you way beyond your comfort zone? Nope, and sometimes. His dreams are great – for him. My dreams are great – for me. All of our dreams and goals should be about pursuing happiness and living life with no regrets. Even Bil acknowledges his freedom comes with “serious trade-offs, both personally and professionally”. That’s why it is so important to write down and pursue dreams that are meaningful to YOU and incorporate all aspects of your life.
Here are things we can all apply from Bil’s latest adventure to some of our dreams:
- dreams require a lot of hard work and preparation;
- he shared his dream publicly and had a support network throughout the journey – people who were constantly rooting for him and checking in on him;
- there were many opportunities for spontaneity but he had clear objectives and goals;
- it connected to a higher level purpose – giving back to a cause that he believed in;
- having a positive attitude is very important to get you through all sorts of unexpected obstacles;
- and, the journey was clearly as much a part of this as the destination.
Dream YOUR dreams!!!